special efforts to give Mr. Chalk a break.
If Mr. Chalk were not a black this would be just another personnel squabble. Since he is black, the Court must determine whether anything that occurred was motivated by racial prejudice. The record fails to establish that Mr. Chalk's race was a factor in what occurred and any presumption arising from the then-temporary absence of black writer/editors in OIPR is rebutted. The key issue is one of intent and no intent to discriminate can be found on this record. The Court reaches this conclusion primarily because of Mr. Smyth's overall experience and conduct in dealing with racial matters, to wit: (1) Mr. Smyth, a white, is married to a black, has four black children, and is personally and acutely aware of frustrations which confront blacks; (2) Mr. Smyth has supported the affirmative action program at OIPR, has hired blacks for editorial work both before and after this episode, and has generally been active in seeking practical ways to encourage and assist black advancement in Government service; (3) Mr. Smyth originally sought out Mr. Chalk and attempted to work him into the OIPR program; and (4) Mr. Smyth, in Mr. Chalk's own words, was foremost in offering Mr. Chalk assistance.
Overall, the Department of Labor's handling of this personnel matter has been clumsy. Mr. Chalk received inadequate counselling when his difficulty arose. In the course of the law suit counsel raised arguments addressed to Mr. Chalk's marginal qualifications and the alleged minority status of a GS-9 woman who was hired. These arguments were misplaced and served only to confuse the issue. Mr. Chalk lost out simply because he proved difficult to work with. To be sure, his qualifications were minimum in the sense he could not possibly have filled the GS-9 job, but this was never contemplated. The decision to abandon further efforts to work Mr. Chalk into this particular office in a lesser position resulted from his conduct, not his race. It may well be that Mr. Chalk is unable to work harmoniously with others but he needs further frank appraisal by competent personnel experts and hopefully if his blowup with Mr. Smyth proves to have been an isolated instance another chance somewhere in the Department can be afforded him in due course.
The procedure followed in this case adhered to that contemplated under Hackley v. Johnson, 360 F. Supp. 1247 (D.D.C.1973). Counsel were aware of the decision in Hackley v. Roudebush, 171 U.S.App.D.C. 376, 520 F.2d 108 (1975), reversing Hackley, but desired not to await further appellate developments. In any event, the subsequent depositions covered all matters that would have been presented by plaintiff on a trial de novo.
Defendant's motion for summary judgment is granted and plaintiff's motion for summary judgment is denied.
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