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SEGAR v. CIVILETTI

February 6, 1981

Henry W. SEGAR et al., Plaintiffs
v.
Benjamin R. CIVILETTI et al., Defendants



The opinion of the court was delivered by: ROBINSON

FINDINGS OF FACT AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW

This is a class action brought against the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) alleging racial discrimination against Black special agents of the DEA in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e, et seq. The Plaintiff class is composed of "all Blacks who currently serve as special agents, who have been discharged from special agent positions, who have unsuccessfully applied for special agent positions, and who in the future will apply for special agent positions in DEA (or in any predecessor or successor organization)." The two individual Plaintiffs are Henry W. Segar and Morris H. Davis.

 FINDINGS OF FACT

 A. Background

 1. Defendant DEA is the agency of the Department of Justice responsible for the enforcement of federal criminal laws concerning the illegal sale, distribution, and use of drugs, and the regulation of the legal trade in controlled drugs. The history and structure of DEA may be summarized as follows:

 a. Prior to 1968, the enforcement of Federal criminal laws against traffic in illegal controlled substances and the diversion of legally produced controlled substances to the illicit market was the task of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics (FBN) in the Department of Treasury and the Bureau of Drug Abuse Control (BDAC) in the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare. In 1968 the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (BNDD) was formed and placed in the Department of Justice. The creation of the BNDD was, in effect, a merger of the FBN and BDAC.

 b. In 1973 the BNDD was abolished, and its functions, manpower, and budget were transferred to the newly created DEA. From its inception until August 1, 1977, DEA had 13 domestic and six foreign regional offices. On August 1, 1977, one domestic and two foreign offices were abolished. On October 1, 1978, the number of domestic offices was reduced from twelve to five.

 c. Criminal investigators in DEA are known as "special agents." They conduct surveillance of suspected narcotics dealers and do related undercover work; transact "buys" of illegal drugs as evidence for prosecution; develop cases for prosecution by United States Attorneys and supervise the work of other special agents. As of October 21, 1978, DEA employed approximately 1,967 special agents, of whom 138 (7%) were Black.

 d. DEA has one Administrator, one Deputy Administrator, and seven Assistant Administrators based at Headquarters. These are supergrade positions.

 e. The highest official in each DEA region is the Regional Director (RD), which is a GS-17 position. Each region has a regional office headed by the RD, and one or more district and resident offices. Each district office is headed by a Special Agent-in-Charge (SAIC) and each resident office is headed by a Resident Agent-in-Charge (RAIC). SAIC's are GS-14, GS-15, and GS-16 positions. RAIC's are GS-13 and GS-14 positions.

 f. In the field offices, most agents are assigned to operating groups of approximately fourteen persons. Most groups are designated as enforcement groups, but some, such as intelligence and conspiracy groups, are assigned specific kinds of work. Each group is headed by a supervisor. The Group Supervisor supervises the day-to-day work of group members, evaluates the members' performance once a year, and has authority to recommend them for promotions, awards, and special training. Group Supervisors are GS-14 positions. Non-supervisory special agents positions are at the GS-7 to GS-13 levels.

 h. DEA can hire an applicant who meets the GS-9 or above minimum requirements at the GS-7 level. Prior to 1978, the decision whether to hire an applicant for special agent above the GS-7 level was made by the RD in the region where the applicant applied. In 1978 hiring authority was transferred to Headquarters; ...


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