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ROBINSON v. USAF

April 7, 1986

RUDOLPH R. ROBINSON, Plaintiff,
v.
UNITED STATES AIR FORCE, Defendant



The opinion of the court was delivered by: PARKER

 Barrington D. Parker, Senior District Judge:

 Mr. Rudolph R. Robinson, a black, brings this action against the United States Air Force charging that he was wrongfully discriminated against because of race when he was discharged from the position of Youth Center Director, Bolling Air Force Base. He alleges that his rights conferred under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e-1 et seq., were violated when his services were terminated in December of 1981. The trial of this action was heard by the Court without a jury. The various legal memoranda of counsel, the testimony of the several witnesses, the documents, exhibits in evidence and the argument of counsel for the parties have all been fully considered. The Court determines that the plaintiff's Title VII rights were not violated and that he is not entitled to relief.

 As required by Rule 52 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the Court enters the following findings of fact and conclusions of law.

 FINDINGS OF FACT

 Rudolph Robinson, a black male, was employed by the United States Air Force at Bolling Air Force Base, Washington, D.C., from January through December, 1981. He was initially employed as the Assistant Youth Center Director, grade PS-7, a nonappropriated fund ("NAF") position. His immediate supervisor was John Oravec who served as Youth Center Director.

 Oravec resigned in April, 1981. At that time, he had been at the Center for only a short period of time. Robinson was then appointed Acting Youth Center Director by Joseph Walters, the Director of Recreation Services at Bolling Air Force Base. Both Oravec and Walters are white.

 Thereafter, an announcement was posted for the GS-9 Youth Center Director vacancy. Plaintiff expressed an interest in that position to Walters and later submitted an official application -- Standard Form 171 ("SF 171"). Candidates for that position were required to meet certain requirements established by the Office of Personnel Management ("OPM") position qualification standards. Walters informed plaintiff that he would request his appointment to the vacancy if he were certified and found qualified by OPM.

 The SF 171 which plaintiff had submitted earlier for the Assistant Director position did not state that he had a graduate -- M.A. - degree. Additionally, it did not include every position and employment experience that he had in recent years.

 The OPM reviewed plaintiff's SF 171 application for the Youth Center Director position and found that he was not qualified because he lacked sufficient experience in the field of recreation. Because of an interest in plaintiff's candidacy, Walters advised Robinson to include his Bolling Youth Center experience on the SF 171. Plaintiff then submitted a revised application which reflected his Youth Center experience and also that he had received a M.A. degree in May 1980 from the University of the District of Columbia, and had earned 12 graduate credit hours in the field of recreation. This information as to the degree was false and was not included on the SF 171 which plaintiff submitted in January 1981, when he first applied for the Assistant Youth Center Director position.

 Because of the recently gained work experience at the Youth Center, plaintiff was found qualified by OPM for the Director position. There was no credible testimony and evidence showing that OPM considered the graduate degree in evaluating and determining plaintiff's qualifications. Walters testified that he considered the plaintiff's graduate degree in his name-request to the OPM and that this, together with his recent experience with Youth Center activities, caused him to recommend Robinson for priority consideration. He opined that a person with plaintiff's education and the degree would perhaps be more mature and experienced than one with a lesser academic background.

 Robinson was appointed to the Youth Center Director position on June 29, 1981. At this point, while Walters had not had any direct daily or frequent working relationship with Robinson, he considered him to be a competent supervisor. Between January and June 1981, plaintiff had worked directly under Oravec's supervision; Oravec never commented or reported on the plaintiff's job performance in any manner.

 Shortly after plaintiff assumed the Director's office, Walters had more frequent contacts with him and observed a number of performance problems. This resulted in a letter written in mid-August 1981 (Letter of Guidance), pointing out several areas where plaintiff should seek improvement in his daily performance. They included preparation of employee time cards, better procedures for handling of funds, program planning, coordination with other managers, establishing work schedules for his staff, and establishing long range plans with his supervisors. Later, in September, Walters detailed two older and more experienced employees to assist and to work directly with plaintiff in the problem areas.

 During this same period and beyond, the plaintiff experienced various problems with the maintenance, security and handling of daily funds taken in by the Youth Center canteen. Robinson was directed to take certain corrective actions. He did not pursue the matter in a timely or satisfactory manner, even after a follow-up review and a directive to take further action. Because of these mounting problems, plaintiff was issued a letter of reprimand for failure to carry out assigned instructions. The plaintiff's performance did not improve and he was advised by Walters ...


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