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HOWZE v. ADAMS

June 28, 1988

CECIL D. HOWZE, SR., Plaintiff,
v.
ROBERT McCORMICK ADAMS, Defendant


Louis F. Oberdorfer, United States District Judge.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: OBERDORFER

LOUIS F. OBERDORFER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

 On March 30, 1988, at the conclusion of the evidence, the Court granted defendant's motion for summary judgment for reasons stated from the bench. At that time, the Court requested defendant to prepare proposed findings which reflected that ruling and those reasons. Defendant has submitted these proposed findings to plaintiff, who has indicated that he has no objection. The Court has reviewed defendant's proposal and finds that it fairly reflects the Court's ruling from the bench and the evidence that has been adduced in this case. Accordingly, they are adopted and here published:

 I. FINDINGS OF FACT

 A. Background

 1. Plaintiff, Cecil D. Howze, Sr., a black male, is a Sheetmetal Mechanic in the Sheetmetal Shop, Office of Plant Services, Smithsonian Institution, in Washington, D.C. (Testimony of Cecil Howze). Mr. Howze has been employed in this capacity with the Smithsonian Institution since 1963. (Joint Stipulation ("J.S.") at para. 3 (Joint Exhibit 1)).

 2. The Smithsonian's Office of Plant Services provides a full range of support services for the physical plant of the institution, including building maintenance, construction, utilities, services, repairs and other operations needed. (J.S. at para. 1).

 3. The Sheetmetal Shop is a branch of the Office of Plant Services employing approximately 7 journeyman Sheetmetal Mechanics and 1 Sheetmetal Mechanic Foreman. (J.S. at para. 2).

 4. In March 1976, plaintiff filed a formal complaint of discrimination on the basis of age and race concerning, inter alia, his work assignments and his failure to be promoted to the position of Assistant Foreman in the Sheetmetal Shop. (J.S. at para. 11; Defendant's Exhibit ("Def. Exh.") 16).

 5. A finding of no discrimination concerning the 1976 complaint was issued on May 2, 1979, and this decision was sustained on appeal by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on November 25, 1980. (J.S. at para. 12; Def. Exhs. 14, 15). No further appeal of this matter was taken. (Testimony of Cecil Howze).

 6. On June 4, 1982, plaintiff filed an administrative complaint alleging that he had been denied certain training opportunities and job assignments and that he had not been selected for the position of Foreman of the Sheetmetal Shop because of his race.

 7. On October 2, 1986, following investigation of plaintiff's complaint and a hearing before an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Hearing Examiner who found no discrimination, defendant issued a final decision finding no discrimination.

 8. Plaintiff filed a complaint in this Court on November 3, 1986, alleging race and age discrimination based on the allegations set forth in his June 4, 1982 administrative complaint. The age discrimination claim was dismissed by this Court in response to defendant's unopposed motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The race discrimination claim was tried before this Court from March 28-30, 1988.

 B. The Merits

 9. Between 1975 and 1982, John A. Denbow was Foreman of the Sheetmetal Shop at the Smithsonian Institution. (J.A. at para. 4). Upon his retirement in January, 1982, the position of Foreman became vacant. (J.S. at para. 5).

 10. The position of Sheetmetal Mechanic Foreman, WS-3806-10 was advertised under Merit Promotion Announcement 82-6-A from January 5, 1982 to January 19, 1982. (J.S. at para. 6; Def. Exh. 3). The Foreman is responsible for the general supervision of the sheetmetal mechanics in the Sheetmetal Shop; planning, coordination and inspection of work; training and technical instruction; personnel management; and other related duties. (Def. Exhs. 3, 4).

 12. As requested by the Agency, Mr. Denbow, the candidates' former supervisor who was then retired, submitted a Qualifications Analysis and Assessment of Potential for Supervisory Positions for the three candidates. (J.S. at para. 8; Testimony of William Adams; Def. Exh. 7). Mr. Denbow rated Mr. Elliott the highest of the three candidates. Id.

 13. The selecting official, Mr. Adams, testified credibly that he rated the three candidates for the Foreman position in five areas: (1) Demonstrable experience in the sheetmetal trade relative to Smithsonian requirements; (2) Qualifications analysis and assessment of potential for supervisory positions; (3) Demonstrable past experience in a supervisory position; (4) Commendations and awards ...


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