on Mr. Weathersby's work. He also noted that the Department of Energy was expected to receive authority to process its own supergrades rather than forwarding them to the Civil Service Commission, and Mr. Weathersby's experience in that area was expected to be particularly helpful.
16. These assessments were reinforced by the evidence regarding Mr. Weathersby's qualifications and experience at the time he applied for the personnel management specialist position. He was a senior analyst at the Civil Service Commission, grade GS-14. He frequently met with high level officials of his assigned agencies, including the Department of Energy, to discuss the supergrade packages that they had submitted, and he interviewed prospective appointees and their bosses.
17. The selectee's duties included reviewing supergrade packages from the Department of Energy, including packages prepared and submitted by plaintiff. He was experienced in a wide variety of other personnel-related matters, including those involving experts and consultants. Prior to his six years as a personnel management specialist at the Civil Service Commission, he held several other positions in the field of federal personnel management.
18. Weathersby's experience was both broad and deep. On the other hand, plaintiff, although qualified for the position, did not begin to have the superior experience possessed by Weathersby. From our observation of plaintiff as a witness, he impressed the Court as a dedicated, conscientious and well-meaning public servant, who had definite limitations in experience and potential. We find that Weathersby's qualifications were clearly superior to those of plaintiff.
19. It is plaintiff's consistent claim that he was not selected because of his race and that the only reason Weathersby was selected was because he was black. Plaintiff relies in great part on the statement of Beach, the concurring official, that race was a "primary" reason for Weathersby's selection. From a close reading of the entire statement of Beach made at the EEO hearing, and having considered Beach's testimony at trial and his explanation of this statement and the context in which it was given, we are completely satisfied that Weathersby's selection was based on merit.
20. Nor is there any credible evidence that preselection occurred in this case. Indeed, the unrebutted testimony establishes that defendant invited applications from numerous sources, including the Personnel Office where plaintiff worked.
21. Plaintiff's suggestion that there is evidence of the consideration of improper factors in the selection process is particularly weak when he contends that defendant somehow violated the Merit Promotion Plan when Mr. Burkhart selected Mr. Weathersby. The testimony is completely unrebutted that the deadline for submitting applications in the Vacancy Announcement was not applicable to Mr. Weathersby, who applied as a lateral transfer. Rather, the Merit Promotion Plan, which governed such deadlines, specifically excepted the transfer of an employee into the Department of Energy in the circumstances presented in this case. It was not necessary that the Vacancy Announcement be cancelled.
22. Even more significant, if defendant truly had preselected Mr. Weathersby and wanted to get him at any cost because of the color of his skin, the selecting official could have foregone the competitive selection process completely and merely transferred Mr. Weathersby into the job. The selecting official was aware of this option but did not employ it. Thus, this evidence further buttresses the conclusion that Mr. Weathersby was selected on the basis of entirely proper factors.
Conclusions of Law
1. This Court has subject matter jurisdiction of this action, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-16 et seq.
2. The Court previously has determined that it will accept the finding of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") that discrimination was present in the selection process. Order filed May 29, 1990.
We therefore have assumed that for the purposes of the case, plaintiff has made a prima facie case of discrimination. In addition, following the submission of memoranda by the parties, the Court determined that the "controlling issue at trial shall be whether defendant can demonstrate by a preponderance of the evidence that it would have made the same decision, in the absence of discrimination, in the selection process at issue in this action." Order filed July 18, 1990 (citing Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins, 490 U.S. 228, 109 S. Ct. 1775, 104 L. Ed. 2d 268 (1989)). Accordingly, the evidence is weighed applying this standard.
3. The Court finds on the basis of the preponderance of the evidence set forth above that defendant would have selected Mr. Weathersby regardless of whether race was considered in the selection process. The testimony of the selecting and concurring officials, the testimony of Mr. Weathersby, and the documentary evidence proffered by the parties, lead directly to the conclusion that Mr. Weathersby was the best-qualified person for the position of personnel management specialist. Moreover, the evidence demonstrates clearly that Mr. Weathersby's qualifications were carefully weighed and considered at the time of the selection by both the selecting and concurring officials. The Court simply cannot say that the reason Mr. Weathersby was selected was, as plaintiff would have it, the color of his skin.
For the foregoing reasons, the Court enters judgment for defendant.
An order consistent with the foregoing has been entered this day.
ORDER - October 1, 1990, Filed
This case was tried before this Court on July 26 and 27, 1990. The Court has considered the evidence presented, the arguments of both parties, and the applicable legal standards. For the reasons stated in the accompanying Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law entered this day, it is this 1st day of October, 1990,
ORDERED that judgment is entered in favor of defendant on all claims raised by plaintiff in this action; and it is
FURTHER ORDERED that this case is dismissed with prejudice.