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Gaddy v. United States Postal Service

November 15, 1999

JOSEPH D. GADDY, PETITIONER-APPELLANT,
v.
UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE, RESPONDENT-APPELLEE.



Before Bryson, Circuit Judge, Skelton, Senior Circuit Judge, and Gajarsa, Circuit Judge.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Per Curiam.

NOTE: Pursuant to Fed. Cir. R. 47.6, this Disposition is not citable as precedent. It is a public record. The Disposition will appear in tables published periodically.

DECISION

This is an appeal from a final order of the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) dismissing the petition filed by the appellant, Joseph D. Gaddy, for review of his removal from employment. We affirm and hold that because Gaddy had executed a valid and enforceable waiver of his removal, this appeal must be dismissed.

BACKGROUND

Gaddy was employed as a mail handler for five years until August 16, 1996 when the agency sought to remove him from his position. Gaddy appealed his removal to the MSPB, but withdrew the appeal pursuant to a settlement agreement dated November 22, 1996. See Gaddy v. United States Postal Serv., MSPB Docket No. PH-0752-96-0459-I-1 (Initial Decision, Dec. 20, 1996). In pertinent part, the settlement agreement provided:

2. Appellant's removal will be held in abeyance for a period of one (1) year beginning November 23, 1996. Upon returning to duty effective November 23, 1996, appellant will enter into a one (1) year probationary period. During this probationary period appellant will be required to meet all attendance/work performance requirements.

3. The appellant waives appeal rights to the Merit Systems Protection Board, Grievance/Arbitration, Equal Employment Opportunity complaint procedures and any other forum during the one (1) year probationary period on any disciplinary action against him. ...

I, Joseph D. Gaddy, have read and understand the conditions and restrictions set forth in the above agreement. I am mentally and physically fit so as to be able to understand this agreement in its entirety. I freely sign this agreement without reservation, duress or coercion on the part of any one. I agree to abide by the terms and conditions of this Agreement. (Emphasis added.)

On September 10, 1997, Gaddy allegedly reported for duty under the influence of an intoxicant and assaulted a postal office police officer. For these reasons, Gaddy was notified by letter dated October 10, 1997 of his proposed removal from his position. *fn1 The letter did not refer to the settlement agreement or the earlier removal action; rather, it charged him with reporting for duty under the influence of an intoxicant, unacceptable conduct, and assault on a postal police officer. After filing his response to this letter, Gaddy received the written decision of the manger of distribution operations, who informed him of his removal effective November 8, 1997. Thereupon, Gaddy filed an appeal to the MSPB on March 14, 1998. The MSPB dismissed the appeal on the grounds that Gaddy had waived his right to appeal his removal pursuant to the settlement agreement. See Gaddy v. United States Postal Serv., MSPB Docket No. PH-0752-98-0233-I-1 (Initial Decision, July 13, 1998). Gaddy brought the instant appeal pro se following the MSPB's final decision.

DISCUSSION

A. Standard of Review

Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. § 7703(c), this court must affirm any agency action, findings, or Conclusions not found to be: (1) arbitrary or capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with the law; (2) obtained without procedure required by law, rule, or regulation having been followed; or (3) unsupported by substantial evidence. See Hayes v. Department of the Navy, 727 F.2d 1535, 1537 (Fed. Cir. 1984). Our review is limited to a review of the administrative record. This court will not overturn an agency decision if it is supported by "such relevant ...


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