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Ward v. Kennard

February 12, 2001

MICHAEL R. WARD, PLAINTIFF,
V.
WILLIAM E. KENNARD, CHAIRMAN, FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Ricardo M. Urbina United States District Judge

Doc. Nos.: 8, 9, 20, 21, 23

MEMORANDUM OPINION

Granting the Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment

I. INTRODUCTION

Arriving at the courthouse steps on the parties' cross-motions for summary judgment, this dispute involves the plaintiff's allegations that the defendant violated his due process and equal rights, discriminated against him on the basis of his age, sex, and disability, violated merit-system principles, and committed prohibited personnel practices. Specifically, the plaintiff, Michael R. Ward ("the plaintiff" or "Mr. Ward"), brings this 48-count action against the defendant William E. Kennard ("the defendant") in his official capacity as Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (AFCC@), challenging the defendant=s decision to deny the plaintiff=s application for a writer-editor position. For the reasons that follow, the court will grant the defendant's motion for summary judgment and will deny the plaintiff's motion for partial summary judgment.

II. BACKGROUND

Pro se plaintiff Michael R. Ward "had worked as a writer-editor and at the GS-12 level for several years." Compl. at 2. *fn1 In his complaint, Mr. Ward asserts that he had "competitive civil service status" and that he was "a preference eligible candidate, a 10-point compensably [sic] disabled veteran with a service-connected disability rated at 30 percent or more by the Department of Veterans Affairs." Id.

From July 11, 1994 through August 12, 1994, the FCC posted Vacancy Announcement Number ("VAN") 94-128, which sought applications from "all sources" to fill the position of writer- editor, grade GS-13, in its Office of Public Affairs ("OPA"). See Mot. for Summ. J. at 3. Mr. Ward applied for the job, but the FCC did not select him for the position. See Compl. at 2.

Mr. Ward alleges that the FCC's rejection of his application violated his constitutional right to due process and amounted to employment discrimination on the basis of his sex, age, and disability. In addition, he claims that, by denying his application, the FCC violated the merit-system principles embodied in 5 U.S.C. § 2301, and committed personnel practices prohibited by 5 U.S.C. § 2302. See generally Compl. Mr. Ward brings his claims under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution, 5 U.S.C. §§ 1302, 2108, 2301, 2302, 3309, 3313, 3314, 3317, and 1318, the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (§ 501, 29 U.S.C. § 791), the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 ("ADEA") (29 U.S.C. § 633(a)), 38 U.S.C. § 4214, 42 U.S.C. § 2000(e) et seq. ("Title VII"), and 42 U.S.C. § 1981(a). See Compl. at 2-15.

Mr. Ward charges that because he had competitive civil service status, was preference eligible, and had a disability rated at more than 30 percent, the FCC's selection of another person for the writer- editor position violated both merit-system principles and government personnel practices. Specifically, the plaintiff alleges that the FCC failed to follow proper selection procedures in assessing applicants, intentionally excluded his application from consideration, and manipulated the selection process to appoint the applicant of its choice. See generally Compl. Moreover, Mr. Ward asserts that the defendant committed all these acts with the intent to discriminate against him on the basis of his age, sex, and disability. See id.

For example, although the plaintiff says that he worked for several years at the GS-12 level, he does not say where he worked. Exhibit 2 of the plaintiff's motion for partial summary judgment is a "Notification of Personnel Action," which seems to indicate (although the print is rather faint) that the plaintiff resigned from his GS-12 level job as a Public Affairs Specialist for the Department of the Navy in 1991 for

Both the plaintiff and the defendant have filed motions for summary judgment, followed by corresponding oppositions and replies. For the reasons that follow, the court will grant the defendant's motion for summary judgment and will deny the plaintiff's motion for partial summary judgment.

III. DISCUSSION

A. Legal ...


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