The opinion of the court was delivered by: Urbina, District Judge.
Granting the Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment
Before filing suit in this court, the plaintiff challenged his
termination before the Merit Systems Protection Board ("MSPB").
After a full hearing, the plaintiff was reinstated to his
position as a uniformed BEP police officer and recovered some of
his out-of-pocket losses, but did not prevail on his Title VII
claims. In June 1999, the plaintiff filed suit in this Court
seeking de novo review of the MSPB's decision on his Title VII
claims. He alleges that as a result of the defendant's actions,
he suffers from severe medical, emotional, and financial
distress, and is entitled to compensatory damages under Title
This matter now comes before the court on the defendant's
motion for summary judgment. For the reasons that follow, the
court will grant the defendant's motion.
Dennis Laboy, a Hispanic man of Puerto Rican ancestry, was
hired by the BEP as a uniformed police officer in 1995. See
Pl.'s First Am. Compl. ("Compl.") at 2. The plaintiff, a member
of the BEP bike patrol, was responsible for patrolling a
designated area around BEP facilities on his bicycle. See Mot.
for Summ. J. at 2. He worked in this position from 1995 until
his termination in June 1998. See Compl. at 2. The plaintiff
was permanently reinstated to the bike patrol in May 1999, and
continues to work in this capacity to date. See id.
In his amended complaint, the plaintiff alleges that BEP
subjected him to "a constant and regular series of intentional
and insulting, hurtful, and damaging acts" for a period of four
years before his removal. See Compl. at 3. Specifically, he
alleges that BEP management and supervisory employees in the
Office of Security engaged in racially motivated acts against
him. See id. For example, shortly after the plaintiff was
hired, one of his supervisors, Lt. Thomas Garcia, asked him to
serve as a witness for another Hispanic officer who had filed an
Equal Employment Opportunity ("EEO") complaint of race
discrimination. See Pl.'s Opp'n to Def.'s Mot. for Summ. J.
("Opp'n") at 5-6. The plaintiff agreed and filed an affidavit
claiming that he had experienced "significant resistance to his
application for employment" when he applied for a position on
the force. See id. The plaintiff attributed this resistance to
race discrimination. See id.
One year later, in 1997, the plaintiff filed a complaint with
the EEO office after the BEP rejected his medical shaving
profile.*fn1 See id. at 7. In his complaint, he alleged
that BEP treated him differently than other non-Hispanic police
officers who requested the same exemption. See id. Later that
year, the plaintiff complained to BEP management about an
officer who he claimed was verbally abusing him. BEP responded
by proposing to suspend the plaintiff for insubordination. See
id. at 8. The plaintiff contacted the EEO office in response to
this proposal, and BEP subsequently reduced the punishment to a
reprimand. Over the next several months, the plaintiff continued
to complain to the EEO office about allegedly discriminatory
actions taken against him. Commander
Lindsey received notification every time the plaintiff filed an
EEO complaint. See Opp'n at 8.
The events giving rise to this litigation occurred on February
13, 1998, when the plaintiff and his partner, Carl Smith, an
African-American BEP officer, entered Phillips Restaurant while
on duty. See Opp'n at 9. Several BEP employees happened to be
at Phillips Restaurant that day and observed the two officers.
Steven Elgin, one of the BEP employees present at the bar,
telephoned the police officers' supervisor, Deputy Inspector
Snowden, because he was concerned about "the appearance of
armed, uniformed BEP police officers drinking at a public bar."
See Mot. for Summ. J. at 3. Inspector Snowden called the
plaintiff and his partner back to the BEP and lectured the two
about "the perception of wrong doing." See id. Inspector
Snowden determined that the plaintiff and Officer Smith had
"good attitudes" and were "honest with him," and that no further
action was necessary. See Opp'n at 9-10.
The following Monday, two officers told Commander Lindsey what
had happened at the bar. See Def.'s Reply in Support of Mot.
for Summ. J. ("Reply") at 16. Unable to reach Inspector Snowden
by phone, Commander Lindsey ordered an official investigation
into "Conduct Unbecoming a Police Officer" and assigned Silas
Oglesby to conduct the investigation. See id; Opp'n at 10. In
a sworn statement, the plaintiff attested that he and Officer
Smith had not been drinking at the bar together, had only water
to drink, had not left their bikes unattended, and were only in
the restaurant for about three to five minutes. See Def.'s
Statement of Material Facts to Which There is No Genuine Dispute
("Def.'s Statement") ¶ 12.
After interviewing the witnesses present at Phillips
Restaurant that night, investigators found several discrepancies
between the statements of the witnesses and those of the
plaintiff and Officer Smith, including:
(1) whether plaintiff and his partner were drinking
against the bar; (2) whether plaintiff and his
partner left their police bikes unattended; (3) what
beverages they were drinking*fn2; (4) whether
either plaintiff or his partner used the phone while
at the bar; and (5) the amount of time that plaintiff
and his partner were in the bar.
Mot. for Summ. J. at 5. Based on these discrepancies, Mr.
Oglesby determined that the plaintiff and Officer Smith had lied
in their sworn statements.*fn3 See Def.'s Statement ¶ 13.
At the conclusion of Mr. Oglesby's investigation, Chief
Stephens reviewed the Report of Investigation, met with the
plaintiff and his representative and considered the plaintiff's
written response to the Notice of Proposed Removal. See id. ¶¶
19-24. Chief Stephens also "consulted a schematic which he had
prepared that made a side-by-side comparison between the
statements of the plaintiff and the statements of the witnesses
at Phillips' bar . . . [and] consulted both with Human Resources
BEP's Office of General Counsel to ensure that plaintiffs
penalty comported with BEP's Table of ...