The opinion of the court was delivered by: John M. Facciola United States Magistrate Judge
I herein resolve Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment ("Def's Mot."). For the reasons set forth below, defendant's motion will be denied.
Plaintiff, Theodore R. Lucas ("Lucas"), currently works for the United States Department of Education ("DOE"). On November 16, 2001, plaintiff brought suit against the DOE, alleging that he was discriminated against in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA"), 29 U.S.C. § 621 et seq., when he was not selected for the GS-13 position of Management & Program Analyst in the DOE's Office of Civil Rights.
STATEMENT OF MATERIAL FACTS NOT IN DISPUTE
1. In March of 1998, the DOE posted Vacancy Announcement No. 98-087VB for the GS-343-13 position of Management & Program Analyst for the Office of Civil Rights. Def's Mot. Ex. 3 at 1. The announcement's opening date was listed as March 23, 1998 and its closing date was listed as April 3, 1998. Id.
2. Applicants for the vacancy were required to submit either a resume, Optional Application for Federal Employment (OF-612), Standard Form SF-171, or another application format of the applicant's choice. Id. In their applications, applicants were required to address their previous work experience and educational accomplishments. Id. Applicants were further required to have at least 52 weeks of specialized experience at the GS-12 level. Id. The announcement did not indicate that a specific degree, whether undergraduate or graduate, was required. Id.
3. The announcement listed five evaluation criteria, also known as KSA's or knowledge, skills, and abilities, and provided their respective numerical weights (with ten being the highest total score that any individual candidate could receive). Id. at 2. The first KSA, "Knowledge of Federal, Departmental, and OCR policies and procedures," was given a weight of 2.0. Id. The second KSA, "Knowledge of the principles of management analysis and the ability to apply them to a variety of program support projects," was given a weight of 2.0. Id. The third KSA, "Knowledge of OCR systems," was given a weight of 2.0. Id. The fourth KSA, "Ability to function as a group leader, work well with a variety of individuals and resolve issues," was given a weight of 1.5. Id. The fifth and final KSA, "Ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing," was given a weight of 2.5. Id.
4. At the time of the selection, plaintiff was serving as a GS-343-12 in the Office of Civil Rights, Def's Mot. Ex. 16 at 1, and was sixty-two (62) years old. Def's Mot. at 8.
5. At the time of the selection, Jerelyn Berry ("Berry"), the individual who was selected for the position, was serving as a GS-343-12 in the Office of Civil Rights, Def's Mot. Ex. 16 at 1, and was forty-three (43) years old. Def's Mot. at 4.
6. The selecting official was Dr. Paul Fairley ("Fairley"). Id. at 1. At the time of the selection, he was serving as the Executive Officer & Director of the Resource Management Group and was fifty-nine (59) years old. Id. At the time of the selection, he was the second level supervisor for the position and Eleanor Baker ("Baker") was the customer services unit's acting head and the immediate supervisor for the position. Def's Mot. Ex. 6 at 18.
7. After receiving all of the applications for the GS-343-13 Management & Program Analyst position, Verna Braxton ("Braxton") of the DOE personnel office rated and ranked the candidates. Def's Mot. Ex. 19. According to Braxton, Berry was the most qualified individual for the position. Id.
8. On May 1, 1998, following Braxton's review of the applications, a Certificate of Eligibles was developed and subsequently issued to Fairley. Def's Mot. Ex. 7 at 1. Four individuals were listed on the Certificate of Eligibles: Berry, Lucas, Lucinda Powell ("Powell"), and a fourth individual whose name appears to have been redacted.*fn1 Id.
9. Pursuant to the terms of the written selection process negotiated between the DOE and its employee union, Fairley selected a panel of OCR employees to interview each of the applicants that were listed on the Certificate of Eligibles. Def's Mot. at 4.
10. The panel members were as follows: 1) David Berkowitz ("Berkowitz"), GS-14 Program Analyst at OCR and thirty-eight (38) years old at the time of the selection, 2) Jan Gray ("Gray"), GS-14 Attorney at OCR and thirty-seven (37) years old at the time of the selection, 3) Janice Pottker ("Pottker"), GS-13 Program Analyst at OCR and forty-nine (49) years old at the time of the selection, and 4) Gloria Threadgill ("Threadgill"), GS-13 Program Analyst at OCR and forty-nine (49) years old at the time of the selection. Def's Mot. at Exs. 9-12.
11. Fairley, along with Nick Dorka, reviewed the KSA's and modified the weight given each. Defendant's Reply to Plaintiff's Opposition to Motion for Summary Judgment ("Def's Reply") Ex. 3; Def's Mot. Ex. 19.
12. Each of the panelists interviewed each candidate and each candidate was asked the same interview questions. Def's Mot. at 2.
13. At the conclusion of Berry's interview, Fairley told her she was the panel's first choice. Plaintiff's Opposition to Defendant's Motion for ...