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Johnson v. Holder

February 23, 2009


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

Document Nos. 51, 52




The pro se plaintiff, Emanuel Johnson, Jr., brings this employment discrimination suit against defendants Barrett Prettyman and Terry Wyllie for allegedly interfering with the plaintiff's selection for a position with the D.C. Office of the Inspector General ("OIG"). The defendants filed a motion to dismiss or, in the alternative, for summary judgment, on the grounds that the plaintiff cannot sue the defendants individually and separately under Title VII; the plaintiff failed to exhaust administrative remedies for a Title VII claim; and the statute of limitations bars the plaintiff's 42 U.S.C. § 1981 claim. Because the plaintiff's failure to exhaust administrative remedies for a Title VII claim and the expiration of the four year statute of limitations on his § 1981 claim prevent these claims from going forward, the court grants the defendants' motion to dismiss and does not address the defendants' remaining arguments.


A. Factual History

The plaintiff was employed as a special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigations ("FBI") between 1973 and 1999. Compl. at 8. In 1991, the plaintiff participated as the lead plaintiff in a Title VII class action lawsuit brought by African-American special agents against the FBI. Id. ¶ 112. That lawsuit, commonly known as the BADGE lawsuit, reached a settlement in 1993, requiring the plaintiff to waive any then-pending claims arising out of the defendants' alleged discriminatory practices. Johnson v. Ashcroft, 2005 WL 2064095, at *4 (D.D.C. Aug. 25, 2005).

Following the settlement of the BADGE lawsuit, the plaintiff brought another lawsuit, Johnson v. Reno, alleging retaliation by the FBI based on his involvement in the prior lawsuit. Id., at *1. This retaliation suit reached a settlement in 1998, requiring the plaintiff to "release and forever discharge" the FBI from liability with respect to any claims "which were or could have been raised on or before the effective date" of the agreement. Id.,at *5.

Later in 1998, the plaintiff applied to work at the OIG and was interviewed by defendant Prettyman, who at the time served as the Inspector General. Johnson v. Ashcroft, 2005 WL 2072752, at *1 (D.D.C. Aug. 17, 2005). The plaintiff alleges that at the end of the interview, Prettyman offered him a job. Id. The plaintiff, however, neither heard from Prettyman again regarding the position, nor followed up on Prettyman's offer, resulting in the plaintiff never assuming the position. Id. The plaintiff claims that Prettyman improperly considered racially-charged statements made by federal defendant J.C. Carter*fn2 in his ultimate decision not to hire the plaintiff in 1998. Compl. ¶¶ 383-92. Further, the plaintiff asserts that defendant Wyllie spread rumors about the plaintiff which also interfered with the plaintiff's non-selection. Id. ¶¶ 370-81.

B. Procedural History

The plaintiff filed the complaint instituting this action on July 9, 2004 against a number of D.C. and federal defendants. Compl. at 1. He alleged that several federal defendants were involved in a conspiracy to deny him due process by destroying documents that he requested in preparation of a prior lawsuit. Id. ¶¶ 42-110. The court dismissed these claims as barred by the plaintiff's 1998 settlement agreement, because the alleged actions occurred prior to that agreement. Mem. Op. (Aug. 28, 2006) at 7, 8. In addition, the plaintiff asserted a claim against eight D.C. defendants, alleging they denied his due process rights by falsifying an affidavit and trial exhibit on which Magistrate Judge Facciola relied in rejecting earlier Title VII claims. Compl. ¶¶ 412-25. The court dismissed the due process claims, determining that they constituted an improper collateral attack on the validity of Magistrate Judge Facciola's prior adverse judgment. Mem. Op. (Aug. 17, 2005) at 2, 12. The plaintiff also alleged that federal defendant Carter and D.C. defendants Prettyman and Wyllie conspired to interfere with the plaintiff's employment relationship with the OIG. Compl. ¶¶ 111-409. The court dismissed the interference claims against Carter due to the plaintiff's failure to exhaust administrative remedies. Mem. Op. (Mar. 27, 2007) at 5-8. The remaining defendants, Prettyman and Wyllie, filed a motion to dismiss, or in the alternative, for summary judgment to which the court now turns.


A. Legal Standard for a Motion to Dismiss Pursuant ...

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