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Marco Aurelio Roque Sampaio v. Inter-American Development Bank

August 31, 2011


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Beryl A Howell United States District Judge


This matter is before the Court on defendant's motion to dismiss and plaintiff's motion for appointment of counsel. For the reasons discussed below, defendant's motion will be granted, and plaintiff's motion will be denied as moot.


Plaintiff began working for the Inter-American Development Bank ("IADB") in June 2005, and at that time he had an Employment Authorization Card. Compl. at 2-3; see id., Ex. 4 (Employment Authorization Card valid from April 25, 2005 through April 24, 2006).*fn1 He obtained a G4 visa on March 16, 2006, id. at 3, and on that same date commenced the first of four employment contracts, each a Research Fellow position, with the IADB.*fn2 Id., Ex. 8A (Letter of Agreement dated March 2, 2006). This action arose from the third contract with the IADB's Office of Evaluation and Oversight ("OVE Agreement") for the period from November 1, 2006 through January 31, 2007, id., Ex. 8C (Letter of Agreement dated October 27, 2006), and the fourth contract with the Modernization of State and Civil Society Programs Division 2 ("RE2/SC2 Agreement") for the period from February 20, 2007 through December 31, 2007, id., Ex. 8D (Letter of Agreement dated February 23, 2007). The IADB's codes, policies and procedures governed these contracts, Compl. at 4, and among these guidelines were the Norms for Research Fellows, id. at 5, assigning responsibility to "the incumbent to obtain the necessary visa or work permits required by the authorities of the country(ies) in which the services will be performed for the [IADB]." Id., Ex. 11 (Interim Norms for Contractual Research Fellows) at 5-6.*fn3 The contract terms provided that the IADB could terminate the contract at any time for any reason, as long as it provided 14 days' notice. Id., Ex. 8C at 2 & Ex. 8D at 3.*fn4

Plaintiff's last day of work at the IADB was March 30, 2007. Compl. at 6; see id., Ex. 16 (Letter to plaintiff from Jorge Sapoznikow dated April 3, 2007). On April 3, 2007, the IADB notified plaintiff in writing of its intention to terminate the RE2/SC2 Agreement effective April 18, 2007. Id. at 7; see id., Ex. 16. In a memorandum to the IADB's Ethics Committee, the reasons for the termination were described as follows:

In the wake of the [RE2/SC2 Agreement, plaintiff] proceeded to request the renewal of his G4 visa from Mr. Adalberto Bellagamba of [the Benefits and Payments Section of the Human Resources Department]. That action was not coordinated with the officer in charge of contracting at RE2/SC2, Ms. Claudia Valderrama, which is why she asked [plaintiff] for a copy of the visa form. In the course of that process, both Mr. Bellagamba and Ms. Valderrama realized that [plaintiff] had presented a form requesting a visa with a validity date beyond the date of expiration of his current contract . . . . In addition, it was determined that under his previous contract, [the OVE Agreement], specifically for his contract from 1 November 2006 to 31 January 2007, [plaintiff] had sought a G4 visa with an expiration date of 20 April 2007.

Compl., Ex. 18 (Memorandum to Maria Borrero, Ethics Officer, Ethics Committee, from Robert J. Deal, Jr., Chief, Benefits and Payments Section, Human Resources Department, dated April 17, 2007).*fn5 "[G]iven that [plaintiff] could present himself as a candidate for hiring in other units," Mr. Deal submitted the matter to the Ethics Committee for its "consideration, so as to determine whether there was a violation of the [IADB's] Code of Ethics and, if appropriate, to include [related documents] in [plaintiff's] file." Id., Ex. 18. Through its Secretary, the Ethics Committee notified plaintiff of its receipt of "an allegation stating that [he had] falsified [his] G4 visa applications on two occasions," and that it had "requested an investigation on this matter from the Department of Institutional Integrity (OII)."*fn6 Compl., Ex. 24 (Letter to plaintiff from Maria Borrero, Secretary, Ethics Committee, dated July 3, 2007).*fn7

The OII's findings of fact included the following:

13. On February 20, 2007, [plaintiff] was hired as a Research Fellow by RE2/SC2. The expiration date of this contract . . . was December 31, 2007.

14. On March 16, 2007, almost a month after signing the RE2/SC2 contract, [plaintiff] completed a second application for a G-IV visa. In this application [plaintiff] falsely wrote that the estimated date of completion of his employment was July 31, 2008.

15. Instead of following standard procedure by submitting the visa application to Contract and Budget Assistant Claudia Valderrama . . . for revision and the subsequent approval by the Division Chief, [plaintiff] personally delivered it to Benefits and Visas Officer Bellagamaba . . . .

16. When Valderrama learned that [plaintiff] had bypassed his Division Chief and had sent his visa application directly to the visa officer, she requested that [plaintiff] provide her with a copy of the application. [Plaintiff], however, never complied with the request.

17. Valderrama then requested a copy of [plaintiff]'s visa application from Bellagamba. Valderrama informed Bellagamba about the false information contained in [plaintiff's] application regarding the termination of his RE2/SC2 contract . . . .

18. Bellagama immediately telephoned [plaintiff]. Using the speaker function, because Valderrama also was present at the time, Bellagamba asked [plaintiff] to clarify whether he had another contract with the [IADB] because . . . according to [IADB] records, [plaintiff's] contract was due to expire on December 31, 2007, and [plaintiff's] visa application indicated his contract was not due to expire until ...

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