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John Stanton v. William Reukauf

February 6, 2012

JOHN STANTON, PLAINTIFF,
v.
WILLIAM REUKAUF, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Robert L. Wilkins United States District Judge

SUMMARY MEMORANDUM OPINION; DO NOT PUBLISH

MEMORANDUM OPINION *fn1

Presently before the Court are the following motions: (1) Defendant's Motion to Dismiss or in the Alternative, for Summary Judgment (Doc. 13); (2) Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment (Doc. 18); and (3) Plaintiff's Motion to Amend Complaint (Doc. 19.) For the reasons set forth below, the Court finds that Defendant's Motion is due to be granted and Plaintiff's Motions are due to be denied.

I. FACTS

John Stanton, who is pro se, brings this action against William Reukauf, in his official capacity as Associate Special Counsel of the United States Office of Special Counsel ("OSC"). Stanton asks this Court to compel the OSC to investigate his allegation that certain prohibited personnel practices ("PPP') led to his termination from employment with the Government Printing Office ("GPO"). See 5 U.S.C. §§ 1214; 2302(b). Stanton was a probationary civil servant when he was terminated, without notice, from his employment with GPO. The reason given for his termination was Stanton's "inappropriate comments to more than one female employee." (Doc. 18-2, Pl.'s SOF # 1.)

Stanton challenged the dismissal by filing a complaint (MA-10-0665) with the OSC raising three claims: discrimination based on conduct that did not affect job performance, discrimination based on age and race, and obstruction of the right to compete for employment. (Doc. 13-1, Def.'s SOF # 2.).*fn1 After the OSC made a preliminary determination to terminate further inquiry into Stanton's complaint, Stanton filed a response in which he included an additional claim alleging the GPO violated federal merit system fairness principles by terminating him because of his non-union status. Ultimately, the OSC sent a final determination letter addressing his three original allegations and closed his case. Stanton responded via letter challenging the dismissal. Reukauf treated the letter as a request for reconsideration, but refused to reopen the case.

Stanton then filed the instant law suit and the OSC agreed to reopen his case, this time including the additional claim Stanton added regarding his merit systems fairness allegation. During several communications between Stanton and an OSC attorney about the re-opened case, Stanton raised one final additional allegation. (See Doc. 18-1, Pl.'s SJ Br. at 6-7.) *fn2 As a result of testimony by his supervisor during a workers compensation hearing, Stanton challenged his supervisor's reliance on hearsay evidence to support the termination decision. In its second preliminary determination letter, the OSC indicated it again intended to close Stanton's original complaint and added that he needed to file a new complaint with respect to the hearsay allegation. After Stanton's response, the OSC made a second final determination to close his case, including the three original claims and the merit systems fairness allegation.

Stanton eventually filed a second OSC complaint (MA-2271) over the alleged hearsay violation, but the OSC ultimately dismissed the complaint. (Doc. 30-1, Oct. 19, 2011 Final Determination ltr.)

In the present action, Stanton seeks a writ of mandamus, 28 U.S.C. § 1361, to compel the OSC to investigate his PPP allegations consistent with the OSC's obligation to investigate certain complaints by individuals employed with the federal government.See 5 U.S.C. §§ 1214; 2302.

II. SUMMARY JUDGMENT STANDARD

Summary judgment is appropriate when the moving party demonstrates that there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. See Moore v. Hartman, 571 F.3d 62, 66 (D.C. Cir. 2009) (citing Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c)); Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 247 (1986)). A genuine issue of material fact exists if the evidence, viewed in the light most favorable to the non-movant, "is such that a reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving party." Anderson, 477 U.S. at 248. A non-moving party, however, must provide more than "a scintilla of evidence" in support of its position; the quantum of evidence must be such that a jury could reasonably find for the non-moving party. Id. at 252.

Here, both parties have moved for summary judgment. Thus, the Court must analyze the Defendant's motion while viewing the facts in the light most favorable to the Stanton, and, alternatively, analyze Stanton's motion while viewing the facts in the light most favorable to the Defendant. See Johnson v. District of Columbia, 528 F.3d 969, 973-78 (D.C. Cir. 2008).

III. ANALYSIS

A. OSC Investigations & Standards ...


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