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Yates v. United States Department of Treasury

Court of Appeals of Columbia District

November 23, 2016

Michele A. Yates, Petitioner,
v.
United States Department of the Treasury, Respondent.

          Submitted November 3, 2016

         On Petition for Review of an Order of the District of Columbia Office of Administrative Hearings

         Petition for Review of an Order of the United States Department of the Treasury (DOES-496-15)

          Michele A. Yates, pro se.

          Channing D. Phillips, United States Attorney, and R. Craig Lawrence and Jane M. Lyons, Assistant United States Attorneys, were on the brief for appellee.

          Before Fisher and Easterly, Associate Judges, and Ferren, Senior Judge.

         JUDGMENT

         This case was submitted to the court on the transcript of record and the briefs, and without presentation of oral argument. On consideration whereof, and as set forth in the opinion filed this date, it is now hereby

         ORDERED and ADJUDGED that the decision of the Office of Administrative Hearings ("OAH") is vacated, and the matter is remanded for further proceedings not inconsistent with this opinion.

          Fisher, Associate Judge

         Petitioner Michele Yates asks us to review an order of the District of Columbia Office of Administrative Hearings ("OAH") which disqualified her from receiving unemployment compensation benefits. She argues (1) that the OAH incorrectly found that it did not have jurisdiction to consider her appeal, and (2) that she did not commit an act of gross misconduct that would disqualify her from receiving unemployment compensation benefits. We remand to the OAH for further consideration in light of this opinion.

         I. Background

         Until her termination, Petitioner worked as an attorney with the Internal Revenue Service ("IRS"). She represented the government before the United States Tax Court, including in cases involving penalties for failure to pay taxes and failure to file tax returns. In 2011 her supervisors became aware that Petitioner had filed her 2006 and 2008 tax returns late, and it appeared that she had not filed her 2009 tax return at all.[1]

         The IRS considered removing Petitioner, but it ultimately entered into a Last Chance Agreement with her on November 4, 2011. Petitioner agreed to acknowledge her past wrongdoing and agreed to a ten-day suspension. She also agreed to continue her employment on a "trial basis" until the IRS "receive[d] affirmative proof that her 2013 federal personal tax return period [sic] ha[d] been timely filed." The Agreement also required Petitioner to timely pay her taxes for each tax year from 2010 to 2013 and to notify her supervisors that she had ...


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