United States District Court, District of Columbia
RICHARD J. LEON, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
Bernard Nono ("plaintiff or "Nono") brings
this action against The George Washington University
("GWU" or "defendant"). Nono is a former
GWU Police Department ('GWUPD") security officer who
was suspended and terminated after he was charged with
driving while impaired by alcohol (DWI). In his Amended
Complaint, Nono asserts that GWU engaged in racial and
national origin discrimination when it terminated and refused
to rehire him, and brings additional claims alleging
promissory estoppel and intentional infliction of emotional
distress. Am. Compl. ¶¶ 114-146 [Dkt. #11].
Currently before the Court is GWU's Partial Motion to
Dismiss the Complaint for failure to state a claim upon which
relief can be granted. [Dkt. #13]. For the reasons stated
below, I GRANT the Partial Motion to Dismiss the Complaint.
Amended Complaint, Nono alleges that he is a black male and
native of Cameroon who is now a United States citizen. Am.
Compl. at 2, ¶¶ 16-17. Nono worked as a
GWUPD security officer from November 2005 until April 2012.
Id. ¶¶ 23, 41, 55.
April 1, 2012, Nono was involved in a car accident and was
charged with driving a vehicle while impaired
("DWI"). Id. ¶ 39. Nono reported the
accident to GWUPD, and on April 2, 2012, he was suspended
"pending an investigation regarding [his] conduct."
Id. ¶¶ 40-41; 04/02/12 Suspension Letter
[Dkt. #13-3]. As a result of his suspension, Mr. Nono was
required to surrender his security officer's license, his
locker room keys, and his identification card, and was
instructed to stay away from his workplace. Am. Compl. ¶
42. In December 2012, Mr. Nono's DWI charge went to trial
in the District Court of Maryland for Montgomery County,
where he received a probation before judgment
("PBJ") and 12 months unsupervised probation.
Id. ¶¶ 46-47.
Nono alleges that at some point during this period, GWUPD
Police Chief Kevin Hay told him he needed to get a new
security license from the Metropolitan Police
Department's Security Officer's Management Branch
["SOMB"] before he could be reinstated.
Id. ¶ 50. He applied for a new license, but the
SOMB denied his application. Id. ¶¶ 51-52.
1, 2013, GWUPD terminated Nono. Id. ¶ 55. In
August 2013, after Nono was terminated, D.C.'s Office of
Administrative Hearings overturned the SOMB's decision on
appeal and ordered the SOMB to reinstate Nono's security
license. Id. ¶¶ 54, 59. Nono therefore
re-applied for a GWUPD security officer position.
Id. ¶ 60. He was interviewed in October 2013
but he was never hired. Id. ¶¶ 62, 81.
alleges that both his termination and GWUPD's refusal to
rehire him were the result of racial and national origin
discrimination. With respect to his termination, he alleges
that GWUPD has failed to suspend or terminate other security
officers, including two white officers, who were charged with
DUIs or had their security licenses revoked. Id.
¶¶ 84-107. As to the refusal to rehire him, Nono
asserts that GWUPD "has hired employees, including white
[c]itizens, less qualified than [him]" and "has
hired or maintained employees whose background check revealed
far more egregious information than" Mr. Nono's DWI
charge. Id. ¶¶ 82-83.
filed a discrimination charge with the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") on October 7, 2014.
Id. ¶ 6. He instituted this action on March 21,
2016. Compl. [Dkt. #1].
deciding a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim,
the Court must ascertain whether the complaint contains
"sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to state a
claim to relief that is plausible on its face."
Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009)
(internal quotation marks omitted). The Court must read the
complaint's factual allegations in the light most
favorable to the plaintiff, Bell Atlantic Co v.
Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 555 (2007), but the Court is not
required to accept "a legal conclusion couched in the
form of a factual allegation" or "threadbare
recitals of a cause of action's elements, supported by
mere conclusory statements." Iqbal, 556 U.S. at
679. Furthermore, a claim that is rooted in a faulty legal
theory must be dismissed, "without regard to whether it
is based on an outlandish legal theory or on a close but
ultimately unavailing one." Nietzke v.
Williams, 490 U.S. 319, 327 (1989).
motion to dismiss stage, "the court may consider the
facts alleged in the complaint, documents attached thereto or
incorporated therein, and matters of which it may take
judicial notice." Abhe & Svoboda, Inc. v. Chao,
508 F.3d 1052, 1059 (D.C. Cir. 2007).
Count I Must Be Dismissed in ...