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VEGA v. FAA

November 19, 1985

JULIO A. VEGA, Plaintiff, V FEDERAL AVIATION ADMINISTRATION, and LYNN HELMS, Defendants


The opinion of the court was delivered by: WEXLER

FINDINGS OF FACT AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW

LEONARD D. WEXLER, District Judge

 Plaintiff Julio Vega brings this action against defendants Federal Aviation Administration ("FAA") and Lynn Helms, FAA Administrator, for unconstitutional discharge. Vega alleges first that the FAA's decision to discharge him from a position as a probationary air traffic controller deprived him of a constitutionally protected property interest in his job. Vega alleges next that the FAA violated his liberty interest by claiming falsely that he possessed hashish. Finally plaintiff alleges that the FAA's discharge procedures violated his constitutional right to due process. This matter was tried before the Court on September 19, 1985.

 The Court makes the following findings of fact and conclusions of law.

 FINDINGS OF FACT

 1. On December 14, 1981, plaintiff began his employment with the FAA as an air traffic controller. He was placed on probationary status and ordered to report for training by the FAA.

 2. Upon his arrival at the FAA facility, plaintiff met with an employee of the FAA to discuss certain charges against plaintiff.

 3. The FAA gave plaintiff prior notice of his discharge containing the reasons for the discharge.

 4. Plaintiff was discharged by the FAA on March 29, 1982. At the time of his discharge, plaintiff had not completed his one-year probationary period. 5 U.S.C. §§ 3321(a), 7511(a)(1).

 5. Plaintiff presented no evidence other than that he was a probationary air traffic controller who was discharged by the FAA after notice and an opportunity for a hearing.

 6. Plaintiff presented no evidence that he was foreclosed from other economic opportunities as a result of a stigma created by the FAA's publication of false and defamatory statements regarding his discharge.

 7. Plaintiff presented no evidence that he had a right to expect continuous employment as an air traffic controller by the FAA.

 8. Plaintiff presented no evidence that the FAA made, published, or disseminated any false or defamatory statements about him either concerning his ...


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