Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Washington v. County of Onondaga

September 29, 2009

ANITA WASHINGTON, PLAINTIFF,
v.
COUNTY OF ONONDAGA; AND ONONDAGA COUNTY CORRECTIONAL FACILITY, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Glenn T. Suddaby, United States District Judge

DECISION and ORDER

Currently before the Court in this civil rights action brought by Anita Washington ("Plaintiff") is a motion for summary judgment filed by the County of Onondaga and the Onondaga County Correctional Facility in Jamesville, New York ("Defendants"). For the reasons stated below, Defendants' motion is granted, and Plaintiff's Complaint is dismissed.

I. RELEVANT PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

On August 20, 2004, Plaintiff brought this civil rights action against Defendants alleging violations of the following six statutes or laws: (1) the Civil Rights Statutes § 1981, § 1983; (2) Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; (3) 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq.; (4) the Civil Rights Act of 1991; (5) New York Executive Law § 296(1)(a); and (6) New York common law. (Dkt. No. 1.) Generally, in her Complaint, Plaintiff asserts fifteen causes of action alleging that Defendants (1) permitted and encouraged a racially hostile work environment, (2) punished her and other African American employees more harshly than Caucasian employees, and (3) retaliated against her for complaining about the hostile work environment. (Id.) Plaintiff requests equitable relief, compensatory damages, costs and attorney's fees. (Id.)

On February 6, 2007, Defendants filed a motion for summary judgment. (Dkt. No. 40.) Included among their motion papers was a Rule 7.1 Statement of Material Facts that sets forth, in 121 numbered paragraphs, each material fact about which Defendants contend there exists no genuine dispute, as required by Local Rule 7.1(a)(3). (Dkt. No. 40, Part 4, ¶¶ 4-124.) Also included among their motion papers was a memorandum of law asserting the following ten arguments: (1) as a threshold matter, all of Plaintiff's claims are barred by the applicable statute of limitations, and Plaintiff cannot benefit from the exception to the statute of limitations for continuing violations; (2) in any event, Plaintiff has failed to allege facts plausibly suggesting that Defendants retaliated against her for engaging in protected speech under the First Amendment; (3) even if Plaintiff stated a retaliation claim, she failed to exhaust her administrative remedies regarding that claim; (4) even if she exhausted her administrative remedies regarding her retaliation claim, she has failed to adduce admissible record evidence in support of that claim; (5) Plaintiff has failed to adduce admissible record evidence in support of her hostile-work-environment claim; (6) Plaintiff has failed to adduce admissible record evidence in support of her disparate-treatment claim; (7) Plaintiff has failed to adduce admissible record evidence in support of either her race-discrimination or gender-discrimination claims; (8) Plaintiff has failed to adduce admissible record evidence in support of her claim of municipal liability sufficient to establish a claim under either 42 U.S.C. § 1981 or 42 U.S.C. § 1983; (9) Plaintiff cannot recover damages for intentional infliction of emotional distress, under the circumstances; and (10) Plaintiff is not entitled to punitive damages under the circumstances. (Dkt. No. 40, Part 5, at 3-25.)

On April 3, 2007, Plaintiff, through counsel, filed a response to Defendants' motion for summary judgment. (Dkt. No. 54, 55.) In that response, Plaintiff filed a statement of material facts that did not "mirror the movant's Statement of Facts by admitting and/or denying each of the movant's assertions in matching numbered paragraphs . . . [supporting each denial with] a specific citation to the record where the factual issue arises," as required by Local Rule 7.1(a)(3). (Compare Dkt. No. 40, Part 4 [Defs.' Rule 7.1 Stmt.] with Dkt. No. 55, Part 1 [Plf.'s Rule 7.1 Response].) Furthermore, on April 5, 2007, Plaintiff filed an Amended Rule 7.1 Response, which (among other things) corrected Plaintiff's use of the first-person voice in her original Rule 7.1 Response, but which did not correct the error identified above. (Dkt. No. 57, Part 1.) On April 10, 2007, Defendants filed a letter brief, requesting that the Court disregard

Plaintiff's response as untimely. (Dkt. No. 59.) On October 1, 2008, this case was reassigned to the undersigned. (Dkt. No. 61.) On October 14, 2008, the Court issued a Text Order reserving on the issue of whether or not to disregard as untimely Plaintiff's response, and granting Defendants an extension of the deadline by which they could file a reply. See Text Order of 10/14/2008. On October 15, 2008, Defendants filed their reply. (Dkt. No. 62.)

II. STATEMENT OF FACTS

As stated above in Part I of this Decision and Order, Defendants' Rule 7.1 Statement of Material Facts sets forth, in 121 numbered paragraphs, each material fact about which Defendants contend there exists no genuine dispute, as required by Local Rule 7.1(a)(3). (Defs.' Rule 7.1 Stmt. at ¶¶ 4-124.) However, in her Rule 7.1 Response, Plaintiff failed to admit and/or deny each of Defendants' assertions in matching numbered paragraphs supported with a specific citation to the record where the factual issue arises, as required by Local Rule 7.1(a)(3). (Compare Defs.' Rule 7.1 Stmt. with Plf.'s Rule 7.1 Response.) As a result, each of Defendants' factual assertions, contained in Paragraphs 4 through 124 of their Statement of Materials Facts, are deemed "admitted" by Plaintiff, for purposes of Defendants' motion. N.D.N.Y. L.R. 7.1(a)(3). While the Court declines to perform an independent review of the record to find proof of a factual dispute (see, infra, note 17 of this Decision and Order), the Court notes that (in addition to carefully reading all of Defendants' papers) it has generally reviewed Plaintiff's Rule 7.1 Response and evidence in order to understand the parties' legal arguments and determine if Defendants have met their modest threshold burden on their motion. As a result, the following statement of facts--which consists of those factual assertions that are undisputed on the current record--contains citations to both Defendants' Rule 7.1 Statement and (where appropriate) Plaintiff's Rule 7.1 Response.

A. Overview of the Onondaga County DOC

Plaintiff is an African American female who works at the Onondaga County Correctional Facility, and is employed by the County of Onondaga. (Dkt. No. 57, Part 1, at ¶ 1 ["Plf.'s Rule 7.1 Response"]; Dkt. No. 40, Part 4, at ¶¶ 2-3 ["Defs.' Rule 7.1 Stmt."].) The Onondaga County Department of Corrections ("DOC") operates as a paramilitary organization. (Defs.' Rule 7.1 Stmt at ¶ 4.)Since 1999, Timothy Cowin has served as the Commissioner of Corrections, its highest-ranking official. (Dkt. No. 40, Part 3, at 1, ¶ 4 ["Cowin Aff."].) Cowin has two Assistant Commissioners, Patricia Mosley, who currently handles administrative operations, and Randy Blume, who handles security operations. (Id. at ¶ 3.) The positions of captain, lieutenant, sergeant, senior correction officer, correction officer, and correction officer trainee are all civil service positions governed by New York State Civil Service Law. (Id. at ¶ 6; Plf.'s Rule 7.1 Response at ¶ 30.)

The DOC has a policy and procedure manual, which its staff is required to follow. (Defs.' Rule 7.1 Stmt. at ¶ 7.) The policy manual contains a number of policies, procedures/rules and regulations including, but not limited to, a selection, retention and promotion of personnel policy, an attendance policy, and a number of policy and procedures directly related to the operation of the facility. (Cowin Aff. at ¶¶ 5-6.) Among the DOC policies related to the operation of the facility is the policy prohibiting sexual, racial and national origin harassment. (Dkt. 40, Part 8 [Ex. C to Defs.' Rule 7.1 Stmt.].) This policy defines harassment and invites aggrieved employees to utilize the discrimination Grievance Procedure. (Id.) In addition, the County has in place procedures for processing employee harassment and discrimination complaints. (Dkt. 40, Part 10 [Ex. E to Defs.' Rule 7.1 Stmt.].) These procedures are made available to all employees of the County in the form of a directive manual. (Dkt. No. 40, Part 11 [Ex. F to Defs.' Rule 7.1 Stmt.].) The directive manual was updated in April of 2001 to incorporate revised County policies regarding harassment. (Id.) On April 18, 2001, Plaintiff acknowledged that she received and read the manual. (Dkt. 40, Part 12 [Ex. G to Defs.' Rule 7.1 Stmt.].)

The DOC also has a Policy and Procedures Directive entitled "Socialization." (Cowin Aff. at ¶ 20.) This policy prohibits staff from associating with, or having any dealings with criminals or persons who are engaged in unlawful activity. (Id.) The policy also prohibits engaging in any conversation, communication, dealing, transaction, association or relationship with any inmate, former inmate, probationer or former probationer, parolee or former parolee, or any visitor, friend or relative of same in any manner or from which is not necessary or proper for the discharge of the employee's duties. (Id.) The purpose of the socialization policy is twofold:

(1) to prevent the evolvement of situations that encourage manipulation of or dependency upon staff, and (2) to prevent related security problems. (Id. at ¶ 21.) Adherence to the policy is crucial to the safety and well-being of staff members and inmates. (Id.)

The DOC also has a Policy and Procedure Directive entitled "Selection, Retention and Promotion of Personnel" that sets forth the procedures to be followed for promotions. (Id. at ¶ 35.) Positions can be filled only with approval from the County's Department of Management and Budget. (Id.) Therefore, the Onondaga County Department of Management and Budget has the ultimate authority to determine whether or not the Commissioner of Correction can hire and/or promote. (Id. at ¶ 36.)

Once the Commissioner is granted approval to hire and/or promote, the Commissioner reviews the civil service list that ranks all eligible individuals for the given position based on their performance on the Civil Service Examination. (Id.) The eligible candidates are then canvassed to determine whether or not they are interested in the position. (Id.) The Commissioner must select one of the top three highest scoring candidates interested in the position. (Id.) In deciding among the three candidates, the Commissioner considers a number of factors, including previous training, experience, and overall employment history, which encompasses attendance, performance evaluations, achievements, disciplines and seniority. (Id. at ¶ 37.)

B. Plaintiff's Employment with the DOC

Plaintiff passed the civil service exam, and began as a correction officer trainee with the DOC in May of 1982. (Defs.' Rule 7.1 Stmt. at ¶ 21.) She was appointed senior correction officer in November of 1983, achieving permanent status in May of 1984. (Id. at ¶ 25.) She became a sergeant after completing a probationary term in June of 1987. (Id. at ¶ 26.) In 1995, this position was eliminated in a county-wide workforce reduction, and she was downgraded to senior correction officer. (Id. at ¶ 27.) She was re-instated as a sergeant in 1997. (Id. at ¶ 28; Plf.'s Rule 7.1 Response at ¶ 33.)

In both her tours as sergeant, Plaintiff received a number of training sessions as a supervisor, including cultural diversity training, sexual harassment training, and general harassment training. (Defs.' Rule 7.1 Stmt. at ¶ 29.) Plaintiff also received a number of awards and commendations, helped develop a response team, and was recognized for her participation as a member of the Black History Month Committee. (Id. at ¶¶ 30-32.)

Plaintiff's attendance record from 1999 through 2003 was marked by a number of absences. (Id. at ¶ 33; Plf.'s Rule 7.1 Response at ¶¶ 68-82.) Specifically, she missed work during the following time periods: (1) from August or September of 1999 until August 5, 2000 (compare Defs.' Rule 7.1 Stmt. ¶ 34 with Plf.'s Rule 7.1 Response at ¶¶ 68-72);*fn1 (2) for ten days in February of 2001 (compare Defs.' Rule 7.1 Stmt. at ¶ 35 with Plf.'s Rule 7.1 Response at ¶¶ 73-74);*fn2 and (3) from September of 2002 through May of 2003 (Plf.'s Rule 7.1 Response at ¶¶ 75-82).*fn3

C. Plaintiff's Disciplinary Record

Disciplinary action is determined by the Commissioner of Correction, in consultation with the Personnel Advisory Committee ("PAC"). (Defs.' Rule 7.1 Stmt. at ¶ 38; Plf.'s Rule 7.1 Response at ¶¶ 41-43.) All disciplinary measures are meted out according to the surrounding circumstances, including violation of policies and procedures as well as the employee's history. (Defs.' Rule 7.1 Stmt. at ¶ 38.) Throughout her employment, she has received a number of disciplinary citations. (Id. at ¶ 37; Plf.'s Rule 7.1 Response at ¶¶ 83-114.)

1. Written Reprimands for Violating DOC's Policies

Plaintiff's first discipline was instituted in February of 1991 for failure to timely complete an investigation of an inmate grievance. (Defs.' Rule 7.1 Stmt. at ¶ 39; Plf.'s Rule 7.1 Response at ¶ 84.) She received a written reprimand for this offense. (Defs.' Rule 7.1 Stmt. at ¶ 39.)*fn4 In November of 2001, she received a second written reprimand for failing to follow the direct order of her commanding officer to instruct her subordinate officer that she was in violation of the DOC's "Employee Appearance and Dress" directive because she was wearing unauthorized beads in her hair, and for loudly calling her commanding officer a "racist" in front of his subordinate staff. (Compare Defs.' Rule 7.1 Stmt. at ¶¶ 40-41 with Plf.'s Rule 7.1 Stmt. at ¶¶ 89-99.)*fn5 She filed a grievance with respect to this matter, which was denied. (Compare Defs.' Rule 7.1 Stmt. at ¶ 41 with Plf.'s Rule 7.1 Response at ¶¶ 99-103.)

2. Suspension for Violating DOC's Socialization Policy

In September of 2001, the DOC became aware of Plaintiff's relationship with a former inmate, after being notified of that relationship by the Syracuse Police Department ("SPD"), which had learned about the relationship during an investigation of a hit-and-run accident involving her vehicle. (Defs.' Rule 7.1 Stmt. at ¶ 44; Plf.'s Rule 7.1 Response at ¶ 120.) The DOC did not take disciplinary action against her between September 2001 and March 2002, because during that time period, rather than conduct its own investigation of the socialization offense, the DOC was relying on information generated during a criminal investigation of a related matter (specifically, a hit-and-run accident involving Plaintiff's vehicle), conducted by the SPD and the Onondaga County District Attorney's Office. (Defs.' Rule 7.1 Stmt. at ¶ 44 [citing record evidence establishing referenced facts].)*fn6 Finally, while the DOC was interviewing her regarding the socialization issue on or just days before March 12, 2002, she admitted to having a relationship with a former inmate.*fn7 (Defs.' Rule 7.1 Stmt. at ¶ 44; Plf.'s Rule 7.1 Response at ¶¶ 119, 127; Dkt. No. 49 at 40-42, 79-82 [Blume Dep. Tr.]; Dkt. No. 40, Part 42 [Ex. KK to Defs.' Rule 7.1 Stmt.].)

As a result, on March 12, 2002, Plaintiff was found to have violated the DOC's socialization policy, which prohibits social relationships between staff and inmates. (Plf.'s Rule 7.1 Response at ¶ 119; Defs.' Rule 7.1 Stmt. at ¶ 42.) She was suspended for thirty (30) days without pay and required to abide by the socialization policy. (Defs.' Rule 7.1 Stmt. at ¶ 45.)

She challenged the suspension, which was reduced to twenty (20) days without pay. (Id. at ¶ 46; Plf.'s Rule 7.1 Response at ¶ 129.)

Between 1999 and 2004, other DOC employees also violated the socialization policy. (Defs.' Rule 7.1 Stmt. at ¶¶ 47-53.) Specifically, in December of 1999, a white male corrections officer was suspended without pay for developing social relationships with female inmates. (Defs.' Rule 7.1 Stmt. at ¶ 47.) This officer was also terminated and charged with official misconduct, class A misdemeanors and two counts of harassment violations. (Id.)

Four months later, a different white male officer was charged with initiating personal contacts and developing social relationships with female inmates incarcerated at the facility. (Id. at ¶ 48.) The officer was sanctioned six (6) working days leave without pay and four (4) days loss of accrual leave. (Id.) One year later, the same officer violated the socialization policy again when he was charged with associating and maintaining an ongoing relationship with a former inmate on probation. (Id. at ¶ 49.) As a sanction for the second violation, after negotiations with the union, the officer received twenty (20) days disciplinary leave without pay (brought down from the sixty days the DOC sought). (Id; Plf.'s Rule 7.1 Response at ¶ 185.)

In January of 2002, the Recreation Supervisor of the DOC, a white officer, was suspended and charged with violating the socialization policy after an investigation revealed that this officer was harassing a female inmate, and was trying to develop relationships with other female inmates. (Defs.' Rule 7.1 Stmt. at ¶ 50; Plf.'s Rule 7.1 Response at ¶¶ 186-87.) This individual was also arrested and charged with two counts of promoting prison contraband and two counts of official misconduct, all class A misdemeanors. (Defs.' Rule 7.1 Stmt. at ¶ 50; Plf.'s Rule 7.1 Response at ¶¶ 187-88.) The DOC ultimately terminated this officer. (Defs.' Rule 7.1 Stmt. at ¶ 50.)

In November of 2002, an African-American sergeant was suspended on two sets of charges, which alleged (1) that he unlocked an inmate to allow her to iron for him, and (2) that he perpetrated illegal activities for inmates incarcerated at the facility. (Id. at ¶ 51.) This sergeant was terminated and arrested for his conduct. (Id.)

In April of 2004, a six-year veteran correction officer was suspended for developing a personal relationship with a female inmate while at the facility; a relationship that he continued when she was discharged. (Id. at ¶ 52.) The correction officer was terminated for his conduct, but an arbiter reduced the termination to a ninety (90) day suspension. (Id. at ¶¶ 52-53.)

3. Plaintiff's Second Suspension for Violating DOC's Socialization Policy

Following Plaintiff's twenty-day suspension without pay, she returned to work under the condition that she comply with the socialization policy. (Defs.' Rule 7.1 Stmt. at ¶ 54.) Immediately upon her return, she was called into a meeting, where her union representative and Security Captain asked if she was complying with the socialization policy.*fn8 (Compare Defs.' Rule 7.1 Stmt. at ¶ 54 with Plf.'s Rule 7.1 Response at ¶¶ 133-36.)

Before answering, Plaintiff indicated that she needed to speak to a lawyer.*fn9 (Compare Defs.' Rule 7.1 Stmt. at ¶ 55 with Plf.'s Rule 7.1 Response at ¶¶ 137-38.) The following day, she was again asked by Captain Tripoli if she was in compliance with the socialization policy. (Defs.' Rule 7.1 Stmt. at ¶ 56; Plf.'s Rule 7.1 Response at ¶ 139.) She said she had not been able to reach her attorney, and therefore would not respond. (Defs.' Rule 7.1 Stmt. at ¶ 56;Plf.'s Rule 7.1 Response at ¶ 140.) She was given a deadline of four (4) days to respond. (Defs.' Rule 7.1 Stmt. at ¶ 56;Plf.'s Rule 7.1 Response at ¶ 141.)

Four days later, Plaintiff and her Union representative met with Captain Tripoli and Lieutenant Conboy, and she was again asked by Captain Tripoli if she was in compliance with the policy. (Id. at ¶ 57.) Instead of responding, she indicated that she had some questions about the policy and wanted a documented explanation as to the meaning of some of the terms. (Compare Defs.' Rule 7.1 Stmt. at ¶¶ 57-58 with Plf.'s Rule 7.1 Response at ¶¶ 143-44.) Captain Triploi explained that the DOC directives mean it is not "necessary and proper" to live with an inmate. (Defs.' Rule 7.1 Stmt. at ¶ 58.) Plaintiff then requested documentation showing proof that she lived with a former inmate. (Id. at ¶ 59; Plf.'s Rule 7.1 Response at ¶¶ 147-48.) The meeting ended without her answering Captain Tripoli's question to his satisfaction. (Defs.' Rule 7.1 Stmt. at ¶¶ 59-60; Plf.'s Rule 7.1 Response at ¶ 150.)

The following day (April 18, 2002), Assistant Commissioners for Security Randy Blume and Patricia Mosley met with Plaintiff. (Defs.' Rule 7.1 Stmt. at ¶ 60; Plf.'s Rule 7.1 Response at ¶ 160.) During this meeting, Plaintiff insisted that she had no former inmate living with her. (Defs.' Rule 7.1 Stmt. at ¶ 60.) She also submitted a memorandum stating as follows: "There exists the possible circumvention of involvement of individuals as specified in section III of the socialization policy. This involvement is based on my personal outside curriculum of church association, community outreach, and business affiliation." (Id; Plf.'s Rule 7.1 Response at ¶ 162.)

A week later, Plaintiff was suspended for two days as a disciplinary measure. (Defs.' Rule 7.1 Stmt. at ¶ 62.) She was charged with (1) neglect of job duties or responsibilities, (2) failure to follow job instructions, directions or DOC procedures and policies, and (3) refusal to follow job instructions (as a result of her failure to answer Captain Tripoli's Orders to respond to his question regarding compliance with the socialization policy). (Id. at ¶ 61.)

Four months later, the DOC commenced an investigation to determine whether Plaintiff continued to violate the socialization policy. (Id. at ¶ 63.) The DOC received information from the former inmate who resided with her, indicating that he continued to live with her until the beginning of July. (Id.) The inmate provided a written statement, pay stubs and a fishing license, all which indicated that he resided at her residence. (Id.)

In response, Plaintiff provided Assistant Commissioner Patricia Mosley with a memorandum regarding her adherence to the socialization policy, indicating that her April 18, 2002, statement to Randy Blume from was still in effect.*fn10 (Compare Defs.' Rule 7.1 Stmt. at ¶ 64 with Plf.'s Rule 7.1 Response at ¶ 167.) Nonetheless, the DOC again charged Plaintiff with violations of policy and procedure directives, including the socialization policy, and suspended her for forty-five (45) days without pay. (Compare Defs.' Rule 7.1 Stmt. at ¶¶ 65-66 with Plf.'s Rule 7.1 Response at ¶¶ 169-76.) She was also demoted two ranks to correction officer. (Defs.' Rule 7.1 Stmt. at ¶ 66; Plf.'s Rule 7.1 Response at ¶ 169.) In response, she filed a grievance. (Id. at ¶ 177.) On July 15, 2004, an arbiter sustained her grievance and reinstated Plaintiff to her position, with restoration of benefits and wages for the period of her suspension. (Compare Defs.' Rule 7.1 Stmt. at ¶ 67 with Plf.'s Rule 7.1 Response at ¶¶ 177-78.)

4. Other Disciplinary Measures Against Plaintiff

On December 18, 2003, Plaintiff received an oral warning for failing to read nine DOC directives that she was responsible for enforcing. (Defs.' Rule 7.1 Stmt. at ¶ 69; Plf.'s Rule 7.1 Response at ¶ 104.) Her prior explanation (offered two days before December 18, 2003) for not having read the DOC directives at issue was that she had not had sufficient time in which to do so. (Dkt. No. 41, Part 17 [Ex. QQQ to Defs.' Rule 7.1 Stmt]; Plf.'s Rule 7.1 Response at ¶ 105.)

On February 26, 2004, Plaintiff received another oral warning for (1) failing to conduct an inmate count with the on-coming officer during a shift change, and (2) turning in a housing unit count slip indicating the incorrect number of inmates. (Defs.' Rule 7.1 Stmt. at ¶ 69; Plf.'s Rule 7.1 Response at ¶ 107.) She had initially conducted the correct count, but then she changed her count to conform with that of the on-coming officer. (Dkt. No. 41, Part 18 [Ex. RRR to Defs.' Rule 7.1 Stmt]; Plf.'s Rule 7.1 Response at ¶¶ 110-11.)*fn11

On June 24, 2004, Plaintiff received another oral warning for having conducted an incorrect count. (Defs.' Rule 7.1 Stmt. at ¶ 69; Dkt. No. 41, Part 19 [Ex. SSS to Defs.' Rule 7.1 Stmt]; Plf.'s Rule 7.1 Response at ¶ 112.)

Both parties agree that these types of disciplines are relatively common. (Defs.' Rule 7.1 Stmt. at ¶ 69; Plf.'s Rule 7.1 Response at ¶ 113.) In June of 2004, a number of Plaintiff's disciplines were removed from her file. (Defs.' Rule 7.1 Stmt. at ¶ 70.)

D. Plaintiff's Promotion to Lieutenant

Plaintiff took the civil service exam for promotion to lieutenant in 1997. (Defs.' Rule 7.1 Stmt. at ¶ 72.) She scored well on this examination, placing her tied for third on the list of certified eligibles. (Id.) However, on or about May 17, 2000, the DOC promoted Sergeant Volney Burgess, the individual ranked first on the certified eligibles list, to lieutenant. (Id. at ¶¶ 73-74.) Sergeant Burgess was promoted at a time when the DOC was reorganizing, and Commissioner Cowin felt the head of the Maintenance Division (Sergeant Burgess) should be elevated to lieutenant. (Compare Defs.' Rule 7.1 Stmt. at ¶ 75 with Plf.'s Rule 7.1 Response at ¶¶ 286-95.) Because Sergeant Burgess ran the maintenance division prior to being promoted to lieutenant, he had the necessary experience for which Commissioner Cowin was looking. (Defs.' Rule 7.1 Stmt. at ¶ 75.)

In July of 2000, there was another vacancy for a lieutenant position. (Id. at ¶ 76.) The list of certified eligibles contained four individuals, ranked one through three. (Id.) Plaintiff was tied for third on the list. (Id.) The DOC promoted Sergeant Robert Burnett, who ranked second on the list. (Id. at ¶ 77.) Burnett held the title of lieutenant previously, but due to a county work-force reduction had been demoted to sergeant. (Id.)

In September of 2000, another lieutenant position opened up, and Plaintiff was again ranked in the top three on the list of certified eligibles. (Id. at ¶ 78.) This time, Sergeant Kevin McGinn, who was ranked first on the list, was selected. (Id. at ¶ 79.) According to Defendant, Plaintiff was ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.