Medina v. District of Columbia, Civ. Action No. 97-594 (EGS).

CourtUnited States District Courts. United States District Court (Columbia)
Citation517 F.Supp.2d 272
Docket NumberCiv. Action No. 97-594 (EGS).
PartiesAngel MEDINA, Plaintiff, v. DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, Defendant.
Decision Date06 June 2007

H. Vincent McKnight, Jr., Ashcraft & Gerel, Washington, DC, for Plaintiff.

David A. Jackson, Office of the Attorney General, Washington, DC, for Defendant.

OPINION

EMMET G. SULLIVAN, District Judge.

Plaintiff Angel Medina, currently a Captain in the District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department ("MPD"), brought suit against the District of Columbia, alleging violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981 and 1983, the Fifth Amendment, and the D.C. Human Rights Act. Captain Medina claims that the District of Columbia engaged in unlawful and discriminatory employment practices based on his race and national origin, retaliated against him, and deprived him of his right to due process. Pending before the Court is plaintiffs motion for partial summary judgment on Count I of his Second Amended Complaint and defendant's renewed motion to dismiss or, in the alternative, for summary judgment. After careful consideration of the motions, responses and replies thereto, applicable law, and the entire record, the Court denies plaintiffs motion for partial summary judgment and grants in part and denies in part defendant's motion.

I. BACKGROUND1

Plaintiff, who is of Hispanic origin, became a police officer in the District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department ("MPD") in 1985. In early 1991, plaintiff was reassigned as an Investigator and then promoted to Sergeant on June 16, 1991.

In September 1992, plaintiff, then a Sergeant in the MPD's Office of Internal Affairs ("OIA"), participated in the MPD's 1992 Promotional Examination Process. Composed of two phases, plaintiff passed the first written phase, ranking 18th out of the 323 candidates who vied for the rank of Lieutenant. Accordingly, he was able to proceed to the second phase of the examination process — an assessment phase.2 After the second phase, however, plaintiff's ranking dropped to 65 on a list of 79 candidates.

In May 1993, plaintiff filed a complaint against the MPD with the Department of Human Rights ("DHR").3 In his complaint-DHR Complaint No. 93-210-DC (CN) ("first DHR complaint")plaintiff alleged that the MPD had denied him the promotion from Sergeant to Lieutenant during the 1992 Promotional Examination Process on the basis of his race and national origin. On October 21, 1994, the DHR issued a Letter of Determination finding probable cause. Less than a month after the DHR's determination and order, plaintiff was promoted from Sergeant to the rank of Lieutenant based on his results on the 1994 promotional examination.

On September 19, 1995, the DHR determined that the MPD had discriminated against plaintiff on the basis of race and national origin and issued a Summary Determination and Order. This order required the District of Columbia to award plaintiff differential back pay for the period between December 1, 1992 and November 4, 1994, including any overtime to which he was entitled, and to ensure that plaintiff was free from any future reprisals or retaliatory actions. See Summary Determination and Order (Sept. 19, 1995), Ex. 3 to Pl.'s Mot. for Partial Summ. J. In April 2002, the Director of the D.C. Office of Human Rights ("OHR" — successor to the Department of Human Rights) sent a letter to the MPD's General Counsel advising him that the September 19, 1995 Summary Determination and Order represented "the final District Government administrative decision with which your Department is obligated to comply." Letter from Charles Holman to Terrence Ryan (Apr. 22, 2002), Ex. 5 to Pl.'s Mot. for Partial Summ. J.

Sometime in October 1994, before plaintiffs promotion took effect, plaintiff and Captain Stanley Wigenton had a discussion in which plaintiff indicated that he would like to remain in OIA after his promotion to Lieutenant. Plaintiff was informed by Sonya Proctor, then Director of OIA, that the Chief of Police had indicated that the MPD "had to send people out to the streets." Def.'s Statement of Material Facts ¶ 46. Plaintiff was reassigned to street duty.

In February 1995, plaintiff filed DHR Complaint No. 95-151-DC (CN) against the MPD ("second DHR complaint"), alleging that his transfer from OIA to street duty was discriminatory based upon his race and national origin. In January 1997, the DHR issued a finding of no probable cause with respect to the second DHR complaint. In February 1997, plaintiff requested that the City Administrator reconsider the DHR finding, but the director of the DHR informed plaintiff that the rules for D.C. government complaints had been amended in August 1996 to eliminate appeals to the D.C. administrator. The DHR director also informed plaintiff that if he wished to request reconsideration, he should submit an application, indicating where the DHR misapplied the law or misstated the facts, or if there was new evidence for submission. Plaintiff chose not to re-file a request for reconsideration.

In 1996, plaintiff had very brief conversations with senior officers in the Homicide Division and the Criminal Investigations Division regarding his desire to transfer to those divisions should positions become available. Plaintiff was not transferred to either division. In 1997, plaintiff attempted to meet with Commander Boggs of the Narcotics and Special Investigation Division without an appointment to discuss his interest in transferring to that division. Commander Boggs asked plaintiff to call back and schedule an appointment with her, but he did not do so. Plaintiff was not transferred to the Narcotics and Special Investigation Division.

In April 1997, plaintiff met with Inspector Lloyd Coward, then director of OIA, and Captain Patricia Alexander to express his interest in a transfer back to OIA. A few days later, plaintiff emailed his resume to Captain Alexander. In late 1997 or early 1998, Inspector Coward was replaced by Inspector Kim Dine. In February 1998, a teletype was issued listing the individuals transferred to OIA. Plaintiff was not on the list. When plaintiff asked why he had not been transferred to OIA, he was told by Inspector Dine that Dine was not aware that plaintiff had ever expressed any interest in the transfer. Captain Patricia Alexander, the individual to whom plaintiff initially expressed his interest, admitted that she had forgotten to inform Inspector Dine of plaintiff's interest in OIA. Inspector Dine then offered plaintiff a position with the Audit and Compliance Division, but plaintiff did not respond to her offer.

In October 1998, plaintiff filed his third and last complaint with the DHR — Complaint No. 99-011-DC (CN) ("third DHR complaint") — alleging that he had not been chosen for a transfer to a position in OIA because of his race and national origin. On November 1, 1999, the DHR issued a finding of probable cause. After the Letter of Determination was issued, the matter was not settled nor referred to the Commission on Human Rights for a public hearing. Second Am. Compl. ¶ 101. On January 5, 2000, the EEOC issued a rightto-sue letter based on all three of plaintiffs DHR complaints.

Throughout 2000, plaintiff applied for several other transfers but was not selected. In May 2000, he applied for Lieutenant positions with the Gang Task Force and with the Family Violence Child Protection Unit, but was not selected for either position. In September 2000, plaintiff hand-delivered an application for the Lieutenant position with the Force Investigation Team, but was told that the position had already been filled by the time he applied.

Plaintiff successfully participated in the 2000 Promotional Examination Process. He was promoted from Lieutenant to Captain as a result of that exam.

On November 2, 2001, plaintiff was indicted in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia for false statements, conspiracy, and aiding and abetting, all relating to a real estate transaction initiated primarily by his wife. Second Am. Compl. ¶ 141. On December 29, 2001, plaintiff was placed on suspension without pay for conduct unbecoming an officer pending resolution of the criminal matter. Id. ¶¶ 150-51. At plaintiff's criminal trial in May 2002, two of the charges were dismissed by the court at the close of evidence and the jury acquitted plaintiff on the remaining charge. Id. ¶¶ 152-54. The judgment of acquittal was filed on May 8, 2002. Id. ¶ 154. On May 15, 2002, plaintiffs representative urged Chief Ramsey to restore plaintiff to full duty and full pay. Id. ¶ 161. Plaintiff continued to remain on leave without pay status until September 13, 2002, when he was placed on non-contact duty. Id. ¶ 158.

On October 29, 2002, plaintiff filed his Second Amended Complaint in this Court.4 In his Second Amended Complaint, plaintiff alleges ten counts total, including violations of the Due Process Clause of the United States Constitution, Title VII, 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981 and 1983, and the D.C. Human Rights Act. Specifically, plaintiff alleges the following: (1)denial of due process in failing to enforce DHR's September 19, 1995 Summary Determination and Order; (2) denial of due process in failing to hold a hearing on plaintiff's second DHR complaint before making a finding of no probable cause; (3) violation of Title VII and 42 U.S.C. § 1981 based on transfer from OIA to street duty after 1994 promotion; (4) violation of Title VII and 42 U.S.C. § 1981 based on denial of plaintiffs request to transfer back into OIA; (5) retaliation in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1981 and the D.C. Human Rights Act based on failure to transfer plaintiff back to OIA; (6) denial of due process in failing to enforce the November 1, 1999 Letter of Determination finding probable cause; (7) retaliation in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1981 based on repeated denial of transfer...

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