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Government and People
March 18, 1998
VIA HAND DELIVERY
Sonya T. Proctor
Dear Interim Chief Proctor:
As indicated in my previous letter to you dated March 4 , 1998 (copy enclosed), my firm, along with Steve Leckar, Esquire, of Butera & Andrews, represents Winfred Stanley and Reginald Smith with respect to the improper termination of their employment with MPD. Since the date of that letter, we have also been retained by John Daniels regarding his similar claim.
My letter of March 4, 1998 requested a response from you or your attorney by March 11, 1998. Although you have not provided me with a response, or even the courtesy of an acknowledgment of my correspondence, I will advise you of our current position in what amounts to a final effort to commence a dialogue prior to litigation.
As you may know, Stanley, Smith and Daniels have all filed pro se OEA appeals of their discharges in order to avoid waiving any of their tights due to untimeliness. We now intend to enter our appearances as their counsel in these cases, and will make all efforts to obtain prompt hearing dates. If we do not obtain the relief sought before OEA, we will then file suit in federal court .
As indicated in my March 4, 1998 letter, we believe your actions in constructively discharging our clients exceeded the lawful powers of your position. We have reviewed your letter of February 20, 1998, which purports to respond to Councilmember Evans letter of February 17, 1998. Although you do not respond to Councilmember Evans ' request that you provide the reasons for our clients' dismissals, you do list the authorities that you relied upon to take these actions.
We have researched the provisions that you cite, including the legislative histories, and determined that your actions in terminating our clients were clearly beyond the scope of the authority granted to your position. Your analysis of Section 5204(a) of Public Law 104-208 is flawed, and accordingly, your constructive termination of our clients pursuant to its authority was illegal.
It is of great concern to our clients, and to us as attorneys, that you have set the precedent of interpreting the authority given to your office by the Control Board as a license to completely disregard the procedural protections and guarantees afforded to all career status D.C. government employees. Our review of the law, the applicable regulations, and Control Board directives does not lead us to believe that the Control Board intended to give you the power to fire career status officers at your complete discretion as you claim. Your letter of February 20, 1998, to Councilmember Evans refers to "regulations" that you developed "with the approval of the Authority," to implement "the Order" that you claim provides you with discretionary power to terminate career service employees . We are aware of no such "regulations" that you, or the MPD, or the Control Board have "developed" to address this situation, or govern your discretion. If such regulations exist, we ask that you provide them to us immediately .
Our review of the legislation passed by Congress indicates that the Control Board itself does not have the authority to direct the termination of career status employees of the MPD without good cause or due process. If the Control Board chooses to ratify your unlawful actions, and assert that it has a grant of authority from Congress that allows it to terminate career service MPD officers without due process, we will challenge that authority in court .
In addition to your illegal actions outlined above, you have also failed to retract the defamatory statements concerning our clients ' performance that you were reported to have made to the press and Councilmember Evans, we intend to explore this matter fully, and will seek Damages against you individually if we determine that these are actionable claims.
In sum, your decision to abruptly terminate these man, each of whom has given Over 21 years of exemplary service to the MPD, with no legitimate care* and without: due process, is disgraceful. bike them, you have been a District Commander in the MPD and should be more considerate of our client' s situation. You are not an outsider who cannot be expected to relate to the pain you have caused to these honorable public servants.
We have attempted to contact you privately to discuss these cases, and you have decided to ignore our request. Therefore, as indicated, we are sending copies of this letter to the Control Board, the Mayor's Office, Ms. Norton's office, Corporation Counsel, and the City Council in order to effectuate accountability on your part.
We would like to hear from you or your attorney by no later than 5:00 P.M. on March 23, 1998, if you have any interest in discussing a resolution of these matters short of litigation.
John H. Jamnback, Esquire
cc: Steve Leckar, Esquire
Members Of the City Council
March 4, 1998
Via Hand Delivery
Sonya T. Proctor
Dear Chief Proctor:
My firm has been retained, along with Steve Leckar, Esg., of Butera & Andrews, to represent Winfred Stanley and Reginald Smith with respect to the improper termination of their employment as District Commanders with the Metropolitan Police Department.
Your decision to force Stanley and Smith to either resign on two hours notice or face immediate termination from their employment constitutes constructive discharge under the law of this jurisdiction. Moreover, your actions exceeded the lawful powers of your position, and violated our clients' rights. In addition, you are reported to have publicly made defamatory statements concerning Stanley and Smith that you knew to be untrue in an attempt to support your decisions and actions.
On behalf of Stanley and Smith, we demand that they be immediately reinstated to their respective positions as Commanders of the Third and Fifth District. In addition, we demand that you issue a retraction, in the form of a press release subject to the approval of our clients, of the defamatory statements that you made concerning their job performance .
If we have not heard from you or your attorney within seven calendar days from today, or by 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 11, 1998, we will take that as a negative response to our demands, and proceed to avail our clients of their legal remedies .
Boraks & Jamnback
By John H. Hamnback, Esq.
cc: Winfred Stanley
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