Friday, June 10, 2011

DOJ: Civil Rights Complaint -- Response from Civil Rights Division

In a letter I wrote to the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice dated January 5, 1994 I alleged that my civil rights had been violated under 42 U.S.C. 1983 by the action of my former employer, the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, in filing false and defamatory statements about my mental health and stability with a state agency resulting in the infliction of severe emotional distress.  The letter failed to show that Akin Gump's use of a state agency to defame me resulted in the impairment of a federally-protected liberty interest, which is required under Paul v. Davis, 424 U.S. 693, 47 L.Ed.2d 405, 96 S.Ct. 1155 (1976); Bishop v. Wood, 426 U.S. 341, , 48 L.Ed.2d 684, 96 S.Ct. 2074 (1976); and Board of Regents v. Roth, 408 U.S. 564, 33 L.Ed.2d 548, 92 S.Ct. 2701 (1972).

The Justice Department responded by letter dated April 28, 1994, the text of which is reproduced below.  The letter is nonresponsive, despite the fact that the DOJ claims that it gave careful consideration to the specific matters set forth in my letter of January 1994.

The DOJ summarizes the provisions of Title VII and cites the DOJ's lack of jurisdiction in cases arising under Title VII in controversies involving private employers such as Akin Gump.

1.  I did not allege that I was entitled to relief under Title VII and I did not request a summary of my rights under Title VII.

2.  I had advised DOJ that my protected status was based on perceived sexual orientation, which is not a protected status under Title VII.

3.  I had alleged  that my civil rights had been violated per 42 U.S.C. 1983 in that Akin Gump, a private employer, invidiously used the legal processes of a state agency to defame me by alleging that a psychiatrist (in violation of the APA's Goldwater Rule) had determined that I suffered from a psychiatric disorder that might render me potentially violent -- (conduct by the employer that might conceivably in the future impair my constitutionally protected right to seek employment; serve on a jury; impair my right to purchase firearms under the Second Amendment; or impair other rights protected by the laws and Constitution of the United States).

Arguably, my letter raised issues of "color of law" abuses, civil rights violations that, in fact, fall within the investigative jurisdiction of the FBI.  The DOJ letter failed to address the possibility that the FBI might have jurisdiction to investigate the wrongs I alleged, and failed to suggest that I contact the FBI.

U.S. Department of Justice
Civil Rights Division
Employment Litigation Section
P.O. Box 65968
Washington, D.C.  20035-5968

DJ 170-16-0

April 28, 1994

Mr. Gary Freedman
3801 Connecticut Avenue, N.W.
Apartment 136
Washington, D.C.  20008

Dear Mr. Freedman:

Your letter and accompanying materials addressed to Mr. James P. Turner, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division, dated January 5, 1994 has been referred to the Employment Litigation Section of the Civil Rights Division for consideration and response.  Please excuse our delay in responding.

In your correspondence you allege that you were unlawfully discriminated against by your former employer, Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld.  You indicate that you filed a charge against Akin, Gump with the District of Columbia Department of Human Rights and Minority Business Development (DOHR) and that you have filed an appeal of DOHR's no probable cause finding.

We have given careful consideration to the matters set forth in your correspondence.  It is our determination, however, that those matters do not warrant action by the Department of Justice.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. 2000e, et seq., prohibits discrimination in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex and national origin and also prohibits discrimination against individuals for protesting acts that they reasonably believe to be unlawful under Title VII.  However, Congress has not given the Department of Justice authority under Title VII and related statutes to pursue charges of discrimination against private employers such as Akin, Gump.  We have authority under those statutes to pursue charges of discrimination only against state and local government employers and only after the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has determined that reasonable cause exists to believe discrimination has occurred; the EEOC is unable to obtain an acceptable conciliation agreement; and the EEOC then refers the charge to us.

We can only suggest that you may wish to consult with private counsel of your choosing to determine what other remedies, if any, may be available to you.

We are returning the materials you sent us with your correspondence in case you may have further need of them.


Deval L.Patrick
Assistant Attorney General
Civil Rights Division

By: /s/

Jane L. Robinson
Paralegal Specialist
Employment Litigation Section


1 comment:

Gary Freedman said...

Governor Deval Patrick is a friend of Vernon Jordan and Attorney General Eric Holder.