Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Conspiracy Against Rights?

In late October 1991 Dennis M. Race, Esq. (202 887 4028), a management partner at the Washington, DC office of the law firm of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, my former employer, consulted a psychiatrist named Gertrude R. Ticho, MD (deceased) (then Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, The George Washington University Medical Center Department of Psychiatry) who advised him that my complaint of job harassment appeared to be the product of a psychiatric "disorder" that might be associated with a risk of violence, rendering me a direct threat in the workplace.  Freedman v. D.C. Department of Human Rights at 4, D.C.C.A. no. 96-CV-961 (Memorandum Opinion and Judgment, Sept. 1, 1998) ("the firm . . . learned [upon consulting a practicing psychiatrist] that [Mr. Freedman's] behavior was indicative of a disorder known as 'ideas of reference,' which is sometimes accompanied by violent behavior.').   

Dr. Ticho did not assess me in person and thus her professional opinion was a violation of the American Psychiatric Association's (APA's) so-called Goldwater rule which prohibits a psychiatrist from offering a professional psychiatric opinion about an individual without benefit of a personal exam and without obtaining the individual's consent for the opinion.  Dr. Ticho's psychiatric opinion, upon which the U.S. Social Security Administration relied in making its disability determination that I became disabled and not suitable for employment effective October 29, 1991 (the date of Akin Gump's job termination), lacked any medical reliability and was defamatory.

The D.C. Department of Human Rights (DHR) admits that it considered but rejected my argument that Akin Gump's disability determination was invalid because Dr. Ticho's psychiatric opinion was made without examining me personally, thereby violating the APA's Goldwater Rule and rendering the opinion medically worthless.  (The DHR implicitly also exonerated the action of Akin Gump partners, licenced professionals, in soliciting an unethical act from a psychiatrist, also a licensed professional.)

The DHR concluded in its Initial Determination (June 30, 1993): "Complainant submitted a 45 page response plus attachments as well as other correspondence in response to Respondent’s submission. . . . [Among other concerns h]e . . . contended that Respondent’s reliance upon the advice of the mental health professionals as conclusory and reached without personally examining him, was flawed. . . . We do not believe it is necessary to analyze and respond to each of them to reach a determination in this matter" (emphasis added).

What is the legal significance of the action of a District human rights agency in expressly exonerating a psychiatrist of her ethical infraction which was the sine qua non of the employer's determination that an employee was potentially violent and therefore posed a "direct threat in the workplace," denying that employee of his right to future employment under The Americans with Disabilities Act?

What is the legal significance of a District human rights agency in expressly exonerating District-licensed attorneys of liability for their action in denying  an employee of his right to future employment under The Americans with Disabilities Act by soliciting an unethical act from a psychiatrist whose opinion that the employee was potentially violent (and therefore a direct threat in the workplace) was the foundation of the employer's termination decision?

5 comments:

Gary Freedman said...

DHR Initial Determination Finding of Fact:

6. Respondent also sought outside professional guidance because of the emotional and psychological nature of Complainant’s allegations and his coworkers responses. Respondent contacted an unnamed counselor from its Employee Assistance Program and an outside psychiatrist. Dr. Gertrude Ticho identified Complainant’s behavior, putting a negative meaning to virtually every event as “ideas of reference” and cautioned that individuals in similar circumstances may become violent. After Respondent’s investigators consulted with Complainant’s supervisor and Respondent’s Management team, Respondent terminated Complainant’s employment.

Gary Freedman said...

18 USC § 241 - Conspiracy against rights

If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same; or
If two or more persons go in disguise on the highway, or on the premises of another, with intent to prevent or hinder his free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege so secured—
They shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, they shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.

Gary Freedman said...

The individual who issued the referenced Initial Determination (Margie Utley) was later

(1) Disbarred for misappropriating estate funds, and

(2) Found guilty of violating the Hatch Act.

http://dailstrug.blogspot.com/2009/12/judge-huvelle-how-many-years-have-you.html

Gary Freedman said...

Gertrude R. Ticho, MD, who advised Akin Gump that I suffered from a psychiatric "disorder" and that I was potentially violent was a clinical professor of psychiatry at The George Washington University Medical Center Department of Psychiatry.

Gary Freedman said...

The U.S. Supreme Court has held private citizens to be liable as state actors when they conspire with government officials to deprive persons of their rights. [citation needed].