by clicking on the page. A slider will appear, allowing you to adjust your zoom level. Return to the original size by clicking on the page again.
the page around when zoomed in by dragging it.
the zoom using the slider on the top right.
by clicking on the zoomed-in page.
by entering text in the search field and click on "In This Issue" or "All Issues" to search the current issue or the archive of back issues respectively.
by clicking on thumbnails to select pages, and then press the print button.
this publication and page.
displays a table of sections with thumbnails and descriptions.
displays thumbnails of every page in the issue. Click on a page to jump.
allows you to browse through every available issue.
Federal Employees News Digest : Nov. 26, 2012
November 26, 2012 Vol. 62, No. 20 6 visit us on the Internet at www.FederalDaily.com Army engineer loses appeal over misuse of vehicle Robert Hoofman, an Alaska-based GS-11 Construction Control Representative with the Department of the Army, lost his most recent appeal against a removal action taken by his employer. According to official documents in the case, the recorded events leading to the removal began on Oct. 23, 2010, with police officers finding Hoofman "in his government-owned vehicle [which] was stranded atop a sand pile." The officers stated that Hoofman "was in the driver's seat with the motor running when [they] arrived and that there were two other individuals in the back seat." They also said that when they encountered Hoofman, the appellant had "bloodshot eyes" and that the smell of alcohol was present. Hoofman subsequently refused to take a breath test, according to official documents in the case. Police impounded the government vehicle---and charged Hoofman with violating two Alaska state statutes---refusal to sub- mit to a chemical test and driving under the influence. Hoofman pleaded guilty to violating one of the charges---refusal to submit to a chemical test---and as a consequence initially had his driver's license suspended for a year with the condition of a breath-test interlock ignition for an additional year. According to the agency, he also was jailed for approximately two weeks, yet informed his supervisor only that he needed "10 days of leave" to handle a "family emergency." After the supervisor was informed of the arrest, jailing and impoundment of the vehicle, Hoofman was hit with four serious administrative charges: (1) driving a government vehicle under the influence, (2) using a government passenger vehicle for unofficial purposes, (3) losing his driver's license (which clearly would affect his job, which involved a great deal of driving), and (4) attempting to deceive his supervisor. The Army subsequently removed him. Hoofman appealed to the Merit Systems Protection Board. He maintained that most of the police report was misleading and that removal was excessive. He told the administrative judge in the case that he was alone when he got the vehicle stuck in the sandpile and left it there. Only later, he insisted, he consumed some alcohol and then encountered the two other individuals---who had agreed to help him---while en route on foot back to the car. He said they only tried to get the car out of the sand, and that he did not operate the vehicle on the road. Finally, he noted that in the end his license was only temporarily revoked---and claimed he never tried to deceive his supervisor. The AJ in the case found in favor of Hoofman's appeal. First, the AJ concluded that administrative charges (1) and (2) were found- ed only on "double hearsay evidence," in the form of the police officer's report and no corroborating investigation from the Army itself. As to charge (3), the AJ found Hoofman's license indeed was revoked only temporarily---and that court might permit Hoofman to drive for work purposes. Finally, as to charge (4), the AJ found that the "agency did not prove ... [Hoofman] had attempted to deceive his supervisor." The AJ noted that "on his first day back at work" he informed his supervisor. The AJ reversed Hoofman's removal. The Army appealed to the full MSPB, which found the AJ erred on several fronts. On the first charge, the full MSPB noted that under Alaska state law, simply having "physical control" over a vehicle with its engine running while legally intoxicated merits a DUI. On the second charge, the MSPB noted that Hoofman admitted that he had agreed to transport two non-employees, regardless of whether he followed through. On the fourth charge, the MSPB found that whether or not he "intended to deceive," Hoofman at times "lacked candor"---enough to sustain the charge. On these bases, the full MSPB revised the AJ's finding---affirming these administrative charges and Hoofman's removal. (Hoofman v. Department of the Army, MSPB Docket No. SF-0752- 11-0266-I-1, 9/18/12) IRS employee wins appeal in discrimination case Lonnie Pace, a GS-7 Tax Examining Technician with the IRS, won her recent race and disability discrimination appeal, which was filed to reverse her removal based on four charges of alleged misconduct. Pace filed her appeal in the form of a grievance that proceeded to arbitration. At arbitration, the arbitrator found for Pace---con- cluding that the "agency failed to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that the removal 'was only for such cause as will promote the efficiency of the Service.'" Despite this finding, however, the arbitrator limited the remedy only to reinstating the appellant with a "one-time payment equivalent to four months of back pay based upon a 40-hour week"---with no damages awarded. Pace appealed to the Merit Systems Protection Board. The board found for Pace, noting that "the arbitrator's decision must include specific findings on the issues in question in order for the Board to defer to the arbitrator's findings and conclusions." Here, the board found, the arbitrator failed to employ "any recogniz- able legal standard or framework." MSPB therefore vacated the arbitrator's decision---and ordered the case remanded for further adjudication. (Pace v. Department of the Treasury, MSPB Docket No. CB-7121-11- 0010-V-1, 9/19/12)
Nov. 19, 2012
Dec. 3, 2012