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Case Report for January 13, 2017
Docket number: CB-1215-14-0012-T-1
Decision Number: 2017 MSPB 3

            The Special Counsel filed a complaint for disciplinary actions against the Respondent, the Deputy Assistant Commissioner for Human Resources Management at Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The reason that the Respondent was being charged with eight counts of prohibited personnel practices was due to her activity in allegedly helping the recently appointed CBP Commissioner hire three new candidates for career appointments. These three new candidates had previously worked as noncareer political appointees for the Commissioner in his former role at DHS. Thus, the Special Counsel assumed that the Respondent was trying to convert these noncareer political appointees into career appointees because they were favored by the Commissioner. The case focused on two things: First, the Respondent’s signature on the three cover letters for the proposed competitive hiring actions sent to the Chief Human Capital Officer at DHS, who denied the appointments. Second, the Respondent’s role in the efforts to hire one of the three individuals using a noncompetitive Schedule A authority. The Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) declined to impose the disciplinary action, because he found no evidence in support for the complaint. The ALJ found the Respondent’s actions to be ministerial in nature and should have just been more detailed in her review of the application packages prior to signing them, making her only negligent in her duties. Also found was that the actions taken were by other persons outside the reach of the Board’s jurisdiction and the Respondent was charged solely because she was the last woman standing. The Board denied the Special Counsel’s petition for review and affirmed the initial decision of no disciplinary action.

** You should always have experienced representation in MSPB matters. Although we did not represent the employee in this proceeding, The Angel Law Firm does represent federal employees, including DHS and CPB employees, in hearings before the MSPB. **