Searcy, a federal employee, worked for the Department of Agriculture (USDA) from 1974 to 1977, when he was terminated for abandoning the position. Searcy had enrolled in a post-graduate program and had entered into an agreement with the USDA to remain in their employment for tuition benefits. In 1977, he left the university without completing the program and did not return to work for the USDA. Searcy incurred a debt of around $11,000 to the USDA as a result of the abandonment, and the USDA placed a lien against his retirement account.
Years later, in 2006, Searcy’s application for deferred retirement was denied. He filed an EEOC complaint alleging that his retirement contributions were forfeited because the USDA had terminated him on the basis of race, but that complaint was dismissed as untimely. In 2010, Searcy appealed to the Merit Systems Protection Board, where he also alleged that the USDA had violated several veterans’ rights acts by taking money from his retirement account. These claims were all dismissed on the basis that Searcy had failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted, and the Court of Appeals affirmed this decision. In 2016, Searcy appealed to the Board again on the same claims and was denied again—both on the same basis as the 2010 appeal, and on res judicata, since the court cannot rule twice on the same set of facts. The Court of Appeals upheld this decision.
Attorney Angel did not represent this former USDA employee, but he does represent federal employees in employment claims including EEO claims and before the MSPB, EEOC and the federal courts.