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 23 M.S.P.R. 57; 1984 MSPB LEXIS 956

Merit Systems Protection Board

September 10, 1984

Docket No. HQ75218210025

Opinion

 [**1] 

 [*60]  FINAL DECISION 

The Board has under consideration the Recommended Decision issued after hearing by Administrative Law Judge Edward J. Reidy and each party's exceptions to the Recommended Decision. The Social Security Administration (the agency) initiated this proceeding under 5 U.S.C. § 7521 1 by a complaint to the Board signed by the  [*61]  Associate Commissioner of the agency. The agency charged Administrative Law Judge Glover (the respondent) with (a) inappropriate and disruptive behavior by failing to show proper courtesy and consideration in dealing with co-workers; and (b) abuse of his authority as an administrative law judge by "resentfully" including a hearing assistant's name in the body of an opinion he had written. The agency proposed respondent's removal.

Judge Reidy found that respondent had engaged in some but not all of  [**2]  the incidents of misbehavior specified under the first charge and that respondent misused his authority as alleged in the second charge. Judge Reidy found both charges constituted good cause to discipline respondent. Using the criteria suggested by the Board in Douglas v. Veterans Administration, 5 MSPB 313 (1981) to aid in deciding on the appropriate penalty, Judge Reidy reviewed the evidence of record, determined that the agency's proposed penalty of removal was not warranted, and recommended a penalty of 120 days suspension without pay.

The agency's exceptions to the Recommended Decision relate to Judge Reidy's finding that all of the specifications in the first charge had not been proved and to his failure to give deference to the agency's proposed penalty of removal. Respondent's exceptions fall into five major categories: lack of jurisdiction, lack of due process, bias of the presiding administrative law judge, failure of proof of the charges, and arbitrariness of the penalty. Respondent's arguments on jurisdiction, lack of due process, and bias will be considered preliminary to the other exceptions.

I. RESPONDENT'S ARGUMENTS AGAINST JURISDICTION 

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 23 M.S.P.R. 57 *;  1984 MSPB LEXIS 956 **

SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION, DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, Agency v. KENNETH P. GLOVER, ADMINISTRATIVE LAW JUDGE, Respondent.

CORE TERMS

administrative law judge, discipline, files, documents, remarks, discovery, cross-examination, conversation, regulations, preparation, notices, depositions, employees, sexual harassment, post-hearing, allegations, witnesses, good cause, subpoenas, bias, constitute good cause, Recommended, harassment, contends, proven, credibility, charges, staff, due process, specifications