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FCI Bastrop Prison Guard Settles EEOC Racial Discrimination Suit Against DOJ

Charles Drew Quarles, a veteran prison guard stationed at Federal Correctional Institution Bastrop, Texas settled his claim for racial discrimination with the Department of Justice in April, 2002. Mr. Quarles agreed to accept the restoration of 240 hours of leave, one week of stress management training, and one week of mutually beneficial training in full satisfaction of his claim. He was also provided $2,500.00 in attorney's fees as part of the settlement.

In his Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) complaint, Quarles, an African American man, alleged that the Warden of FCI Bastrop, R. D. Miles, "intentionally discriminated against me based on my race, sex, disability (physical), and retaliat[ed] by promoting a lesser qualified non-African American employee over me based on merits."

Mr. Quarles went further in his letter to EEOC officer Wanda Hunt, requesting that "a special outside investigative team look into the promoting, hiring, and transferring trends [] at FCI Bastrop and the negative impact it has on African American employees." Quarles further noted that "[t]here is obviously a serious problem [] at FCI Bastrop that needs national attention."

Specifically, Quarles alleged that Robert Rodriguez, a Hispanic male, was promoted to Safety Specialist over him despite the fact that: a) Rodriguez never completed the Safety Manager Trainee Program (a prerequisite for the Safety Specialist position), which Quarles had; b) Rodriguez was assigned to the Safety Department when he was not legally certified or trained to operate as a safety officer without supervision, while Quarles was certified and trained for the Alternate Safety Specialist position; and c) Rodriguez did not have the required one year of specialized experience, which Quarles did.

Quarles further claimed that "the Safety Department at FCI Bastrop continue[s] to uphold a 20 year history [of] discrimination against African American employees (sic) at FCI Bastrop by not hiring, promoting and transferring them in upper mobility positions outside of custody and recreation."

Prison Legal News obtained the documents from this case through a 12-year Freedom of Information Act battle with the Federal Bureau of Prisons.

Source: Quarles v. Dept. of Justice, EEOC No. 360-A1-8342X (April 2, 2002).

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Related legal case

Quarles v. Dept. of Justice