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BOP Settles Race and Disability Discrimination Lawsuit for $30,000

The Bureau of Prisons settled a race and disability discrimination claim brought by an employee in October 2001 for $30,000.00.

The employee, Moses Manual Linen, was a lieutenant at Federal Correctional Institution Marianna, Florida when he was allegedly discriminated against based on his Cuban heritage and medical disability. According to Linen's Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) complaint, he was wrongfully terminated from his position immediately following his application for medical retirement. Linen alleged that his termination was retaliation for a previous EEOC complaint in which he won a settlement.

Linen also alleged that he should have been "carried on the rolls" while awaiting his medical retirement approval, as had been the previous practice at FCI Marianna. According to the complaint, "FCI Marianna has accommodated several staff members who were disabled, but were not of Hispanic origin."

The Warden at the time, Mark Henry, allegedly told Linen that he was terminated because his position was critical and had to be filled. But in his complaint, Linen cited the example of FCI Marianna Lieutenant Vince Perego as someone in his same position who had been deemed critical -- and who was not Hispanic. What's more, according to Linen, Lt. Perego was being kept on the books and being considered for medical retirement despite being in jail, charged with a felony shooting involving local police. Linen indicated that Keith Hall, Bill Willingham and (former) Captain Mike Janas were aware of the preferential treatment given to the imprisoned Perego. Further, Linen alleged that Janas had recently been demoted due to "EEOC problems in Miami."

"If I am not mistaken, the BOP has justification for terminating this BOP staff member, who has been incarcerated for the past nine months, from their books to free up this so-called 'critical position,'" said Linen in his EEOC complaint.

Linen demanded immediate reinstatement with a letter of apology from FCI Marianna Warden Henry, monetary damages for emotional distress and a letter of apology to his five-year-old son and wife for depriving them of medical coverage for retaliatory reasons.

Linen ultimately filed a federal lawsuit over the matter, which was settled October 19, 2001. Linen agreed to accept $30,000.00 in full satisfaction of his claim, and the Bureau of Prisons agreed to issue him a standard retirement letter, issue him a corrected form showing that he retired and was not terminated, and to announce his retirement in FCI Marianna's newsletter "Monday Morning Highlights."

The Bureau of Prisons denied any wrongdoing as part of the settlement.

Linen was represented by Tallahassee, Florida attorney Gary Printy.

The documents from this case were obtained by Prison Legal News after a successful twelve-year-long battle with the Bureau of Prisons over a Freedom of Information Act records request.

See:  BOP Agency EEOC Case No. P-20-0117, Linen v. United States of America, United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida, Tallahassee Division, Civil Case No. 4:00cv384 RH.

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Related legal case

BOP Agency EEOC Case No. P-20-0117, Linen v. United States of America