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BOP Settles Reverse Discrimination Suit for $2,250

The Bureau of Prisons settled a discrimination claim brought by Thomas R. Sniezek, a 48-year-old white male, in April 2003.

Sniezek, a former associate warden at United States Penitentiary Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, brought an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) complaint against the Bureau of Prisons on December 20, 2001. Sniezek attached a 17-page letter to Kerry Appel, EEOC Investigator for the Bureau, in which he alleged that the BOP failed to promote him to warden for discriminatory reasons.

In his complaint, Sniezek outlined his "impeccable" record and "25 years of faithful service" to the Bureau of Prisons, in positions such as prison guard, case manager, unit manager and associate warden. He also alleged that it was "apparent from the recent executive staff selections, that an emphasis [was being] placed on promoting females and minorities."

The crux of Sniezek's complaint had less to do with reverse discrimination than administrative politics, however. According to the letter attached to the complaint, Sniezek refused an offer to become warden at Federal Correctional Institution Ray Brook, New York, because his daughter was still in high school (Sniezek denied ever being offered the position). Moreover, Sniezek was a plaintiff in a civil action referred to as "BOP Suit III." According to the complaint, Northeast Region Regional Director David M. Rardin referred to staff members who took part in BOP Suit III as "nothing but a bunch of pussies."

Despite demanding a promotion to warden, seven years worth of (presumably warden-level) back pay, attorney's fees and an explanation as to why he was never promoted to warden, Sniezek settled his multiple discrimination complaints for payment of $2,250.00 in compensatory damages. The settlement was to remain confidential, and the Bureau of Prisons admitted no fault as part of the agreement.

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

See: EEOC Case No. 170-A2-8393X, BOP Agency Case No. P-2002-0067.

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Related legal case

EEOC Case No. 170-A2-8393X