Hannon Law Group Wins Reinstatement, Back Pay, for Federal Prosecutor After Seven Years

A federal prosecutor represented by J. Michael Hannon has been reinstated with full back pay and benefits after proving the Department of Justice wrongly revoked his security clearance and removed him from his position as an Assistant United States Attorney in 2009.

DOJ’s Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys used private medical documents the prosecutor provided as part of his request for a reasonable accommodation to revoke his security clearance. Because the security clearance was necessary for the prosecutor to hold his position, the DOJ also terminated his employment.

With the help of J. Michael Hannon, the prosecutor appealed the DOJ’s decision to the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) arguing that the DOJ violated his due process rights by denying him an opportunity to challenge the clearance decision before the DOJ’s Access Review Committee (ARC). The MSPB agreed and remanded the clearance decision to the DOJ for consideration by the ARC. The ARC concluded that DOJ should never have revoked the federal prosecutor’s security clearance.

When the DOJ did not reinstate the prosecutor, Mr. Hannon filed a second appeal with the MSPB as well as federal lawsuit to obtain his prompt reinstatement. Mr. Hannon argued not only that the federal prosecutor should be reinstated, but also that the revocation of the security clearance was a pretext to punish the prosecutor for whistleblowing. A reinstatement order was finally obtained on December 21, 2015.

DOJ paid well over a million dollars to the federal prosecutor in back pay, compensation for discrimination, and the legal fees of HANNON LAW GROUP.

The full decision of the MSPB can be read here and a report on the case by the ABA Journal can be read here.