IMPORTANT: THE SUMMARIES BELOW ARE EXAMPLES OF PAST RESULTS OBTAINED FOR SOME OF OUR CLIENTS. EVERY CASE IS UNIQUE AND RESULTS VARY DEPENDING ON THE FACTS OF THE CASE. PAST RESULTS DO NOT REFLECT OR ASSURE OUR FUTURE SUCCESS.
Grievant v. USAID, FSGB 2010-027. Represented a Foreign Service Officer proposed for removal based on allegations of voucher fraud. The case settled after it was shown that high-ranking officials at USAID withheld exculpatory information from the deciding official, pressured HR to proceed with the removal, and exchanged email evidencing serious racial discriminatory animus. The FSO was returned to work with backpay, benefits, retroactive promotion, and attorneys’ fees.
Grievant v. Dep’t. of State, FSGB 2009-032 (Mar. 14, 2011). Represented a Special Agent in the Diplomatic Security Service to be suspended for misuse of official letterhead. After an evidentiary hearing on the merits, the Foreign Service Grievance Board held that the agency misapplied the Douglas factors and that a suspension was not warranted. The discipline was reduced to an oral admonishment—the lowest level of discipline available—and the Special Agent was awarded attorneys’ fees. In later proceedings, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia overturned the Grievance Board’s longstanding and arbitrary cap on attorneys’ fees.
Represented a former USAID Supervisory Contracting Officer in debarment proceedings.
Our client had been retired from the agency for over two years before it brought the debarment charges. Even though he had retired, the charge would have impacted his ability to obtain work in the future. Such a charge was highly unusual, given the client was no longer engaged in contracting work, or with the agency.
We successfully persuaded USAID that this matter was meritless and that our client should not be debarred.
Former employees of federal agencies should be aware that they may still be subject to charges of impropriety after they depart from the agency.
Grievant v. FSGB, On June 27, 2019, the Foreign Service Grievance Board ordered the reinstatement of a Foreign Service Officer represented by Daniel S. Crowley and Karey L. Hart.
The employee, whose personal hobby involved the study and preservation of reptiles, rescued a number of tortoises, turtles, and lizards, while posted abroad. When his tour ended, he tried to navigate the foreign, domestic, and international trade laws necessary to bring the reptiles home to the United States.
Claiming to have discovered irregularities in his paperwork, his employer, the U.S. Agency for International Development, charged the employee with poor judgment and lack of candor. The employee was placed on leave without pay in August 2016 as the agency pursued his termination through the FSGB.
The case was presented to a panel of three FSGB judges during a three-day evidentiary hearing. The Board found no “element of deception” in the employee’s conduct. As a result, the agency could not prove the lack of candor charge and could not fire the employee.
The employee will now be returned to work and paid nearly three years of back pay and benefits. HANNON LAW GROUP, LLP will also ask the FSGB to order the agency to pay all the attorneys’ fees the employee incurred defending himself.
Jail Escape. Represented a group of nine correctional officers terminated in the wake of the 2006 escape of two inmates from the D.C. jail. Seven were eventually reinstated and received a total of more than $1.7 million in settlements for backpay and attorneys’ fees. HANNON LAW GROUP litigated the other two officers' cases through the D.C. Court of Appeals to a final order of reinstatement with full back pay and attorneys’ fees.
Barbusin v. District of Columbia, D.C. Superior Court Case No. 2012 CDC 000913. Represented law enforcement officer charged with possession of an unregistered firearm. The charges were dismissed when it was discovered that prosecutors withheld email showing that officer had permission to purchase the weapon. During the trial, Mr. Hannon uncovered a serious Brady violation by the Office of the Attorney General, which led to a dismissal of the charges by the court. The Washington Post and Washington City Paper reported on this case.
Presentado v. D.C. Dept. of Real Estate Svcs., OEA Case No. 1601-0347-10. Contested D.C.’s proposed removal of a law enforcement officer for failure to qualify with his firearm on the grounds that the agency had failed to follow its own procedures and violated the officer’s due process rights. The case settled and the officer was returned to duty with backpay, benefits, and attorneys’ fees.
Lewis v. Kratos Def. & Sec. Solutions, Inc., 950 F. Supp. 2d 851 (E.D. Va. 2013). Represented a widow in an ERISA action for life insurance benefits. The employer/plan administrator had enrolled her husband in the plan, accepted his premium payments, and told him he was covered, but the insurance company later denied coverage. Won summary judgment against the employer/plan administrator for breach of fiduciary duty and settled the damages claim. See a copy of the Court’s order here.
Doe v. Department of Justice, 2015 MSPB 65. Represented a former federal prosecutor who was terminated in retaliation for disclosing illegal practices by the DEA. The MSPB found in our clients’ favor, awarding him $1.8 million in backpay and attorneys’ fees. The full decision of the MSPB can be read here and an article about the case can be read here.
United States ex rel. Hood v. Satory Global, Inc., 946 F. Supp. 2d 69 (D.D.C. 2013). Represented two IT professionals terminated in retaliation for opposing their employer’s fraudulent billing and other anti-competitive practices under a subcontract with the Department of Justice. After the defeating the defendant’s motion to dismiss, the case was settled. See a copy of the Court’s order here.
Private Employment Cases
Davis v. Cmty. Alternatives of Wash., D.C., 74 A.3d 707 (D.C. 2013). Represented an employer sued for wrongful termination under the public policy exception to the employment at will doctrine. Employees claimed they were terminated in retaliation for engaging in union activities; but the trial judge ruled that they failed to present evidence of a "close fit" between their conduct, a public policy, and their termination. The employees appealed to the D.C. Court of Appeals, which upheld the decision in favor of our client. The Court of Appeals’ decision can be found here.
HANNON LAW GROUP represents the victims of medical and legal malpractice in select instances.
Corporate / Business
Represented a group of local businesses in the Shaw neighborhood in case against the Washington Convention Center to enforce their rights under a grant program established to compensate them for disruptions to their business caused by the construction of the new convention center. The case settled for $295,000. An article about this case appeared in the Washington Times.
Miller v. Michael A. Brown, D.C. Superior Court Case No. 2006 CA 001262 B. Represented a local business owner against his partners, including former D.C. Council member Michael A. Brown, for breach of fiduciary duty, intentional interference with prospective economic advantage, and other claims. After trial and numerous appeals, our client received a judgment in excess of $700,000 in compensatory and punitive damages. Articles about this case appeared in the Washington Post, Washington Times, and Washington City Paper.
Represented a Shaw neighborhood beauty parlor operator and longtime staple of the community when her landlord sold its building to a developer. When the developer tried to cancel our client’s lease we successfully leveraged our knowledge of the law and the support of the community to negotiate an agreement that provided our client with a storefront in the new building at below-market rent and reimbursement for buildout costs. Our client’s new business was recently showcased by the Washington Post, which can be read here.