Charles Heckman
From: Charles Heckman
Date: Thursday, March 27, 2003 6:54 PM
To: USvets@v-r-a.org
Subject: Federal contractors & preference
Attached: Wapp12a.doc (34.6KB) Wapp12.doc (55.2KB) Briefmspb.doc (96.6KB)

   Thank you for the documents on Federal support for the Washington agencies.  However, the problem is not simply to identify the law and state the facts.  There is considerable political opposition to veteransí preference, so the government, including the courts, will take no action to enforce it.

   Right now, my Federal appeal concerning reprisal by the Pacific Northwest Research Station of the United States Forest Service is pending, and I have filed a lawsuit charging employment discrimination against two agencies of the State of Washington.  These are related in several ways.  Two Forest Service employees offered me $20,000 to withdraw from a Federal selection.  As a veteran I was blocking the list for the less qualified person the group wanted to hire.  I reported the offer, and the Forest Service was required to hire me.  However, they took reprisal for my whistleblowing, and the result was my appeal.  To find interim employment, I applied for several jobs with the State of Washington, and learned that the Forest Service was releasing false information about me to prevent me from being hired.

   Concerning the lawsuit against the State, all 12 jobs I applied for were financed directly or indirectly by the Federal Government.  The Washington Department of Ecology receives Federal funds amounting to about $25,000,000, and the Department of Fish and Wildlife had at least two Federally funded projects, one funded with $25,000,000 and the other with $55,000,000.  The Washington Employment Security Division also receives nearly $4 million per year from the U. S. Department of Labor to provide special employment services to veterans.  According to an investigator for the Washington Human Rights Division, the agencies wanted to appoint some of their employees to the Federally funded jobs because a cutback by the State was expected, and the employees would not face a RIF if the job was paid for by a Federal grant.  Therefore, the selections were a sham since the persons had already been selected before the job was announced.  The persons hired were marginally qualified.  Only one, chosen as an assistant director, had a masterís degree, and none had doctoral degrees.  None were veterans.  I have masterís and doctoral degrees in the fields the jobs cover and much more experience than the persons hired.  I served for two years in Vietnam and have a right to preference under Washington law.  Federal law also demands that I receive special consideration for jobs it funds.

   The U. S. Department of Labor has refused to do anything to enforce the part of the Federal Contract demanding special employment privileges for Vietnam Era and disabled veterans.  This left me on my own to file a pro se lawsuit.  Lawyers in the State of Washington do not want to get involved because they know that judges protect State agencies.  Within the past four years, the Washington Attorney General has spent more than $185,000 to fight four lawsuits filed by veterans against agencies of the State.  She has gotten one appeals court to declare the Washington State Veteransí Preference statute unconstitutional.  This same law was already declared to be constitutional in 1955.

   My lawsuit was dismissed last year without trial by the Superior Court of Thurston County, and it is now before the Court of Appeals, Division II, in Tacoma.  I have attached my brief for each case to show you what the issues are.  The cover sheet is mission from the MSPB appeal, which is now before the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

 

Sincerely,

Charles Heckman