United States District Court, E.D. North Carolina, Western Division
RAYMOND J. TAHIR, Plaintiff,
JEFFERSON B. SESSIONS, in his official capacity as Attorney General of the United States,  Defendant.
C. DEVER III Chief United States District Judge
August 31, 2016, Raymond J. Tahir ("Tahir" or
"plaintiff') a former supervisory investigative
specialist with the Federal Bureau of Investigation
("FBI") filed a Title VII national origin
discrimination action against defendant. See [D.E. 1]. On
January 5, 2017, defendant moved to dismiss the complaint for
failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted
[D.E. 12] and filed a memorandum in support [D.E. 13]. See
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). On January 26, 2017, Tahir responded
in opposition [D.E. 14]. As explained below, the court grants
the motion to dismiss and dismisses the complaint without
October 6, 1986, Tahir began working for the FBI in New York
as a clerk in the NCIC Editorial Staff Unit of Technical
Services. Compl. [D.E. 1] ¶¶ 6-7. Tahir is an
American citizen of Turkish decent and identifies as an Arab
American. Id. ¶¶ 5, 9. From July 1987
until July 1996, Tahir worked in the New York Division's
Special Surveillance Group ("SSG"). Id.
1996, the FBI promoted Tahir to Supervisory Investigative
Specialist and transferred him to Dallas, Texas. See
Id. ¶ 10. The FBI issued Tahir a
government-issued credit card for incidental work expenses.
Id. ¶ 11. Tahir sometimes used the credit card
for "non-work purposes and paid off the statements
2000, the FBI disciplined Tahir and several other employees
in his division for improperly using their government-issued
credit cards. Id. ¶ 12. Tahir admitted to using
the card for personal purposes and received a three-day
suspension. Id. "This was the only time prior
to his termination at issue in this case that... Tahir was
disciplined." Id. In June 2005, the FBI
transferred Tahir to Charlotte, North Carolina, where he
served as a Mobile Surveillance Team Leader. Id.
¶ 13. In 2006, the FBI promoted Tahir to Supervisory
Investigatory Team Leader. Id. Starting in 2007,
Tahir began to experience financial stress. Id.
¶ 14. From 2007 through 2011, Tahir used his
government-issued credit card to make "roughly 200"
personal purchases. Id. ¶ 14.
2010, the FBI transferred Tahir to Raleigh, North Carolina so
that Tahir could be closer to bis children. See id ¶ 15.
Tahir stepped down in position to Supervisory Team Leader.
Id. On August 30, 2011, Assistant Special Agent in
Charge ("AS AC") James E. Jewell learned that
Tahir's government-issued credit card had a balance of
$9, 294.87. Id. ¶ 18. An audit revealed 233
purchases for personal use over a four-year period.
Id. ¶ 19. Three of the purchases were in
Dearborn, Michigan for $1, 250.99, and Tahir denies making
those purchases. Id. ¶ 19.
September 1, 2011, Tahir met with ASAC Jewell, Tahir's de
facto supervisor Jennifer McMillan, and Acting Supervisory
Special Agent Robert Creager to discuss the purchases. See id
¶¶ 16, 20. On September 14, 2011, the FBI formally
notified Tahir that it had started an internal investigation
of Tahir for Misuse of a Government Charge Card-Personal Use
and Lack of Candor/Lying-No Oath. See Id. ¶ 21.
November 9, 2011, FBI internal investigators (including SSA
Chaney) presented Tahir with his credit card statements. See
Id. ¶ 22. Tahir noticed the three purchases in
Dearborn, Michigan and denied ever being in Dearborn,
Michigan or making those three purchases. See Id.
SSA Chaney responded that he had heard from several people in
the office that Tahir was from Dearborn, Michigan. See
Id. According to Tahir, Dearborn, Michigan is
significant to the FBI because "it is known as a hotbed
of terrorist activity in the United States. By linking ...
Tahir to Dearborn, he was marked as a threat to the integrity
of the [FBI]." Id. ¶ 23.
December 8, 2011, the FBI expanded its investigation to
include potential unauthorized gasoline purchases. See
Id. ¶ 24. On January 9, 2012, the FBI
informally notified Tahir that he was charged with Misuse of
a Government Charge Card (Theft) Gasoline or
Automated-Related Expenses due to the fuel purchases.
Id. ¶¶ 24, 31. The FBI questioned Tahir
about the fuel purchases, and he justified the vast majority
of them based on his cases. Id. ¶ 25. The FBI
never formally notified Tahir that he was charged with Misuse
of a Government Charge Card (Theft) Gasoline or
Automated-Related Expenses. Id.
end of the internal investigation, the FBI recommended
terminating Tahir's employement and submitted findings to
the FBI's Disciplinary Review Board. Id. ¶
26. On February 23, 2012, the FBI revoked Tahir's
security clearance, and he was suspended from work. W.
March 1, 2012, Tahir requested his day ledgers. Id.
¶ 27. The FBI provided several day ledgers, but not
those for dates relevant to the alleged fuel theft. See id
Later, the FBI advised Tahir that the missing day ledgers had
been shredded. Id. According to Tahir, the FBI
shredded those documents to ensure Tahir's employment
termination by depriving him of the ability to
defend against the alleged fuel theft. Id.
¶¶ 27-28. "Upon information and belief, other
non-white employees of various national origins were also
being targeted for increased discipline by Mrs. McMillan at
this time." Id. ¶29.
11, 2012, the FBI's Office of Professional Responsibility
("OPR") Adjudication Unit held an oral appeal
hearing at which Tahir and his representatives appeared.
Id. ¶ 30. At the hearing's outset,
Assistant Director Candace Will asked, " What kind of
name is Tahir?" Id. Tahir responded,
"Turkish. My father is Turkish." Id. Will
then asked if Tahir spoke the language. Id. Tahir
responded, "No." Id The FBI's OPR
Adjudication Unit upheld Tahir's dismissal, finding
termination appropriate for Lack of Candor/Lying-No Oath,
Misuse of a Government Charge Card-Personal Use, and Misuse
of a Government Charge Card (Theft) Gasoline or
Automated-Related Expenses. Id. ¶31.
14, 2012, the FBI notified Tahir that OPR's Adjudication
Unit upheld his dismissal. Id. ¶ 32. Tahir
appealed to the FBI's Human Resources Disciplinary Review
Board ("HRDRB"). Id. On January 9, 2013,
HRDRB staff sent a memorandum to the HRDRB recommending
affirming Tahir's dismissal. Id. ¶ 33. The
memorandum noted that the standard penalty for Lack of
Candor/Lying-No Oath and for Misuse of a Government Charge
Card-Personal Use was, respectively, a seven-day suspension.
Id. The memorandum also stated ...