- Posted June 13, 2008 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Black in America
- Paul Ryan and GOP: Out of Touch in 2012 and Now
- Review of Tyler Perry Presents "PEEPLES"
- President Obama Forget RICH & WHITE Americans FIGHT for Black/Hispanics American NOW
- Connection between the New York Times Op-Ed “Gitmo is Killing Me” and Boston Marathon Terrorist Attack?
- Faith Shaking Moment: US Supreme Court Refusal to Hear My Discrimination Case
A Black Woman's Personal Cry For Justice and Entitled NYS Disability Retirement Benefits Part I
For me being black in America is living on a fixed income from Social Security Disability and not receiving entitled NYS disability retirement income. For me being black in America means not having enough money to buy gas and pay my bills. To be Black in America for me is a twelve-year battle to receive justice for employment discrimination and retaliation.
In October 1997, I filed a Pro-Se Title VII (discrimination) lawsuit against NYSDOCS. On November 2, 1998, I was terminated from my Correctional Officer's position at Albion CF. On February 19, 1999, I filed a thirty-paged amended complaint. I filed the amended complaint after Judge Elfvin the judge assigned to my case granted my motion to amend my complaint. According to Elfvin's court order I could only allege retaliation and not discrimination by NYSDOCS for terminating me on November 2, 1998.
Eliot Spitzer is the poster child for hypocrisy. He is the former governor of New York State. Spitzer was forced to resign as governor of NY after it was revealed that he was involved with a prostitution ring. Spitzer was the Attorney General of NYS when a member of his staff, Mike Russo, Assistant NYS Attorney General, filed seven perjured declarations in federal court. Mary Beth Lindsay, NYS DOCS Senior Personnel Clerk and Lee Gould, NYS DOCS Director of Personnel signed two of the perjured declarations.
Mike Russo, NYS Assistant Attorney General's perjured declaration and memorandum of law contained the following argument in response to my claim that my November 2, 1998, termination was in retaliation because I filed a lawsuit:
In regard to the Category 1 claim, for retaliatory termination from employment, it is undisputed that DOCS had a legitimate non-discriminatory reason to terminate the Plaintiff's employment with DOCS. Plaintiff was placed by DOCS on an involuntary leave of absence from employment due to her refusal on various occasions to be examined by Employee Health Services, as she was required to do pursuant to Civil Service Law 72.1. The Plaintiff appealed this decision, and a hearing pursuant to Civil Service Law 72 was scheduled to determine if she was able to perform the full duties of a Correction Officer. The Plaintiff also refused to attend the hearing, and it was the Hearing Officer's determination, after a hearing at which evidence was presented, that the Plaintiff could not perform the duties of a Correction Officer. Based on the conclusions of the Report and Recommendation of Howard A. Rubinstein, the Plaintiff was terminated from employment on December 7, 1998. DOCS has demonstrated - -under the McDonnell-Douglas test - that it had a legitimate, non-discriminatory basis for terminating the Plaintiff's employment.
The Supreme Court of the United States of America refused to review my Pro-Se case. On November 4, 2002, The Court issued an order that upheld the Second Circuit Court of Appeals decision not to reverse the district court summary judgment order including my retaliatory termination claim, that dismissed my case.
In 2005 after feeling helpless and hopeless for years I decided to contact the District Attorney's Office in Buffalo, NY in order to have perjury charges filed against Mike Russo, NYS Assistant Attorney General and State of NY employees
Lee Gould, Director of Personnel, African-American A. Andrews, Superintendent, Sergeant William Reed, Jerald Goncalves, Diversity Management, and James Berbary, Deputy Superintendent of Administration who lied in their sworn declarations and/or depositions
On May 28, 2005, an Erie County, N.Y. Assistant District Attorney reviewed my documentation of multiple perjury allegations against NYS Attorney General's Office and various NY employees. The Erie County District Attorney told me that the statute of limitations on perjury is 5 years. The declarations were submitted in September and November 2000 and the perjured depositions were recorded on October 98 and June 8, 2000.
After his reviewed the Assistant District Attorney referred me to the US Justice Department. I contacted the United States Justice Department and at their telephone request e-mailed extensive documentation on May 29, 30, and 31, 2005.
In July 2005 , Jane Wolfe and Allison Gioia both US Justice Department attorneys, reviewed my perjury allegations and direct evidence supporting the allegations. The United States Justice Department attorneys informed me that they were referring my case to the FBI for an investigation. I telephoned the FBI and was told that they could not confirm or deny the fact that my allegations were being investigated because of confidentiality rules.
It is my belief that the FBI and President Bush's United States Justice Department did not charge anyone with perjury in my case because I am black. The decision not to hold the New York State Attorney General's Office to the same standard as Barry Bonds is another example of racism in this country.
To be black in America is living with the reality of the unjust denial of my disability retirement application.
On December 21, 2007, I mailed a certified letter return receipt requested to Governor Spitzer. The letter was received by at the Governor's office on December 27, 2007. Former Governor Spitzer or his staff did not respond to the following letter:
Dear Governor Spitzer:
Re: Vera Richardson vs. New York State Department of Corrections and New York State Department of Civil Service 97-cv-818
Please find enclosed a copy of my book titled "A Case of Racial Discrimination and Retaliation Real or Imagined" I am giving you a copy of my book in an effort to give you the opportunity to rectify the unjust denial of my disability retirement application. The denial of my application for disability retirement was just one of the unfair employment actions I suffered while employed with New York State Department of Correctional Services.
It is my belief that New York State Department of Correctional Services was judicial estoppel from claiming that my disability retirement application was denied because I was not disabled from performing the duties of a correctional officer. This belief is based on the fact that NYSDOCS successfully argued and prevailed in my Title VII lawsuit.
As you know judicial estoppel is an estoppel, which precludes a party from taking a position in a case, which is contrary to a position they have taken in an earlier proceeding. New York State Department of Correctional Services' prevailing legal position in the Title VII lawsuit stated that I was terminated because I could not perform the duties of the position of correctional officer. Please read chapter eighteen of "A Case of Racial Discrimination and Retaliation Real or Imagined" for my complete judicial estoppel position.
NYS Department of Correctional Service Was Therefore, Judicial Estoppel from Claiming That My Disability Retirement Application Was Denied Because I Was Not Disabled From Performing The Full Duties of A Correctional Officer.
As the Governor of New York State you are in a unique position to make me a whole person. I am requesting that you take the necessary actions to award me retroactive disability retirement benefits and any other compensation that you may deem appropriate. Your prompt attention to this matter is greatly anticipated and appreciated.
After Spitzer resignation on April 18, 2008, and in July 2009 I emailed Governor Paterson seeking his assistance in getting my disability retirement application denial reversed and approved. On or about May 16, 2008, I telephoned Patterson's office and was told that the Governor was aware of my letter and that he would respond to my request in the future. As of today date August 7, 2009, Governor Patterson office has not responded to my letter and I have no justice and no peace.