Department of Labor: 05 002

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U.S. Department of Labor Administrative Review Board 200 Constitution Avenue, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20210 In the Matter of: LARRY EDMONDS, COMPLAINANT, v. TENNESSEE VALLEY AUTHORITY, TVA CHAIRMAN GLENN L. McCULLOUGH, JR., INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OF ELECTRICAL WORKERS, LOCAL UNION NO. 852, RESPONDENTS. ARB CASE NO. 05-002 ALJ CASE NO. 2004-CAA-15 DATE: July 22, 2005 BEFORE: Appearances: THE ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW BOARD For the Complainant: Edward A. Slavin, Esq., St. Augustine, Florida For
  U.S. Department of Labor Administrative Review Board200 Constitution Avenue, N.W.Washington, D.C. 20210 USDOL/OALJ   R EPORTER P AGE 1 In the Matter of:LARRY EDMONDS, ARB CASE NO. 05-002COMPLAINANT, ALJ CASE NO. 2004-CAA-15v.   DATE: July 22, 2005TENNESSEE VALLEY AUTHORITY,TVA CHAIRMAN GLENN L. McCULLOUGH,JR., INTERNATIONAL BROTHERHOOD OFELECTRICAL WORKERS, LOCAL UNIONNO. 852,RESPONDENTS.BEFORE: THE ADMINISTRATIVE REVIEW BOARD Appearances:  For the Complainant: Edward A. Slavin, Esq., St. Augustine, Florida For the Respondents: Thomas F. Fine, Esq., Tennessee Valley Authority, Knoxville, Tennessee FINAL DECISION AND ORDER DISMISSING APPEALB ACKGROUND   This case arose when the Complainant, Larry Edmonds, filed a complaint allegingthat the Respondent, Tennessee Valley Authority, violated the whistleblower protectionprovisions of the Clean Air Act (CAA). 1   On July 21, 2004, the Chief AdministrativeLaw Judge wrote a letter to Edmonds in which he stated: 1   42 U.S.C.A. § 7622 (West 2003). This provision prohibits employers fromdischarging or otherwise discriminating against any employee “with respect to theContinued . . .   USDOL/OALJ   R EPORTER P AGE 2 This is to Acknowledge receipt of a request, filed on yourbehalf by attorney Edward A. Slavin, Jr., pursuant to theFreedom of Information Act and the Privacy Act for alldocuments bearing your name. This request is containedwithin Mr. Slavin’s letter requesting a hearing in  Edmondsv. TVA, 2004-CAA-15.Attorney Slavin has been denied the authority to appear inany representative capacity before the Office of Administrative Law Judges. See In re: Slavin , 2004-MIS-2 (ALJ Mar. 31, 2004) (Order Denying Authority toAppeal). Thus, if in the future you wish to file FOIA orPrivacy Act requests with this office, you need to do sopersonally or using a representative other than Mr. Slavin.The Chief Administrative Law Judge then proceeded to respond to the FOIA request.On August 3, 2004, Edmonds filed an interlocutory appeal of the Chief Administrative Law Judge’s letter with the Administrative Review Board. 2   In responsethe Board issued an Order to Show Cause. The Board stated in this Order:The Secretary of Labor has delegated her authority to issuefinal agency decisions under the Clean Air Act, to theAdministrative Review Board. Edmonds has not cited to,nor is the Board aware of, any statute or regulation thatinvests the Board with authority to review an ALJ’s letter.Furthermore the Board does not generally give advisoryopinions. The ALJ’s letter refers to future requests forinformation that Edmonds may never make. Finally, onApril 29, 2005, the Board issued a Final Decision andOrder upholding the decision of Associate Chief Administrative Law Judge Thomas M. Burke suspendingSlavin’s authority to appear in a representative capacity ________________________ employee’s compensation, terms, conditions, or privileges of employment” because theemployee engaged in protected activities such as initiating, reporting, or testifying in anyproceeding regarding environmental safety or health concerns. See 29 C.F.R. § 24.2 (2004). 2   The Secretary of Labor has delegated her authority to issue final agency decisionsunder the CAA to the Board. Secretary’s Order 1-2002 (Delegation of Authority andResponsibility to the Administrative Review Board), 67 Fed. Reg. 64272 (Oct. 17, 2002); 29C.F.R. § 24.8(a).   USDOL/OALJ   R EPORTER P AGE 3 before the Office of Administrative Law Judges for at leastfive years from the date of Judge Burke’s decision. 3   Thus,in any event, Edmonds’s objection to the ALJ’s refusal toallow Slavin to represent him is now moot. 4  The Board ordered Edmonds to file his response to the Show Cause Order on orbefore June 22, 2005, but Edmonds failed to respond. D ISCUSSION   Edmonds requested the Board to review the ALJ’s letter informing Edmonds thathis counsel, Slavin, was not permitted to represent him and would not be permitted to filefuture FOIA requests with the Chief Administrative Law Judge. But Edmonds failed torespond to the Board’s Order directing him to demonstrate why his request was not mootgiven the Board’s affirmance of the order denying Slavin the right to represent partiesbefore the Department of Labor’s Administrative Law Judges. Consequently, we DISMISS his   appeal. 5   SO ORDERED.OLIVER M. TRANSUEAdministrative Appeals JudgeM. CYNTHIA DOUGLASSChief Administrative Appeals Judge 3    In re: Edward A. Slavin, ARB No. 04-088, ALJ No. 2004-MIS-2. The Board hasalso suspended Slavin from practicing before it.  In re: Edward A. Slavin, ARB No. 04-172(Oct. 20, 2004). Accordingly, while we will consider documents Slavin has filed onEdmonds’s behalf at the Board prior to April 12, 2005, we will not permit him to representEdmonds or any other party (other than himself) before the Board after that date until theSupreme Court of Tennessee lifts its suspension. 4   Order To Show Cause (June 9, 2005). 5   We also note that the Board has previously dismissed an appeal filed by AttorneySlavin of an Administrative Law Judge’s “unfriendly letter” after Slavin failed to respond tothe Board’s order requiring the complainant to demonstrate that the Board had authority toreview the letter.  In re Somerson , ARB No. 03-068, ALJ Nos. 2002-STA-44, 2003-STA-11(Oct. 21, 2003). In Somerson , the Board noted, “Somerson has failed to cite to and the Boardis unaware of any statutory provision or regulation, which invests the Board with jurisdictionto review a Department of Labor Administrative Law Judge’s “unfriendly letter.” Slip op. at1-2.
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