B-146521, AUG. 15, 1961

B-146521: Aug 15, 1961

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WHILE YOU WERE IN A LEAVE STATUS PENDING DISPOSITION OF AN INDICTMENT ON CHARGES THAT YOU ACCEPTED BRIBES DESIGNED TO INFLUENCE YOUR DECISION AS A CONSTRUCTION REPRESENTATIVE WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY. OF WHICH CHARGES YOU WERE ACQUITTED ON OCTOBER 29. YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED UPON THE BASIS THAT YOU WERE NEITHER REMOVED FROM THE SERVICE NOR SUSPENDED WITHOUT PAY. WHICH PROVIDES FOR PAYMENT OF SALARY TO EMPLOYEES DURING PERIODS OF IMPROPER REMOVAL OR SUSPENSION WITHOUT PAY WHO ARE RESTORED TO DUTY ON THE GROUND THAT SUCH REMOVAL OR SUSPENSION WAS UNJUSTIFIED OR UNWARRANTED. YOU NOW CONTEND THAT YOU WERE "FORCED" TO ACCEPT A LEAVE STATUS AND YOU REQUEST OUR OFFICE TO INVESTIGATE THE MATTER.

B-146521, AUG. 15, 1961

TO MR. PAUL C. MORAN:

YOUR LETTER OF JULY 15, 1961, REQUESTS REVIEW OF OUR OFFICE SETTLEMENT OF JUNE 20, 1961, WHICH DISAPPROVED YOUR CLAIM FOR PAY ALLEGED TO BE DUE FOR THE PERIOD NOVEMBER 1, 1958, TO NOVEMBER 3, 1959, WHILE YOU WERE IN A LEAVE STATUS PENDING DISPOSITION OF AN INDICTMENT ON CHARGES THAT YOU ACCEPTED BRIBES DESIGNED TO INFLUENCE YOUR DECISION AS A CONSTRUCTION REPRESENTATIVE WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF THE NAVY, OF WHICH CHARGES YOU WERE ACQUITTED ON OCTOBER 29, 1959.

YOUR CLAIM WAS DISALLOWED UPON THE BASIS THAT YOU WERE NEITHER REMOVED FROM THE SERVICE NOR SUSPENDED WITHOUT PAY, AND CONSEQUENTLY NOT ENTITLED TO THE BENEFITS OF THE ACT OF JUNE 10, 1948, 62 STAT. 354, WHICH PROVIDES FOR PAYMENT OF SALARY TO EMPLOYEES DURING PERIODS OF IMPROPER REMOVAL OR SUSPENSION WITHOUT PAY WHO ARE RESTORED TO DUTY ON THE GROUND THAT SUCH REMOVAL OR SUSPENSION WAS UNJUSTIFIED OR UNWARRANTED.

YOU NOW CONTEND THAT YOU WERE "FORCED" TO ACCEPT A LEAVE STATUS AND YOU REQUEST OUR OFFICE TO INVESTIGATE THE MATTER.

THE FOLLOWING EXCERPT IS QUOTED FROM A REPORT DATED MAY 11, 1961, FROM THE DISTRICT PUBLIC WORKS OFFICER, FIRST NAVAL DISTRICT:

"2. ON 30 OCTOBER 1958, MR. PAUL C. MORAN, AN EMPLOYEE OF THIS OFFICE, WAS INDICTED BY THE GRAND JURY OF THE U.S. DISTRICT COURT,BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS ON CHARGES OF ACCEPTING BRIBES TO INFLUENCE HIS OFFICIAL DECISIONS AS A CONSTRUCTION REPRESENTATIVE.

"3. ON THE SAME DATE, HE WAS ADVISED THAT IN VIEW OF THE INDICTMENT, AND THE SERIOUSNESS OF THE CHARGES INVOLVED, THE DISTRICT PUBLIC WORKS OFFICER INTENDED TO INITIATE ACTION TO SUSPEND HIM FROM DUTY PENDING THE OUTCOME OF THE CASE IN COURT. MR. MORAN INQUIRED WHETHER HE COULD OBTAIN A LEAVE OF ABSENCE PENDING DISPOSITION OF THE CASE AGAINST HIM, IN LIEU OF THE SUSPENSION. HE WAS TOLD THAT IF HE FILED A WRITTEN REQUEST FOR A LEAVE OF ABSENCE, IT WOULD BE CONSIDERED AND THAT HE WOULD BE INFORMED IN WRITING OF THE DECISION REACHED.

"4. BY ENCLOSURE (1), MR. MORAN REQUESTED THAT UPON THE EXPIRATION OF ALL HIS ACCRUED ANNUAL LEAVE, HE BE PLACED IN THE STATUS OF "LEAVE WITHOUT PAY" UNTIL THE CHARGES AGAINST HIM WERE ,PROVEN FALSE AND DISMISSED.' HIS REQUEST WAS APPROVED BY ENCLOSURE (2) AND HE WAS CARRIED IN A LEAVE WITH PAY STATUS UNTIL HIS ENTIRE ACCRUAL OF SICK AND ANNUAL LEAVE HAD BEEN USED. AT 1000 HOURS ON 30 DECEMBER 1958 HE WAS PLACED ON "LEAVE WITHOUT PAY" AND REMAINED IN THIS STATUS UNTIL 3 NOVEMBER 1959.'

COPIES OF THE REFERENCED ENCLOSURES ARE BEING SENT HEREWITH.

THE ESTABLISHED RULE OF OUR OFFICE IS TO ACCEPT THE REPORT OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE AGENCY ON DISPUTED QUESTIONS OF FACT IN THE ABSENCE OF EVIDENCE SUFFICIENT TO OVERCOME THE PRESUMPTION OF CORRECTNESS. YOU HAVE PRESENTED NO SUCH EVIDENCE. IN THE CIRCUMSTANCES, THEREFORE, OUR SETTLEMENT OF JUNE 20, 1961, MUST BE AND IS HEREBY SUSTAINED.