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CARLTON v. RYAN

February 26, 1996

LYNDA CARLTON, Plaintiff,
v.
JACK RYAN, Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Resolution Trust Corporation, Defendant.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: NORGLE

 CHARLES R. NORGLE, SR., District Judge:

 Before the court is the motion for summary judgment of Defendant Jack Ryan, the Chief Executive Officer of the Resolution Trust Corporation ("RTC"). The RTC is an agency of the Federal Government which manages the affairs of failed financial institutions. 12 U.S.C. § 1441a(b). Plaintiff Lynda Carlton brings this suit pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. See 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-16(e). For the reasons that follow, the motion is granted.

 I.

 Carlton claims she is the victim of discrimination at the hands of a federal government employer. Her employer, the RTC, explains that Carlton's problems on the job resulted from her own cantankerous attitude and incompetent conduct, and nothing more. Litigants should be reminded that federal courts "do not sit as a super-personnel department that reexamines an entity's business decisions." Kahn v. United States Secretary of Labor, 64 F.3d 271, 280 (7th Cir. 1995) (quoting McCoy v. WGN Continental Broadcasting Co., 957 F.2d 368, 373 (7th Cir. 1992)).

 In her pro se Complaint, Carlton protests that the RTC (and tour other defendants who were dismissed later) discriminated against her due to her race and gender, and retaliated against her because she filed a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"). Since that time, she has been appointed counsel, who have performed their duty professionally. The RTC filed a motion for summary judgment and a Local Rule 12(M) Statement to which appointed counsel responded and filed a Local Rule 12(N) Statement. Based on these submissions, the court first retells the undisputed facts pertaining to the cardinal dates, then some facts concerning Carlton's work with the RTC.

 Carlton, a certified public accountant, began working for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation on August 13, 1990, as a temporary accountant. Her temporary position was to last one year, concluding on August 12, 1991. In October 1990, Carlton filed an EEOC charge which the parties settled on December 14, 1990. In December 1990, Carlton's division was placed under the jurisdiction of the RTC. Carlton was made a group leader in the accounts payable unit. On February 19, 1991, Carlton petitioned to reopen her EEOC charge. In April 1991, the RTC tended to Carlton a memorandum dated March 18, 1991, and entitled "Plan for Corrective Action." The memorandum recognized and addressed her poor performance and attitude problems. The next day, April 4, 1991, Carlton called in sick. She returned over two months later on June 17, 1991, as a part-time employee, and she returned to full-time duty a month later. Carlton had been at work full-time for one week when she was informed of the decision not to renew her temporary appointment.

 The record is replete with the reviews of those who examined this matter. After the end of her one-year term, on August 15, 1991, Carlton filed yet another charge of discrimination with the EEOC. The RTC hired an outside contractor to investigate her accusations of discrimination. Then, on December 8 and 11, 1992, an administrative law judge ("ALJ") conducted hearings wherein nine witnesses testified. In a thirty-one page recommendation filed on March 30, 1993, the ALJ endorsed a finding of no discrimination as to Carlton's charges based on gender, race, and reprisal. Next, on July 6, 1993, the RTC issued a five page decision adopting the ALJ's recommendation. Carlton appealed to the EEOC. On May 26, 1994, the EEOC issued its own decision which consisted of twelve pages and affirmed the RTC's conclusions. Carlton filed this federal case on June 30, 1994, within the ninety-day requirement of 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(f)(1). See Sanders v. Venture Stores, Inc., 56 F.3d 771, 775 (7th Cir. 1995).

 Carlton did not dispute many of the most damaging statements submitted by the RTC, only the characterizations attached to them. Throughout her employment, Carlton's attitude and performance were uniformly criticized by the RTC and non-RTC personnel. Non-RTC people with whom Carlton worked testified that Carlton was difficult, disorganized, inconsiderate, and rude. RTC's regional financial officer evaluated Carlton, commented that she had poor interpersonal skills, and wrote:

 
In the six years that I have been responsible for directing well over 300 bank closings, I have never encountered the complaints and criticisms on any one DACS professional that have surfaced as a result of this one closing you were in charge of. I find the comments made by professional individuals outside the Corporation as well as those of other Divisions as embarrassing and disturbing to the reputation of our organization and the staff of professionals we entrust to handle Pro Forma duties.

 (Def.'s Ex. 22.) At one closing, a manager removed Carlton from her assignment because of the problems she was causing. The manager had never removed someone in over thirty closings. She testified that Carlton caused the staff to reach levels of frustration that she had not encountered before. On her third closing, the pro forma manager at that time reported that Carlton lacked enthusiasm and organization (Pl.'s ex. 4 at 39), and did not complete some of her assigned tasks (id. at 41).

 On another occasion, a regional accountant assigned to assist and supervise Carlton reported that other employees complained about the way Carlton dealt with them. The regional accountant observed how Carlton was abrupt and short with the staff, and acted superior to them. She added that a Pro Forma Manager must demonstrate professionalism and foster goodwill, and that Carlton was not able to act as such. In fact, Carlton's attitude and interpersonal communication problems were the worst that the accountant had seen on forty-eight closings. Similarly, a claims and settlement specialist found Carlton to be uncooperative, unprofessional, difficult to work with, and rude. And those who worked for Carlton agreed that she was disorganized, difficult to work for, not easy to talk with, and treated them terribly.

 Carlton's lack of professionalism extended beyond incivility. Her supervisor once penned a memorandum to her demanding an explanation after he discovered that she misrepresented being current with her work. Three days later, the same supervisor appraised her work in a memorandum and explained that Carlton acted "impudently" towards him, indifferently to his requests, dilatory, "aloof," ...


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