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Home / Complaints / Final Orders / Final Orders 2009 / FCHR Order No. 09-051

FCHR Order No. 09-051

Date of Release: 06/03/2009








FCHR Case No. 2008-00593



DOAH Case No. 08-3934


FCHR Order No. 09-051




Preliminary Matters

Petitioner Peggy E. Chester filed a complaint of discrimination pursuant to the Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992, Sections 760.01 - 760.11, Florida Statutes (2005), alleging that Respondent Broward Outreach Center / Miami Rescue Mission committed unlawful employment practices on the basis of Petitioner’s race (Black) by subjecting Petitioner to different terms and conditions of employment, harassment, suspension and termination. Petitioner also alleged unlawful retaliation.

The allegations set forth in the complaint were investigated, and, on July 10, 2008, the Executive Director issued his determination finding that there was no reasonable cause to believe that an unlawful employment practice had occurred.

Petitioner filed a Petition for Relief from an Unlawful Employment Practice, and the case was transmitted to the Division of Administrative Hearings for the conduct of a formal proceeding.

An evidentiary hearing was held by video teleconference at sites in Tallahassee and Miami, Florida, on October 23 and 24, 2008, before Administrative Law Judge Patricia M. Hart.

Judge Hart issued a Recommended Order of dismissal, dated March 31, 2009.

The Commission panel designated below considered the record of this matter and determined the action to be taken on the Recommended Order.

Findings of Fact

We find the Administrative Law Judge’s findings of fact to be supported by competent substantial evidence.

We adopt the Administrative Law Judge’s findings of fact.

FCHR Order No. 09-051

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Conclusions of Law

We find the Administrative Law Judge’s application of the law to the facts to result in a correct disposition of the matter.

We adopt the Administrative Law Judge’s conclusions of law.


Petitioner filed exceptions to the Recommended Order in a document entitled, “Written Exceptions,” received by the Commission on April 15, 2009. The document contains twelve numbered paragraphs. This document was treated by the Commission as an ex part communication and was published and provided to Respondent in a Notice of Ex Parte Communication, issued by the Commission on April 20, 2009.

With regard to exceptions to Recommended Orders, the Administrative Procedure Act states, “The final order shall include an explicit ruling on each exception, but an agency need not rule on an exception that does not clearly identify the disputed portion of the recommended order by page number or paragraph, that does not identify the legal basis for the exception, or that does not include appropriate and specific citations to the record.” Section 120.57(1)(k), Florida Statutes (2007); see, also, Bartolone v. Best Western Hotels, FCHR Order No. 07-045 (August 24, 2007).

A review of Petitioner’s exceptions document suggests that it does not comply with this statutory provision.

Nevertheless, it can be said that each of the twelve numbered exception paragraphs in the document generally excepts to facts found, facts not found, and / or inferences drawn from the evidence presented.

The Commission has stated, “It is well settled that it is the Administrative Law Judge’s function ‘to consider all of the evidence presented and reach ultimate conclusions of fact based on competent substantial evidence by resolving conflicts, judging the credibility of witnesses and drawing permissible inferences therefrom. If the evidence presented supports two inconsistent findings, it is the Administrative Law Judge’s role to decide between them.’ Beckton v. Department of Children and Family Services, 21 F.A.L.R. 1735, at 1736 (FCHR 1998), citing Maggio v. Martin Marietta Aerospace, 9 F.A.L.R. 2168, at 2171 (FCHR 1986).” Barr v. Columbia Ocala Regional Medical Center, 22 F.A.L.R. 1729, at 1730 (FCHR 1999). Accord, Bowles v. Jackson County Hospital Corporation, FCHR Order No. 05-135 (December 6, 2005).

Petitioner’s exceptions are rejected.


All motions pending before the Commission are disposed of by this Order.

The Petition for Relief and Complaint of Discrimination are DISMISSED with prejudice.

FCHR Order No. 09-051

Page 3

The parties have the right to seek judicial review of this Order. The Commission and the appropriate District Court of Appeal must receive notice of appeal within 30 days of the date this Order is filed with the Clerk of the Commission. Explanation of the right

to appeal is found in Section 120.68, Florida Statutes, and in the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure 9.110.

DONE AND ORDERED this 3rd day of June , 2009.


Commissioner Gilbert M. Singer, Panel Chairperson;

Commissioner Onelia A. Fajardo; and

Commissioner Anice R. Prosser

Filed this 3rd day of June , 2009,

in Tallahassee, Florida.


Violet Crawford, Clerk

Commission on Human Relations

2009 Apalachee Parkway, Suite 200

Tallahassee, FL 32301

(850) 488-7082

Copies furnished to:

Peggy E. Chester

1441 Northwest 137th Street

Miami, FL 33167

Broward Outreach Center / Miami Rescue Mission

c/o William O. Solms, Esq.

DeMahy, Labrador, Drake, Payne & Cabeza, P.A.

Alhambra Centre-Penthouse

150 Alhambra Circle

Coral Gables, FL 33134

Patricia M. Hart, Administrative Law Judge, DOAH

James Mallue, Legal Advisor for Commission Panel

FCHR Order No. 09-051

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I HEREBY CERTIFY that a copy of the foregoing has been mailed to the above listed addressees this 3rd day of June , 2009.

By: _____________________________

Clerk of the Commission

Florida Commission on Human Relations