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Home / Complaints / Final Orders / Final Orders 2013 / FCHR Order No. 13-021

FCHR Order No. 13-021

Date of Release: 03/11/2013

STATE OF FLORIDA

COMMISSION ON HUMAN RELATIONS

KATHERINE E. OTTO

EEOC Case No. NONE

Petitioner

FCHR Case No. 2011-02501

 

DOAH Case No. 12-2475

v.

 

DUVAL COUNTY PUBLIC SCHOOLS

FCHR Order No. 13-021

Respondent

 

FINAL ORDER DISMISSING PETITION FOR

RELIEF FROM AN UNLAWFUL EMPLOYMENT PRACTICE

Preliminary Matters

Petitioner Katherine E. Otto filed a complaint of discrimination pursuant to the Florida Civil Rights Act of 1992, Sections 760.01 - 760.11, Florida Statutes (2010), alleging that Respondent Duval County Public Schools committed an unlawful employment practice on the bases of Petitioner’s race (white), age (DOB: 7-18-61), and sex (female) by terminating Petitioner from employment.

The allegations set forth in the complaint were investigated, and, on June 8, 2012, the Executive Director issued a 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 in Jacksonville, Florida, on November 1, 2012, before Administrative Law Judge Robert S. Cohen.

Judge Cohen issued a Recommended Order of dismissal, dated December 28, 2012.

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. 13-021

Page 2

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.

The Administrative Law Judge concluded that Respondent “may” be entitled to reimbursement of its legal fees, costs and expenses in defending this action, and that such determination could be made by filing an action, presumably with the Division of Administrative Hearings, under Section 120.595, Florida Statutes, or Section 57.105, Florida Statutes. Recommended Order, ¶ 81.

We note that awards pursuant to these two statutory sections are within the purview of the Administrative Law Judge and that the Commission does not have “final order” authority over awards made pursuant to these two statutory sections. See, Alexander v. Health Central Hospital, FCHR Order No. 11-035 (April 13, 2011) with regard to Section 120.595, Florida Statutes, and Michael v. Delta Health Group, FCHR Order No. 08-017 (February 26, 2008) with regard to Section 57.105, Florida Statutes.

With this comment, we adopt the Administrative Law Judge’s conclusions of law.

Exceptions

Neither of the parties filed exceptions to the Administrative Law Judge’s Recommended Order.

Dismissal

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

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 11th day of March , 2013.

FOR THE FLORIDA COMMISSION ON HUMAN RELATIONS:

Commissioner Gilbert M. Singer, Panel Chairperson;

Commissioner Onelia Fajardo-Garcia; and

Commissioner Michell Long

FCHR Order No. 13-021

Page 3

Filed this 11th day of March , 2013,

in Tallahassee, Florida.

____________/s/____________

Violet Crawford, Clerk

Commission on Human Relations

2009 Apalachee Parkway, Suite 100

Tallahassee, FL 32301

(850) 488-7082

Copies furnished to:

Katherine E. Otto

7740 Plantation Bay Drive, Apt. 407

Jacksonville, FL 32244

Katherine E. Otto

785 Oakleaf Plantation Parkway, Unit 814

Orange Park, FL 32065

Duval County Public Schools

c/o David J. D’Agata, Esq.

Office of the General Counsel

City of Jacksonville

117 West Duval Street, Suite 480

Jacksonville, FL 32202

Robert S. Cohen, Administrative Law Judge, DOAH

James Mallue, Legal Advisor for Commission Panel

I HEREBY CERTIFY that a copy of the foregoing has been mailed to the above listed addressees this 11th day of March , 2013.

By: ___________/s/__________

Clerk of the Commission

Florida Commission on Human Relations