Chequita McGowan, et al v. HUD, et al

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Chequita McGowan, et al v. HUD, et al Doc. 0 Case: 10-30084 Document: 00511188553 Page: 1 Date Filed: 07/29/2010 IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS United States Court of Appeals FOR THE FIFTH CIRCUIT Fifth Circuit FILED July 29, 2010 N o . 10-30084 S u m m a r y Calendar Lyle W. Cayce Clerk C H E Q U I T A T. MCGOWAN, Housing Authority of New Orleans (HANO) E m p lo y e e ; TRUDY BARTHE-CHARLES, Housing Authority of New Orleans (H A N O ) Employee; MICHAEL MOSLEY, Housing Authority of New Orleans (H A N O ) Employee; NADJA CARR, Housing Authority of New Orleans (H A N O ) Employee; SANDRA SWEETWYNE, Housing Authority of New O r le a n s (HANO) Employee; DENNIS BLOSSOM, Housing Authority of New O r le a n s (HANO) Employee; MACARTHUR SAMUELS, Housing Authority of N e w Orleans (HANO) Employee; JOMO KENYATTA-BEAN, Housing A u t h o r it y of New Orleans (HANO) Employee & Employee Relations C o m m it t e e President, Plaintiffs - Appellants v. U N IT E D STATES DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN D E V E L O P M E N T ; DEPARTMENT OF STATE CIVIL SERVICE, STATE OF L O U IS IA N A , D e fe n d a n t s - Appellees ___________________________________________________ J O M O KENYATTA-BEAN; CHEQUITA T. MCGOWAN P la in t iffs - Appellants v. DEPARTMENT OF STATE CIVIL SERVICE, STATE OF LOUISIANA D e fe n d a n t - Appellee Dockets.Justia.com Case: 10-30084 Document: 00511188553 Page: 2 Date Filed: 07/29/2010 No. 10-30084 A p p e a l from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana N o . 2:08-CV-5241 B e fo r e JOLLY, WIENER, and ELROD, Circuit Judges. P E R CURIAM:* T h is is an appeal of the district court's dismissal of a pro se lawsuit by c u r r e n t and former employees of the New Orleans Housing Authority against t h e United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and t h e Louisiana Civil Service Commission (LCSC). Common to all plaintiffs are c la im s that HUD improperly exempted the Housing Authority of New Orleans (H A N O ) from Louisiana civil service laws and that LCSC improperly acceded to H U D 's action. d is m is sa l. W e first address HUD's liability. HUD took control of HANO, pursuant t o 42 U.S.C. 1437d(g). Under federal law, when HUD takes over a housing a u t h o r it y under 1437d(g), it may exempt the housing authority from state civil s e r v ic e rules if those rules "substantially impede[]" HUD's efforts to rehabilitate t h e housing authority. Id. 1437d(j)(3)(D)(i)(V). In April 2008, HUD exempted H A N O from Louisiana's civil service rules. The plaintiffs say this action was a r b it r a r y and capricious, in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act, but t h e undisputed facts do not support this view. HUD's action was based on a m e m o r a n d u m that outlined various impediments to HANO's mission, focusing e s p e c ia lly on compensation limits that kept HANO from hiring the employees it needed, such as project managers to rebuild housing stock depleted by As briefly explained below, we affirm the district court's Pursuant to 5TH CIR. R. 47.5, the court has determined that this opinion should not be published and is not precedent except under the limited circumstances set forth in 5TH CIR. R. 47.5.4. * 2 Case: 10-30084 Document: 00511188553 Page: 3 Date Filed: 07/29/2010 No. 10-30084 H u r r ic a n e Katrina, and substantial administrative burdens involved in both r e t a in in g necessary employees and terminating low-performing or unneeded e m p lo y e e s . This memorandum suffices to pass the deferential standard of r e v ie w for agency action. Turning to LCSC, once HUD properly exempted HANO from Louisiana's c iv il service laws, LCSC could no longer enforce those laws. Even assuming L C S C had a duty to try to convince HUD to change its decision to exempt H A N O , the plaintiffs point to no evidence that such efforts would have su cceeded. T h e judgment of the district court is AFFIRMED. 3

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