MARTINSBURG – A former employee is suing U.S. Customs & Border Protection after he claims it has not responded to his FOIA request he made nearly a year ago.
Dennis Finbarr Murphy was employed under a federal contract as an armed security guard at the CBP’s Advanced Training Center in Harpers Ferry until his termination in September 2014, according to a complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia.
Murphy claims he filed an EEO complaint against the CBP alleging he was subjected to disparate treatment and discriminated against due to his religion and the race and religion of his wife being different from the federal employee managers at the CBP who presided over his termination without cause.
The plaintiff submitted a FOIA request on Feb. 5, for release of records that either specifically mentioned his name or referred to him by a pronoun or referred to the plaintiff by his prior position as a federal contractor working for the CBP, according to the suit.
Murphy claims he submitted the FOIA request electronically, via e-mail, to the CBP and, by the end of April, he had not received anything other than a reply that they had received his request and he contacted the office of U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito seeking assistance and Capito’s office contacted CBP headquarters in Washington, D.C. seeking the status of the FOIA request.
On May 21, Michael J. Yeager, the assistant commissioner of the Office of Congressional Affairs for the CBP authored a letter of reply to Capito’s office and informed her office that the requests were processed in the order received and they would process the request as soon as possible, according to the suit.
Murphy claims he still has not received any of the documents he requested in his FOIA request, even though it has been ten months since he made the request.
Murphy is seeking an order from the court for the defendant to produce the documents and to pay court costs. He is representing himself.
The case is assigned to District Judge Gina Groh.
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia case number: 3:15-cv-00133