Cleaton v. Dept. of Justice

In 2013, Cleaton, a Correctional Officer at the Federal Correctional Complex in Petersburg, Virginia, was indicted in Virginia state court on a felony charge for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. He pled no contest to the felony charge pursuant to a plea deal. The court deferred the imposition of the sentence “upon the condition that defendant cooperate fully with the requests for information made by the Probation Officer, who is directed to conduct a thorough investigation and to file a long-form presentence report with the Court.” Weeks later, the Bureau of Prisons proposed to remove Cleaton from his position pursuant to 5 U.S.C. 7371(b). The Merit System Protection Board upheld the removal, rejecting Cleaton’s claim that he had not been convicted of a felony. After Cleaton was removed, he obtained new counsel and entered into a revised plea agreement. The court clarified that, upon successful completion of the probation period, the charges against Cleaton will be dismissed. The Federal Circuit affirmed. An individual can be “convicted” for purposes of section 7371(b) “once guilt has been established whether by plea or by verdict and nothing remains to be done except pass sentence.” View "Cleaton v. Dept. of Justice" on Justia Law