An administrative law judge has recommended that a senior manager at the Defense Logistics Agency be fired and another demoted for making "highly offensive anti-Semitic remarks" about a Jewish employe.
In the first case of religious discrimination brought by the Merit Systems Protection Board's office of special counsel, the judge recommended dismissal for Dennis L. Zimmerman, who is DLA's senior study director for supply management.
The judge also recommended that Michael Pouy, a DLA supply manager, be demoted from a GS-14 to a GS-11 for at least three years and fined $1,000.
Both recommendations, made in an opinion last Friday by chief administrative law Judge Edward J. Reidy, must be approved by the three-member merit board.
Reidy found that Zimmerman and Pouy repeatedly harassed Wallace H. Weiss, a DLA employe who has since transferred to an Army job. The judge also found that Zimmerman illegally retaliated against Weiss after Weiss complained about the harassment.
Weiss was subjected to "outright and persistent religious slurs," the judge said.
He cited testimony that indicated Zimmerman and Pouy had referred to Weiss, who was reared in an orthodox Jewish family, as "resident Jew," "Jew fag" and "rich Jew."
In one instance, the judge said, the office planned an Easter pageant and mock crucifixion, and focused on Weiss, the office's only Jew, as the one who would be "nailed to the cross."
"It was clear that Weiss was most uneasy in this unpleasant situation . . . certain eyewitnesses never considered the mockery to be at all humorous," Reidy wrote.
" . . . What went on here was not lighthearted office joshing or parochial humor. What happened here was a travesty -- a shower of scorn and taunts -- which created a work environment teeming with harassment, disrespect and ridicule."
Days after Weiss complained about this treatment, Reidy said, Zimmerman handed Weiss a lengthy list of performance shortcomings, and began to criticize him loudly in the office.
Later he gave Weiss a minimally acceptable rating. Reidy called this "nothing short of a classic example of retaliation," saying there is "no credible evidence" that Weiss' performance had declined.
A DLA spokesman said neither the agency nor Zimmerman and Pouy would comment because the case is continuing.