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  Candidate For County Prosecutor’s Office Failed To Appropriately Exhibit Six Suitability Dimensions...In Addition To His Composure (Namely His Propensity To Cry) While At FBI Training Academy  
  Martin Desmond’s Inability To Sleep Became Exacerbated:   September 24, 2020 Edition  
     BY JOHN A. DARNELL JR.
      associate editor
      A candidate for Mahoning County Prosecutor, Martin Desmond, of Ridgely Park, Poland, Oh., once sued the United States Department of Justice after he failed to graduate from the FBI Academy.
      After obtaining a law degree in 2003, Desmond was hired as an assistant Mahoning County prosecutor, but was fired by Prosecutor Paul Gains in Apr., 2017.
      In dismissing Desmond, Gains cited violations of various statutes and rules of professional conduct “by engaging in communications with adverse parties; knowingly making himself a witness to a lawsuit against the county, his superior and a fellow assistant prosecutor, uttering false claims of ethical violations against a fellow assistant prosecutor, causing a grievance to be filed against her,” and other things.
      Now Desmond is running against his former boss in the November general elections, while issues over his dismissal are still being contested in court.
      Gains, of Harrington Ave., Boardman, has served as Mahoning County Prosecutor for 23 years.
      Shortly before he was sworn into office in 1997, in the early morning hours of Christmas Day, 1996, an assassin broke into Gains home and shot him. He survived.
      Reputed Youngstown mobster Lenine Strollo said that he had Gains shot in late 1996 for refusing to cooperate with the mob.
      Desmond also had a close encounter with crime, as he notes frequently---In Dec., 1997, while alone in his mother’s home, he was held at gunpoint and led around his mother’s house by an armed robber, who was later revealed to be the ‘Tommy Hilfiger rapist,’ a man who had raped several women in the area.
      After his attempted assassination, Gains, a former Youngstown police officer, was sworn in as Mahoning County Prosecutor.
      After his encounter with the alleged rapist, Desmond accepted a job as a financial assistant with the FBI in Cleveland; and prior to accepting that position, he applied to become an FBI agent. In Dec., 1999, he was notified he was to undergo training at the FBI Academy in Quantico, Va.
      A court document in Desmond’s suit against the Department of Justice notes while in training, Desmond broke an ankle, and was ‘recycled’ into another training class, where he was informed he would be rated on six ‘suitability’ dimensions, including conscientiousness, emotional maturity, initiative, integrity and honesty and judgement.
      Once training was completed, Desmond told the FBI that he wanted to be assigned to the FBI’s Cleveland office “because he was worried about his mother’s safety in light of the Dec., 1997 incident.”
      Instead, Desmond was slated for assignment to the Chicago FBI office, so he filed a ‘hardship claim’ to be assigned to the FBI’s Cleveland office.
      The FBI denied Desmond’s request, noting it did not qualify under their policy for a hardship transfer.
      In his suit against the Department of Justice, Desmond claimed he had experienced “sleeplessness” since the Dec., 1997 incident, and when he was ordered to go to Chicago, his sleeplessness was exacerbated.
      Desmond told the court that before receiving notification to go to the FBI Academy, he slept an average of three to five hours a night, and after he received the training orders he began to sleep an average of just two to four hours a night; and that “fear, anxiety and guilt, from which he suffered since the...rapist incident grew even stronger upon learning of his orders to Chicago,” apparently to the point that Desmond began to suffer from PTSD.
      According to a federal court document, an FBI agent said that Desmond exhibited a “perceived change in demeanor,” and suggested he seek the aid of the Employee Assistance Program (EAP).
      Desmond said he had met with the EAP and “received a diagnosis of PTSD.”
      On Sept. 18, 2000, according to a court document, an FBI agent sent a memorandum to Assistant Director Jeffrey Higginbotham, concluding that Desmond “failed to appropriately exhibit the six suitability dimensions...in addition to his composure (namely his propensity to cry), attitude, diligence, maturity, and/or emotional stability in relation to his ankle injury...”
      Ten days later, Higgenbotham recommended Desmond’s removal as an FBI agent, “based upon his lack of emotional maturity and cooperativeness.”
      On Nov. 6, 2000, Desmond was notified he was being removed from the FBI’s New Agents Training Program, and was given the option of returning to his former position as a financial analyst in Cleveland.
      “Should you choose not to return to that position, you are hereby dismissed from the rolls of the FBI,” Desmond was informed in an official letter by Michael E. Varnum, deputy assistant director/personnel officer of the FBI.
      The letter, according to a court document, detailed a number of issues regarding Desmond’s suitability, including his performance as “lax and unreliable” when he was assigned to a switch-board duty at the academy, as well as “his sulking behavior upon receiving his orders.”
      “Several instances were reported to me where your work ethic at the switchboard was not proper,” Varnum said, adding “For example, instead of enhancing your skills on the switchboard, you decided to play solitaire on the computer. You also failed to assist another telephone operator who was busy with at least five, other calls. Rather than helping the operator, you carried on a private conversation with another person at the main desk. During one particular shift, you left the switchboard for a one and a half hour dinner break, however no dinner break was scheduled for that shift. You performed in a lax and unreliable manner by leaving another employee alone to work the switchboard for such an extended period of time.”
      In a federal court action, Desmond claimed he was a victim of discrimination, in violation of the Rehabilitation Action of 1973.
      Desmond argued he had a mental impairment that substantially limited one of his “major life activities...specifically that his PTSD limited his ability to sleep.”
      A opinion by United States District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly said that “It should be noted that not only does sleeping comprise a substantial percentage of the average person’s day, it is also necessary for survival. With the indispensable nature of sleep in mind, this court adopts the view...that sleeping is a major life activity.”
      The Judge noted that Desmond was unable to demonstrate that his PTSD substantially limited his ability to sleep, “thus he does not have a disability as defined by the Rehabilitation Act.”
      On Nov. 14, 2000, Desmond resigned from the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
 
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