[Federal Register: June 16, 1998 (Volume 63, Number 115)]
[Page 32867]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]



Arbitration Panel Decision Under the Randolph-Sheppard Act

AGENCY: Department of Education.

ACTION: Notice of Arbitration Panel Decision Under the Randolph-
Sheppard Act


SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given that on January 20, 1998, an 
arbitration panel rendered a decision in the matter of Wayne Coxey 
versus State of Washington Department of Services for the Blind (Docket 
No. R-S/96-6). This panel was convened by the U.S. Department of 
Education pursuant to 20 U.S.C. 107d-1(a), upon receipt of a complaint 
filed by petitioner, Wayne Coxey.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: A copy of the full text of the arbitration 
panel decision may be obtained from George F. Arsnow, U.S. Department 
of Education, 600 Independence Avenue, SW., Room 3230, Mary E. Switzer 
Building, Washington, DC 20202-2738. Telephone: (202) 205-9317. 
Individuals who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) may 
call the TDD number at (202) 205-8298.
    Individuals with disabilities may obtain this document in an 
alternate format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer 
diskette) on request to the contact person listed in the preceding 

Electronic Access To This Document

    Anyone may view this document, as well as all other Department of 
Education documents published in the Federal Register, in text or 
portable document format (pdf) on the World Wide Web at either of the 
following sites:


    To use the pdf you must have the Adobe Acrobat Reader Program with 
Search, which is available free at either of the previous sites. If you 
have questions about using the pdf, call the U.S. Government Printing 
Office toll free at 1-888-293-6498.
    Anyone may also view these documents in text copy only on an 
electronic bulletin board of the Department. Telephone: (202) 219-1511 
or, toll free, 1-800-222-4922. The documents are located under Option 
G-Files/Announcements, Bulletins and Press Releases.

    Note: The official version of this document is the document 
published in the Federal Register.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Pursuant to the Randolph-Sheppard Act (20 
U.S.C. 107d-2(c)), the Secretary publishes in the Federal Register a 
synopsis of each arbitration panel decision affecting the 
administration of vending facilities on Federal and other property.


    In September 1994 the State Licensing Agency (SLA) offered 
complainant an opportunity to operate a cafeteria in the Washington 
State Department of Licenses in Olympia, Washington. Two months after 
Mr. Coxey began operating the Highway Licenses Building cafeteria, the 
building's tenant committee began to complain about Mr. Coxey's 
operation of the vending facility. The complaints included allegedly 
unsanitary food preparation practices, poor selection of food items, 
questionable pricing practices, rude service, a disrespectful and 
disgruntled attitude toward employees and customers, and inconsistent 
hours. Earlier in the year, because of similar problems with Mr. Coxey 
at another facility, the SLA barred him from continuing to operate that 
    Following a meeting among Mr. Coxey, the tenant committee, and the 
SLA, the cafeteria operation improved. However, by May 1995, the tenant 
committee complained that the service had again deteriorated to an 
unsatisfactory level. Subsequently, the building's tenant committee 
contacted the SLA and again requested improvement in the cafeteria 
    The SLA met with complainant and prepared a corrective action plan 
to bring about improvements. The corrective action plan requested that 
Mr. Coxey improve the following: Hours of operation, health and 
sanitary practices, food handling and storage, customer and employee 
relations, consistent refund policy, and the submission to the SLA of 
timely profit and loss statements.
    On September 19, 1995, the SLA met with Mr. Coxey to discuss the 
implementation of the corrective action plan. Complainant rejected the 
plan. Following that meeting, the tenant committee requested that the 
SLA remove Mr. Coxey from the cafeteria. On November 2, 1995, the SLA 
removed him and on December 22, 1995, the SLA issued to Mr. Coxey a 
letter sustaining the removal. Mr. Coxey appealed his termination and 
requested and received a full evidentiary hearing, which was held on 
January 24, 1996. In an opinion dated February 13, 1996, the 
Administrative Law Judge affirmed the SLA's decision to suspend Mr. 
Coxey's operating agreement and remove him from the cafeteria, and on 
February 27, 1996, the SLA terminated his vending operator's license. 
It was that decision that Mr. Coxey sought to have reviewed by a 
Federal arbitration panel. A hearing was held on February 24 and 25, 

Arbitration Panel Decision

    The issue before the arbitration panel was whether the SLA acted 
reasonably and within the scope of its authority under the Act and 
regulations when it removed Mr. Coxey from the Highway Licenses 
Building cafeteria and terminated his vending license. On the basis of 
the evidence presented at the hearing, the majority of the panel ruled 
that Mr. Coxey was hostile toward every attempt to improve the 
operation of the cafeteria. The panel further concluded that 
complainant had rejected the SLA's attempts to have him conform to the 
SLA's rules and regulations governing the vending facility program in 
the State of Washington.
    The majority of the panel ruled that retaining the complainant as a 
licensee would jeopardize the credibility of the Randolph-Sheppard 
program. The panel found that the SLA had acted correctly and within 
the scope of its authority when it removed Mr. Coxey from the cafeteria 
and terminated his vending operator's license.
    One panel member dissented.
    The views and opinions expressed by the panel do not necessarily 
represent the views and opinions of the U.S. Department of Education.

    Dated: June 11, 1998.
Judith E. Heumann,
Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services.
[FR Doc. 98-15946 Filed 6-15-98; 8:45 am]