Darby v. Cisneros, 509 U.S. 137, 5 (1993)

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Cite as: 509 U. S. 137 (1993)

Opinion of the Court

procurement contracts and in any nonprocurement transaction with any federal agency. See 24 CFR 24.200 (1992).

Petitioners' appeals of the LDP and of the proposed debarment were consolidated, and an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) conducted a hearing on the consolidated appeals in December 1989. The judge issued an "Initial Decision and Order" in April 1990, finding that the financing method used by petitioners was "a sham which improperly circumvented the Rule of Seven." App. to Pet. for Cert. 69a. The ALJ concluded, however, that most of the relevant facts had been disclosed to local HUD employees, that petitioners lacked criminal intent, and that Darby himself "genuinely cooperated with HUD to try [to] work out his financial dilemma and avoid foreclosure." Id., at 88a. In light of these mitigating factors, the ALJ concluded that an indefinite debarment would be punitive and that it would serve no legitimate purpose; 6 good cause existed, however, to debar petitioners for a period of 18 months.7 Id., at 90a.

Under HUD regulations,

"The hearing officer's determination shall be final unless, pursuant to 24 CFR part 26, the Secretary or the Secretary's designee, within 30 days of receipt of a request decides as a matter of discretion to review the finding of the hearing officer. The 30 day period for deciding whether to review a determination may be extended upon written notice of such extension by the Secretary or his designee. Any party may request such a review in writing within 15 days of receipt of the hearing officer's determination." 24 CFR 24.314(c) (1992).

6 According to HUD regulations, "[d]ebarment and suspension are serious actions which shall be used only in the public interest and for the Federal Government's protection and not for purposes of punishment." 24 CFR 24.115(b) (1992).

7 The ALJ calculated the 18-month debarment period from June 19, 1989, the date on which the LDP was imposed. The debarment would last until December 19, 1990.


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