I received an order today from the Appeals Council that exemplifies the problem with the proposed settlement of the Padro class action. The order remanded an unfavorable decision from ALJ Hoppenfeld. Hoppenfeld’s conduct in this matter was even more reprehensible compared to the allegations asserted against her in the Padro class action complaint, which can be accessed via hypertext on my website’s “Padro Class Action” tab.
While the Appeals Council remanded the matter, it concluded that there was no bias because it myopically only considered the allegations in connection with the claimant’s individual case. I showed that Hoppenfeld’s countless gross violations of well settled hearing procedures, which the Appeals Council admitted resulted in a denial of Due Process, were the result of Hoppenfeld’s longstanding pattern and practice of biased decision making.
In other words, the Appeals Council did what is always does – it turned a blind eye to the fact that Hoppendfeld’s transparently wrong errors of fact and law were part of her general bias against claimants. The Padro settlement failed to achieve the goal of the action, which class counsel said was to remove the Queens Five. As a result, the Appeals Council will continue to bury its head in the sand when it reviewing decisions that were obviously the result of bias.