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The Peo. Ex Rel. Adamowski v. Wilson

OPINION FILED DECEMBER 1, 1960.

THE PEOPLE EX REL. BENJAMIN S. ADAMOWSKI, STATE'S ATTORNEY, APPELLANT,

v.

ORLANDO W. WILSON ET AL., APPELLEES.



APPEALS from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. CORNELIUS J. HARRINGTON, Judge, presiding.

MR. CHIEF JUSTICE SCHAEFER DELIVERED THE OPINION OF THE COURT:

We have consolidated for review in this court four actions in quo warrantor which attack the reorganization of the police department of the city of Chicago which took place in March of 1960. The actions were instituted by the State's Attorney of Cook County. They question the power of the city to establish a Police Board to supervise and control its police department and they challenge the authority of the city council to abolish the office of commissioner of police prior to December 31, 1960. They also attack the qualifications of Franklin M. Kreml and Paul W. Goodrich to serve as members of the Police Board and the qualifications of Orlando W. Wilson to serve as administrator for the board and superintendent of police. After hearings the circuit court of Cook County dismissed the complaints and the plaintiff has appealed. We have jurisdiction on direct appeal because in one case the validity of a statute is involved, and in each of the other three cases the validity of a municipal ordinance is involved and the trial judge has certified that the public interest requires a direct appeal to this court. Ill. Rev. Stat. 1959, chap. 110, par. 75.

Early in January of 1960 serious charges of criminal misconduct were made against many members of the police department of the city of Chicago. The Commissioner of Police resigned, and an acting commissioner was appointed. The mayor of Chicago appointed an advisory committee composed of Orlando W. Wilson, dean of the School of Criminology of the University of California, General Franklin M. Kreml, head of the Transportation Center at Northwestern University, Virgil Peterson, executive director of the Chicago Crime Commission, Paul W. Goodrich, president of the Association of Commerce and Industry and president of the Chicago Title and Trust Company, and William L. McFetridge, president of the Building Service Employees International Union and vice-president of the AFL-CIO. This committee was charged with the duty of making policy recommendations concerning the organization and conduct of the police department, and recommending "the best qualified available man to be found in this country" to administer its affairs. The committee studied the problems of police administration in Chicago. It also interviewed 24 members of the Chicago police department, 3 other residents of Chicago, and 10 persons residing outside of Illinois. In addition, it considered 53 applications from, and nominations of, persons whom it did not consider qualified and did not interview. The committee's report to the mayor recommended the adoption of an ordinance establishing a Police Board at the head of the police department, and an administrator to administer the affairs of the department under the direction of the board. It recommended the appointment of Orlando W. Wilson as administrator.

On March 2, 1960, the city council adopted an ordinance which embodies the recommendations of the advisory committee. The ordinance established a Police Board of five members to be appointed by the mayor, by and with the advice and consent of the city council. It provided for staggered terms for the members of the board, who serve without compensation and "may be removed by the Mayor as provided by law."

Sections 11-3, 11-4 and 11-5 of the ordinance are as follows:

"Sec. 11-3. The Board shall have power to supervise and control the department and to make and enforce all necessary and desirable rules and regulations therefor, and direct the Superintendent of Police in the management of the department. It shall have such additional powers and perform such other duties as may be granted or imposed elsewhere by ordinance not in conflict herewith.

"Sec. 11-4. The Board shall make nominations for Superintendent of Police for approval and appointment by the Mayor.

"Sec. 11-5. The Superintendent of Police shall be the chief administrator of the police department under the direction of the Board. The Superintendent shall not be a member of the Board. The Board may issue instructions to the Superintendent concerning his exercise of any of the powers conferred upon him. The Board may remove the Superintendent for cause, provided that he shall be given previous written notice of the grounds of the proposed removal and an opportunity to be heard by the Board at a regular meeting."

On March 4, 1960, the mayor appointed Paul W. Goodrich, Morgan Murphy, Franklin M. Kreml, Theophilus M. Mann and William L. McFetridge as members of the Police Board, and the city council approved the appointments. The Board organized, selected Franklin M. Kreml as its president and transmitted to the mayor its nomination of Orlando W. Wilson as Administrator and Superintendent of Police. The mayor appointed the Board's nominee.

The most fundamental of the objections raised by the plaintiff is that the city of Chicago lacks the power to establish a Police Board with authority to supervise and control its police department, and we turn at once to that problem. The plaintiff's position is that by statute the city is required to vest responsibility for police administration in an individual officer and may not vest that responsibility in a board of officers. The relevant statutory provisions are contained in sections 9-14, 9-16, 23-1, and 23-78 of the Revised Cities and Villages Act. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1959, chap. 24, pars. 9-14, 9-16, 23-1, and 23-78.) In pertinent part they read as follows:

"9-14. By ordinance passed by a two-thirds vote of all the aldermen elected, the city council, in its discretion, may provide for the election by the electors of the city, or for the appointment by the mayor, with the approval of the city council, of a city collector, a city marshal, a city superintendent of streets, a corporation counsel, a city comptroller, or any of them, and any other officers which the city council considers necessary or expedient. * * *."

"9-16. * * * The city council, by ordinance not inconsistent with this Act, may prescribe the duties, define the powers, and fix the term of office of all such officers; but the term of office shall not exceed that of the mayor."

"23-1. The corporate authorities of a municipality shall have the powers enumerated in Sections ...


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