Appeal from the Circuit Court of Sangamon County; the Hon.
CREEL DOUGLASS, Judge, presiding. Order adverse to defendants
The circuit court of Sangamon County, by its order in this mandamus and declaratory judgment proceeding, ordered the plaintiffs restored to positions as Park Supervisor I and Park Supervisor II in the Department of Conservation from the date of August 21, 1961. The order further provided for the payment of certain back salaries, and as a declaratory judgment determined that the layoff of the plaintiffs as a result of job abolition was illegal and void and that the plaintiffs were entitled to wages and salaries from the date of discharge to the date of ordered reinstatement.
An appeal was perfected to the Supreme Court on the ground that state revenue was involved. That Court caused the appeal to be transferred here. Our holding (62 Ill. App.2d 27, 210 N.E.2d 336 (1965)), that the Administrative Review Act provided plaintiffs with an exclusive remedy, was reversed by the Supreme Court of Illinois. Chestnut v. Lodge, 34 Ill.2d 567, 216 N.E.2d 799 (1966). On remandment from that Court we now consider the merits of the controversy.
The plaintiffs, employees of the Department of Conservation of the State of Illinois in the job classifications of Park Supervisor I and Park Supervisor II, held positions under and subject to the provisions of the Personnel Code. (Ill Rev Stats 1961, c 127, pars 63b101 et seq.)
In July of 1961 the Director of the Department of Conservation, by a letter addressed to the Director of the Department of Personnel, recommended the abolition of the above positions. That letter was as follows:
"In accordance with Rule 24.2 of the Personnel Manual of Rules, I would like to recommend that the following positions in our Division of Parks and Memorials be abolished.
"The position of Park Supervisor II, including any unassigned job allocations, is to be discontinued. Present employees working on those particular job classifications are Mr. Robert Emmings, who was certified September 2, 1958, and Mr. James McMillen, who was certified May 24, 1961.
"This Department also recommends that the position of Park Supervisor I, including any unassigned position allocations, is to be abolished. Those presently employed in this category are:
Louis Grampp Certified 8/8/58 William Chestnut Certified 4/16/59 Davis Garner Certified 8/8/58 Leonard B. Brantley Certified 8/8/58 Mike McClatchey Certified 8/8/58 John Jerome Certified 8/8/58 William A. Watts Not Certified
"The above recommendations are made as a result of a personnel survey made at the request of Governor Kerner and in accordance with the recommendations of the survey committee, the Department concurs in the recommendation of the survey group and would recommend that the classifications mentioned be permanently abolished. The committee determined that geographic assignment of these various positions and the manner in which the supervisors were functioning did not contribute to an efficient administration of the State Parks system. The job descriptions on these positions are obviously misleading in that at the present time a $150.00 per month increase is recommended for the Supervisor I level and a $210.00 per month increase for the Supervisor II level. It is obvious that the present supervisor structure in the Division of Parks is improperly classified and the assignment by geographic areas is unsound.
"The Survey Committee consisted of Mr. Rhodell E. Owens, Director, Peoria Pleasure Driveway and Park District; Mr. Kenneth R. Cougill, Director of the Division of State Parks, State of Indiana; Mr. David H. Fritz, Superintendent of Parks, Highland Park, Illinois; and Mr. Arthur L. Janura, a Technician from the Cook County Forest Preserve District organization. This Committee made other recommendations other than the abolishment of these positions but they were emphatic in their recommendation pertaining to the unstable supervisory organization within the Division of Parks.
"It is my recommendation, and I request your approval, to abolish the present positions of Park Supervisor I and II, and I am attaching Personnel Forms 103 and request your approval of the layoff of the personnel involved.