Appeal from the District Court of the United States for the Eastern District of Wisconsin - No. 72 C 322 John W. Reynolds, Judge.
Maris, Senior Circuit Judge,*fn1 Cummings and Pell, Circuit Judges.
In this action brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983, plaintiff, a detective employed by the Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Police Department, sought a declaratory judgment that Rule 29, Section 31, of that Department's Rules and Regulations be declared unconstitutional. He also sought the revocation of an April 6, 1972, order of the defendant Chief of Police finding him guilty of violating the rule and ordering his suspension for five alternate regular off days. Finally, plaintiff sought to recover "an amount equal to his regular rate of pay for all the time worked on his regular five (5) off days," plus interest.
Rule 29, Section 31, provides as follows:
"Members of the [Police] Department shall not solicit or make contribution in money or other thing, directly or indirectly on any pretext to any person, committee, or association, for political purposes, nor shall they interfere or use the influence of their office for political reasons " (emphasis added).
On March 3, 1972, plaintiff sent the following letter to 54 Milwaukee police officers holding lesser positions:*fn2
"Dear Fellow Police Officer:
"Attorney John J. Valenti is a candidate for the office of [County] Supervisor in your district. As you are probably aware, he is the personal attorney for many police officers.
"John has been both my friend and my attorney for more than 15 years. Based on that relationship, I can assure you that he is a man of high integrity, ability and dedication. He is highly qualified for the office he seeks and can best represent your interests in that capacity.
"I strongly urge you, your family, your neighbors and your friends to consider him when you cast your ballot on Tuesday, March 7, 1972.
Detective -- Milwaukee ...