The opinion of the court was delivered by: Aspen, District Judge:
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Plaintiffs, twenty-two deputy sheriffs in Lake County, Illinois,
brought this action for declaratory, injunctive, and monetary relief on
behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated*fn1 against
defendants, Thomas Brown ("Brown") as Sheriff of Lake County, Donald Krok
("Krok") as Chairman of the Lake County Sheriff's Office Merit
Commission, and Lake County itself, alleging that the defendants violated
plaintiffs' rights under the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the United
States Constitution and the Civil Rights Act of 1871, as amended,
42 U.S.C. § 1983, 1985. Jurisdiction is asserted pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 1331, 1343(4), 2201, 2202.
Plaintiffs allege that Sheriff Brown has harassed, intimidated,
disciplined, punished, and otherwise affected their employment without a
hearing and in violation of their constitutional rights because
plaintiffs exercised their rights of free speech and association and
refused to do political work for Brown before and after his election as
Sheriff in November, 1978. Plaintiffs further allege that those officers
in the Sheriff's office who supported Brown and actively politicked on
his behalf have received favored treatment by way of jobs, assignments,
and promotions. The complaint also alleges that Krok and the Merit
Commission failed to provide a hearing concerning disciplinary actions
taken by Brown against the plaintiff deputies and have refused to act on
a petition submitted by the plaintiffs requesting that such a hearing be
held. Lake County is apparently charged with liability solely based on
the actions of its officials, Sheriff Brown and Chairman Krok.
There are four motions pending before the Court at the present time.
Mr. Miles J. Zaremski of the law firm of Fohrman, Lurie, Sklar, Cottle,
Ltd., has moved his appointment as a special state's attorney for the
purpose of representing Krok because of an asserted conflict of interest
arising from the Lake County State's Attorney's representation of both
Krok and Sheriff Brown. Lake County has moved to dismiss the complaint as
to itself for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted
pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6). Brown has filed a motion to strike
or, in the alternative, for a more definite statement pursuant to
Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(e) and (f). Finally, the Lake County State's Attorney
has filed a motion to dismiss Krok from this case pursuant to Rule 12
(b)(6), purportedly on behalf of Krok. These motions will be considered
in order below.
Appointment of Special State's Attorney
Mr. Miles J. Zaremski has filed a motion for leave to file an
appearance as a special state's attorney on behalf of Krok as Chairman of
the Merit Commission. Mr. Fred L. Foreman, State's Attorney of Lake
County, Illinois, opposes Zaremski's motion on the ground that as chief
legal officer of Lake County he is solely responsible for representing
county officials in any litigation to which they are parties. Foreman
maintains that there is no conflict of interest in his representation of
both Krok and Brown in the case at bar.
In support of his motion on Krok's behalf, Zaremski argues that there
is an actual conflict of interest between Krok and Brown with regard to
the alleged unlawful political activity in the Lake County Sheriff's
office that precludes their joint representation by a single attorney in
the instant case. During the past year, Krok and Brown have had several
public disagreements as reported in the press regarding allegations of
unlawful political activity of certain persons in the Sheriff's office,
including the actions of Sheriff Brown himself. In several cases filed in
Illinois state court in the past year involving charges of unlawful
political activity and alleged political firings in the Lake County
Sheriff's office, Zaremski has been retained by Krok and the Merit
Commission as special counsel while Brown has been represented by the
State's Attorney precisely because of the asserted conflict of interest
between the parties. See Schrader v. Krok, No. 80-CH-296 (Circuit Court
of Lake County); Winstead v. County of Lake, No. 80-MR-294 (Circuit Court
of Lake County). In Winstead, Zaremski apparently obtained leave to file
his appearance as special counsel on behalf of Krok without objection
from State's Attorney Foreman.
As a result of their differing views of the alleged political activity
in the Sheriff's office, a considerable ammosity and divergence of
interest has built up between Krok and Brown. In the instant action, Krok
maintains that he would file an answer to the complaint since, in his
view, it adequately states a cause of action. The State's Attorney's
Office, however, has filed a motion to dismiss the complaint as to Krok
for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, apparently
without any consultation with the purported client. Thus, even at this
preliminary stage of these proceedings, there does not appear to be that
identity of interest or cooperation between and among the defendants and
the State's Attorney that would justify their joint representation.
[1, 2] This Court has the inherent authority to regulate the conduct of
the members of the bar who have occasion to practice before it.
Schloetter v. Railoc of Indiana, Inc., 546 F.2d 706, 710 (7th Cir.
1976); Cannon v. U.S. Acoustics Corp., 398 F. Supp. 209 (N.D.Ill. 1975).
After a thorough review of the legal memoranda and other materials
submitted by the parties, the Court finds that the Lake County State's
Attorney is unable to adequately represent the conflicting interests of
both Sheriff Brown and Chairman Krok in the context of this litigation.
Accordingly, the Court will allow Mr. Zaremski to file his appearance as
special counsel for Krok.
This conclusion is consistent with several letters of opinion*fn2
issued in recent months by the Lake County State's Attorney himself as
well as the Code of Professional Responsibility*fn3 which binds lawyers
for the government no less than lawyers in private practice. United
States v. Velsicol Co., No. 80 CR 299, slip op. at 7 (N.D.Ill., January
13, 1981) (Leighton, J.). Moreover, Illinois law provides that
"[w]henever the . . . State's Attorney is . . . unable to attend . . .
the court where said cause or proceeding is pending may appoint some
competent attorney to prosecute or defend such cause or proceeding and
the attorney so appointed shall have the same power and authority in
relation to such cause or proceeding as the . . . State's Attorney would
have. . . ." Ill. Rev.Stat. ch. 14, § 6 (1979).*fn4
Accordingly, Zaremski's motion for leave to file his appearance as a
special state's attorney on behalf of Krok is granted. It is so ordered.
Lake County's Motion To Dismiss
Defendant Lake County has moved to dismiss the complaint as to itself
on the ground that the complaint fails to state a claim upon which relief
may be granted. The county contends that its liability is premised upon
the doctrine of respondeat superior which clearly runs afoul of Monell
v. Department of Social Services of the City of New York, 436 U.S. 658,
98 S.Ct. 2018, 56 L.Ed.2d 611 (1978). Plaintiffs concede "that the
original complaint, which names the County of Lake as a defendant, is
inartfully drafted as to the County of Lake, and fails to allege
sufficient facts upon which a claim can be based against it." Plaintiffs'
Response To Motion To Dismiss at 2, paragraph 1. Plaintiffs, however,
request leave to amend their complaint in order to state a valid claim
against the county.