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Washington v. Civil Service Com.





APPEAL from the Circuit Court of Cook County; the Hon. JAMES C. MURRAY, Judge, presiding.


A police officer of the City of Evanston, John Washington (plaintiff), brought this action against the City and its Civil Service Commission (defendants) for administrative review of a decision affirming the suspension of plaintiff for 29 days. The trial court affirmed. Plaintiff appeals.

After an investigation by the Evanston Police Department, the chief of police informed plaintiff on February 8, 1979, that plaintiff was to be suspended for 29 days for violation of departmental rules of conduct. Plaintiff requested, and received, a hearing before the Evanston Civil Service Commission (Commission) to review his suspension.

At the hearing, Police Lieutenant Thomas Joyce testified that on June 29, 1978, he received a telephone call from a person identifying himself as the attorney for Lorelei Gilmore, who had been arrested by the Evanston police earlier that day. The attorney reported plaintiff had solicited Gilmore for sex after arresting her, and she had agreed to meet plaintiff later that evening. Joyce also received a call from Gilmore. She reiterated her charge of being solicited for sex by plaintiff in exchange for leniency. Police were dispatched to the place where plaintiff and Gilmore were supposed to meet, but plaintiff was not observed.

Police Sergeant Daniel Mangas testified that on June 29, 1978, at approximately 11 p.m., plaintiff approached his car. Plaintiff asked Mangas what he "thought of the Gilmore girl * * * as far as her looks." Plaintiff told him Gilmore was "receptive" to plaintiff, and asked whether it would be wise for plaintiff to "make contact" with her. Mangas advised plaintiff it could be a setup since Gilmore was then under arrest. Plaintiff left Mangas' car, stating he was going to a local restaurant.

Gilmore testified that on June 29, 1978, her car was stopped by Evanston police. She and two female companions were arrested for shoplifting. She rode alone with plaintiff in his squad car to the police station. Plaintiff told her he could help her out if she cooperated.

Gilmore was first kept in the squad room with the other arrestees. Plaintiff then took her alone into another room called the lunchroom. There, plaintiff told her he had sex in the lunchroom before. He solicited her for sex, implying if she refused, he would order her car dismantled. She agreed to cooperate, but refused plaintiff's request that she undress partially. She said she was afraid of someone else coming in. Shortly thereafter, a young woman and another police officer entered the lunchroom on different occasions, each remaining for a few minutes. After they left, plaintiff continued typing up a report and asking questions. Gilmore promised to meet plaintiff later when he was off duty. Gilmore stated she was kept in the lunchroom for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours before being returned to the squad room.

As Gilmore left the station after being admitted to bail, plaintiff walked her to her car. He told her his car was brown so she would recognize it when he drove up to her apartment building. When Gilmore arrived home, she called her attorney and the Evanston police. She reported in detail her allegations against plaintiff. She did not keep her appointment with plaintiff. She did not actually reside at the address taken by the police from her driver's license.

Robert Cummings, a licensed polygraph examiner, testified as to his training, clientele, experience, and professional affiliations. Over objection by counsel for plaintiff, the Commission permitted Cummings to testify as to the polygraph examination he had given to Gilmore on July 7, 1978. Cummings stated he asked Gilmore a series of questions pertaining to the details of her allegations against plaintiff. Her answers corroborated her previous statements. Cummings stated that as measured by the polygraph instrument itself, Gilmore told the truth as to each question.

A second polygraph examiner, Leonard Harrelson, testified as to his training, experience, clientele, and professional affiliations. Counsel for plaintiff stipulated as to polygraph methods in general, but requested testimony concerning the precise method used by Harrelson in testing plaintiff. Counsel for plaintiff repeated his objection concerning the admissibility of the polygraph examination and argued that plaintiff had not been provided legal counsel at the examination itself.

Harrelson testified he administered a polygraph test to plaintiff on September 28, 1978. Plaintiff did not sign a waiver or submit voluntarily to the test. Plaintiff had been ordered to take it by a superior officer. Harrelson stated plaintiff was asked a series of questions concerning details of the investigation that had been supplied by the police department. Through his answers, plaintiff denied Gilmore's allegations. In Harrelson's opinion, plaintiff's answers were "deceptive."

Police Officer Ronald Grinnel testified for plaintiff. Grinnel stated that on June 29, 1978, about 11 p.m., as he and plaintiff were leaving the station, plaintiff told Grinnel he was hesitant to go to his car. Plaintiff said he did not want the three female suspects, who had just been released, to see him enter his car.

Ray Strong, a civilian and former police sergeant, testified he had been in and out of the lunchroom several times during a 10-minute period on June 29, 1978, while plaintiff was in there with Gilmore. He heard no inappropriate conversation between them.

Plaintiff testified he brought Gilmore to the station at approximately 4 to 4:15 p.m. He immediately brought her into the lunchroom and handcuffed her to a chair. Plaintiff left the lunchroom, leaving Gilmore alone. All three prisoners were brought together into the squad room by 5:15 or 5:30 p.m. The prisoners were later taken to holding cells. Plaintiff was subsequently required to make several trips to the police department of a neighboring community.

Plaintiff went off duty at 11:05 or 11:10 p.m. Plaintiff walked with Officer Grinnel to the front of the station. He pointed out the three women as they were leaving, and told Grinnel he was not leaving then. Plaintiff went over to Sergeant Mangas' car and told him one of the three women "tried to make a pass" at him. Plaintiff asked Mangas if he thought Gilmore was "hot" or "nicelooking." Plaintiff said he wouldn't go out with someone like Gilmore. Plaintiff then went over to his own car, which was parked next to Gilmore's. Plaintiff stated he hadn't wanted the departing women to know his car, but admitted he had told a security guard where to park it when it was brought to ...

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