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ZUREK v. HASTEN.

December 15, 1982

KENNETH ZUREK, PLAINTIFF,
v.
MICHAEL HASTEN, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Shadur, District Judge.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Kenneth Zurek ("Zurek") has filed this action against officials and employees of the Illinois Commerce Commission ("ICC"),*fn1 charging an array of torts and civil rights violations in connection with Zurek's discharge as an ICC accountant. Defendants have moved to dismiss all five counts of Zurek's current amended complaint filed July 22, 1982 (the "Complaint"). This opinion deals only with Counts II, III and IV:*fn2

    1. Count II, brought under 42 U.S.C. § 1983
  ("Section 1983"), charges that defendants'
  stigmatization of Zurek in connection with his
  discharge infringed Zurek's constitutionally
  protected liberty interests by foreclosing him from
  other employment opportunities.
    2. Count III is a pendent state law defamation
  claim.
    3. Count IV asserts the pendent tort claim of
  retaliatory discharge.

For the reasons stated in this memorandum opinion and order, defendants' motion is denied as to each of those counts.

Count II

Count II asserts Zurek was deprived of his constitutionally protected "liberty" because a derogatory letter placed in Zurek's personnel file*fn3 allegedly foreclosed, as the Court put it in Board of Regents v. Roth, 408 U.S. 564, 573, 92 S.Ct. 2701, 2707, 33 L.Ed.2d 548 (1972), "his freedom to take advantage of other employment opportunities." Specifically, Count 11 ¶¶ 11-12 allege the letter and the circumstances of his termination bar Zurek from Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") employment, and Count II ¶ 16 asserts Zurek's actual inability to obtain other professional employment since his termination.

Though Opinion I found comparable allegations sufficient to state a Section 1983 claim, defendants nevertheless advance several reasons for dismissing Count II:*fn4

    1. Zurek did not adequately allege the
  stigmatizing information was publicized.
    2. Zurek did not allege defendants' actions
  actually precluded him from securing employment.
    3. Zurek failed to request, and thus was never
  denied, a "name clearing" hearing.
    4. Zurek failed to attach a copy of Dimmick's
  letter as an exhibit ...

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