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ALBAMONTE v. BICKLEY

October 18, 1983

THOMAS J. ALBAMONTE, PLAINTIFF,
v.
JAMES BICKLEY, CHIEF OF POLICE OF THE VILLAGE OF FRANKLIN PARK, AND BOARD OF FIRE AND POLICE COMMISSIONERS OF THE VILLAGE OF FRANKLIN PARK, DEFENDANTS.



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

MEMORANDUM ORDER

Before the Court is defendants' motion to dismiss the Amended Complaint pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. For the reasons stated herein, defendants' motion to dismiss is granted.

I. Procedural History

On February 11, 1980, Thomas Albamonte filed this action against his former employers, James Bickley, Chief of the Franklin Park Police Department, and the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners of the Village of Franklin Park ("the Board"). On June 4, 1980, the Court, upon defendants' motion, dismissed Albamonte's complaint with prejudice for failure to state a claim. In an unpublished opinion dated October 7, 1982, the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit reversed this Court's June 4, 1980 decision and remanded the case for further proceedings. Although not disagreeing with this Court's ruling that Albamonte's original complaint failed to state an actionable claim, the Court of Appeals held that it was error to deny Albamonte an opportunity to amend his complaint pursuant to Rule 15(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Accordingly, the case was remanded to permit Albamonte to amend his complaint in an attempt to plead a cognizable cause of action.

Since remand, Albamonte filed an Amended Complaint on February 18, 1983. After defendants filed a motion to dismiss the Amended Complaint, Albamonte filed a motion for leave to file a Second Amended Complaint. Albamonte withdrew his motion on August 4, 1983. On August 18, 1983, Albamonte filed "amendments" to the Amended Complaint. The Amended Complaint, filed February 18, 1983, and as "amended" August 18, 1983, is now before the Court on defendants' renewed motion to dismiss.

II. Facts

The following facts are alleged in the Amended Complaint (including "amendments" filed August 18, 1983). For purposes of this motion, the Court assumes they are true. City of Milwaukee v. Saxbe, 546 F.2d 693, 704 (7th Cir. 1976).

Prior to November 7, 1979, Albamonte was employed as a patrolman for the Village of Franklin Park Police Department. His status on the force was probationary. On October 17, 1979, while off duty, Albamonte's vehicle was struck by a hit-and-run driver. During Albamonte's pursuit of the driver, his gun accidentally discharged. The bullet struck the ground.

On October 25, 1979, Albamonte was contacted by his supervisors in conjunction with Albamonte's failure to report the discharge to his superiors. Although Albamonte initially denied that his weapon had discharged, on October 26, 1983, he admitted to his superiors that the incident occurred. On November 7, 1983, Bickley advised Albamonte that the Board, at a closed meeting, had decided to terminate Albamonte's employment. Bickley then informed Albamonte that Albamonte had the choice of resigning or being fired. Albamonte chose resignation and signed a resignation letter that was prepared by Bickley. Although Albamonte later attempted to revoke his resignation, Bickley did not honor his request.*fn1

After his termination, Albamonte applied for unemployment compensation benefits from the Illinois Department of Labor. On November 19, 1979, the Village of Franklin Park, through its attorney, filed an objection to Albamonte's claim. In its two-page letter to the Illinois Department of Labor, the Village falsely stated that Albamonte was discharged from his job because of criminal conduct.*fn2 After the Department of Labor issued its decision, the Village filed an appeal on December 9, 1979. The appeal constituted a three-page letter addressed to the Department of Labor. In that letter, the Village falsely accused Albamonte of

  failing to file reports, misstating and prevaricating about
  occurrences under investigation, using obscene and abusive
  language, and brandishing and discharging his service revolver
  in a manner likely to cause death or great bodily injury
  without legal justification.

Amended Complaint, filed August 18, 1983, Exhibit D, at 2. On January 10, 1980, the Department of Labor ruled that Albamonte was discharged from the police force due to misconduct on the job and therefore not eligible for benefits from November 4, 1979, through December 15, 1979.

Albamonte now seeks the following relief: (1) a "name clearing hearing" for the purpose of correcting his personnel and unemployment compensation records; (2) a declaratory judgment that defendants' conduct deprived Albamonte of a liberty interest in violation of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments; (3) an order ...


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