he applied directly and immediately to this Court for relief, he
has sufficiently explained his delay in filing. Daly's claim is
not barred by laches or estoppel and may proceed as to Count I.
Michael Bruen, like Gurgone and Daly, first attempted to obtain
compliance with the settlement order through his attorneys. When
this proved unsuccessful, Bruen contacted his supervisor, an
approach which also failed. Between January, 1981, and his
termination in September, 1983, Bruen apparently did nothing in
the way of improving his situation.
Bruen's inactivity for roughly 32 months is not excused by any
explanation contained in the record. Like Gurgone, Bruen has
failed to sustain his burden of explaining the delay in filing
the instant lawsuit. Therefore, this Court holds Bruen's claims
to be barred by laches.
As to each plaintiff the defendants have moved to dismiss Count
II. The defendants argue, and this Court agrees, that Count II
alleges no facts or conduct in addition to that alleged in Count
I and that Count II is merely duplicative of Count I.
Count II alleges that by terminating the plaintiffs in 1983,
the City was again in violation of the Shakman decree and that
such terminations were "the direct result of the defendants'
placement of the plaintiffs in economically expendable positions
due to their political affiliations." No allegation of conduct,
aside from the terminations from expendable positions, is made.*fn2
It is well settled that an individual may be terminated from
employment for a valid reason, even if an invalid reason for such
termination exists. This is so as long as the invalid reason is
not the motivating factor behind the discharge. Mount Healthy
City School District Board of Education v. Doyle, 429 U.S. 274,
97 S.Ct. 568, 50 L.Ed.2d 471 (1977); Nekolny v. Painter,
653 F.2d 1164 (1981). In the case at bar, Count II alleges that the
plaintiffs were discharged from expendable positions and that the
placement of the plaintiffs in such positions was politically
motivated. As the Court reads Count II, the portion dealing with
the motivation for placement of the plaintiffs in expendable
positions is actually a reassertion of the behavior alleged in
Count I. No new conduct is alleged; instead, it is claimed that
the plaintiffs' discharges arose from their being placed in
expendable positions, thus constituting not new Shakman
violations but continuing violations of the Court's prior orders.
As such conduct is addressed in Count I, the only new allegation
is that the plaintiffs were discharged from admittedly expendable
positions. This alone is clearly not actionable under Shakman.
Count II should therefore be dismissed as to all plaintiffs.
Defendants Pounian and Washington
The defendants have moved to dismiss defendants Pounian and
Washington because of the lack of specific allegations of
personal involvement on the part of these defendants. Because
this motion is unopposed, it is granted and defendants Washington
and Pounian are hereby dismissed.
Verification of the Complaint
The defendants have also moved to dismiss the complaint because
it is not verified. Under U.S.Dist.Ct.-N.D.Ill.Civil Rule 18,
proceedings for civil contempt shall be initiated by affidavit.
As the plaintiffs' complaint does not meet this requirement,
leave will be given to verify the complaint within 30 days
For the reasons stated herein, all claims as to plaintiffs
Gurgone and Bruen are dismissed. As to plaintiffs Daly and
Carroll, only Count II is dismissed. Thus, as
to plaintiff Daly, the defendants' Motion to Dismiss Count I is
denied. Defendants Washington and Pounian are hereby ordered
Because the claims of the remaining plaintiffs are separate and
distinct, their claims are hereby ordered severed. The claim of
plaintiff Daly shall remain under the instant case number and
leave is hereby given to Daly to verify his complaint within 30
days of this order.
The claim of plaintiff Carroll is hereby dismissed with leave
given to file a verified complaint under a separate case number
within 30 days of this order.
IT IS SO ORDERED.