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VRDOLYAK v. CITY OF CHICAGO

November 27, 1984

PETER J. VRDOLYAK, PLAINTIFF,
v.
CITY OF CHICAGO, AN ILLINOIS MUNICIPAL CORPORATION; HAROLD WASHINGTON, MAYOR OF THE CITY OF CHICAGO; CHARLES A. POUNIAN, COMMISSIONER OF THE DEPARTMENT OF PERSONNEL OF THE CITY OF CHICAGO; AND HARRY L. MANLEY, ACTING COMMISSIONER OF THE DEPARTMENT OF INSPECTIONAL SERVICES OF THE CITY OF CHICAGO, DEFENDANTS.



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

MEMORANDUM ORDER

The above-captioned matter came before the Court for trial on the merits of plaintiff Peter J. Vrdolyak's Verified Complaint for violation of the provisions of this Court's consent decree entered on May 5, 1972, the terms of which, inter alia, permanently enjoin the City of Chicago and its Mayor from:

  conditioning, basing, or knowingly prejudicing or
  affecting any term or aspect of governmental
  employment, with respect to one who is at the time
  already a governmental employee upon or because of
  any political reason or factor.

Shakman v. Democratic Organization of Cook County, No. 69 C 2145, reprinted at, 481 F. Supp. 1315, 1356 app. (N.D.Ill. 1979) ("1972 Consent Decree"). The Court, having heard testimony on November 14, 1983, June 12, 1984, and June 14, 1984, and having reviewed exhibits and memoranda filed by the parties, does hereby enter the following findings of fact and conclusions of law pursuant to Rule 52(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

I. FINDINGS OF FACT

A. The Parties

1. Peter J. Vrdolyak ("Vrdolyak") is a resident, registered voter and taxpayer in Chicago, Illinois. Vrdolyak has been employed by the City of Chicago for over eight years and has served as Assistant Director of Technical Inspections in the Department of Inspectional Services from January 1, 1981, to November 9, 1983. After this Court entered and continued a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction on November 14, 1983, to enjoin defendants from terminating Vrdolyak, Vrdolyak has remained employed in his job title with the City of Chicago until the present time.

2. Defendant City of Chicago ("the City") is an Illinois municipal corporation.

3. Defendant Harold Washington ("Washington") is the Mayor of the City of Chicago.

4. Defendant Charles A. Pounian ("Pounian") is the Commissioner of the Department of Personnel for the City of Chicago.

5. Defendant Harry L. Manley ("Manley") is the Acting Commissioner of the Department of Inspectional Services for the City of Chicago.

B. Applicable Provisions of the Shakman Consent Decree

6. On May 5, 1972, a Consent Decree was entered in the case entitled Shakman v. Democratic Organization of Cook County, No. 69 C 2145 (N.D.Ill. 1972). Pursuant to Paragraph E(1) of 1972 Consent Decree:

  E. Each and all of the defendants and others are
  permanently enjoined from directly or indirectly in
  whole or in part:
    (1) Conditioning, basing or knowingly prejudicing
    or affecting any term or aspect of governmental
    employment with respect to one who is at the time
    already a government employee upon or because of
    any political reason or factor.

7. On June 20, 1983, a Consent Decree entitled "Judgment as to the City of Chicago and its Mayor" was entered in Shakman under which there were listed at Schedule G certain positions with the City of Chicago which were to be exempt from the requirements of Paragraph E(1) of the 1972 Consent Decree. Vrdolyak's position is listed as exempt on Schedule G.

8. Also on June 20, 1983, a Consent Decree entitled, "Order Retaining Jurisdiction as to City Exemptions," was entered under which this Court retained jurisdiction to allow City employees holding exempt positions under Schedule G to file petitions to contest the scheduling of their positions as exempt:

  By this Order, the Court retains jurisdiction to
  consider petitions requesting for good cause that
  particular positions listed in Part G should be
  deleted from the Schedule and to give such other
  relief as may be appropriate. Such petitions may be
  filed only by persons currently holding a position on
  the Exempt List who shall have been discharged or
  demoted from, or are notified seven days in advance
  of the city's intention to discharge or demote them
  from the jobs.

9. The injunctive provisions of the Shakman Consent Decrees are applicable to and binding upon defendants Washington, Pounian and Manley who, in their respective positions as Mayor, Commissioner of the Department of Personnel and Acting Commissioner of the Department of Inspectional Services of the City of Chicago, hold responsibility for formulating and implementing employment policies and practices for the City of Chicago.

C. Organization of the Department of Inspectional Services

10. The Department of Inspectional Services is charged with administering the Building Code of the City of Chicago. Prior to 1980, it was known as the Department of Buildings. The Department is divided into four bureaus; one of these, the Bureau of Technical Inspections, is responsible for administering the Building Code with respect to new construction. The Bureau of Technical Inspections is divided into seven sections corresponding to various construction trades as follows:

(1) Boiler Inspection Section;

(2) Construction Inspection Section;

(3) Electrical Inspection Section;

(4) Elevator Inspection Section;

(5) Iron Inspection Section;

(6) Mechanical Equipment Inspection Section; and

(7) Plumbing Inspection Section.

11. The chain of command relevant to Vrdolyak's position begins with the Mayor of the City of Chicago. Below the Mayor is the Commissioner of the Department of Inspectional Services, a cabinet level position.*fn1 Below the Commissioner are two Deputy Commissioners.*fn2 Also reporting to the Commissioner and subordinate to the Deputy Commissioners is an Assistant Commissioner.*fn3

12. Reporting directly to the Deputy Commissioners are the Directors of the four Bureaus. Since January, 1980, James Brick has been employed as director of the Bureau of Technical Inspections. Vrdolyak, as Assistant Director, reports to James Brick. Below Vrdolyak are the chiefs of the seven inspection sections. In addition to the chiefs, there are assistant chiefs and superintendents, depending on the section. ...


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