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June 26, 1985


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


Angel Correa ("Correa") has sued the City of Chicago ("City"), claiming Correa's firing as a City employee was impermissibly motivated by political considerations. After Honorable Nicholas Bua had conducted one day of a bench trial September 17, 1984, the case was transferred to this Court's calendar. By agreement the transcript of those proceedings was treated as part of the trial record before this Court, and the trial was completed March 28, 1985.

In accordance with Fed.R.Civ.P. ("Rule") 52(a), this Court finds the facts specially as set forth in the following Findings of Fact ("Findings") and states the following Conclusions of Law ("Conclusions"). To the extent if any the Findings as stated reflect legal conclusions, they shall be deemed Conclusions; to the extent if any the Conclusions as stated reflect factual findings, they shall be deemed Findings.

Findings of Fact

1. Correa is a resident, registered voter and taxpayer in the City of Chicago, Illinois (Tr. 1-55).*fn1 City is an Illinois municipal corporation.

2. On May 5, 1972 a consent decree (the "1972 Decree") was entered in Shakman v. Democratic Organization of Cook County, 356 F. Supp. 1241 (N.D.Ill. 1972) ("Shakman"). By the terms of the 1972 Decree, its injunctive provisions are applicable to and binding upon City, its agents, servants and employees.

3. On June 20, 1983 another consent decree (the "1983 Decree") was entered in Shakman. Schedule G of the 1983 Decree listed certain City job titles (and corresponding job codes) that were to be exempt from the requirements of 1972 Decree ¶ E(1), such exemptions being established pursuant to 1983 Decree ¶ N:

  N. Exempt Positions. The Governmental Employment
  positions under the control of the City of Chicago as
  listed in the attached Schedule of Exempt Positions
  are positions exempt from this Judgment and the 1972
  Consent Judgment.

Jurisdiction was retained, under a decree entered contemporaneously with the 1983 Decree, to consider petitions by persons discharged or demoted from Schedule G exempted positions, if any such person requested "for good cause" that the position he or she occupied or had occupied be deleted from the Schedule.

4. One of the Schedule G listed exemptions was the position of Deputy Commissioner of Neighborhoods (Title Code 9710) in the Department of Neighborhoods ("DON"). DON was created by City ordinance effective January 1, 1980 (the "Ordinance"). DON's general duties, as set forth in the Ordinance, included (a) providing information and assistance in response to requests concerning governmental services, (b) informing the general public of the availability of governmental services and assisting the public in obtaining such services and (c) coordinating neighborhood improvement and self-help programs (Def.Ex. 2). In the performance of those duties, DON was directed by the Ordinance (a') to consult with community and neighborhood organizations throughout City and promote communication between such organizations in order to become aware of and assist in the resolution of neighborhood concerns, (b') to coordinate programs of such organizations and the various City agencies and departments designed to resolve neighborhood concerns and (c') to provide educational services to such organizations and the general public concerning services provided by the City (Tr. 2-12; Def.Ex. 2).

5. DON operated field service offices to process community concerns, to provide assistance to citizens and community groups and to initiate, coordinate and implement special programs geared to community needs (Tr. 2-39; Def.Ex. 5A). DON also conducted an Ethnic Outreach Program to deal with the special concerns of individual national groups (Def.Ex. 3). In substantial part DON was involved in types of activities that were sensitive and enabled City's Mayor and the incumbent administration to carry out their policy goals (Tr. 2-14, 81).

6. Deputy Commissioner of Neighborhoods was the third highest ranking position in DON. It carried an annual salary of $36,780, one of the highest in DON (Tr. 1-90, 112).

7. It is clear from all of the following that the position of Deputy Commissioner of DON authorized "meaningful input into government decisionmaking on issues where there is room for principled disagreement on goals or their implementation" (Nekolny v. Painter, 653 F.2d 1164, 1170 (7th Cir. 1981), cert. denied, 455 U.S. 1021, 102 S.Ct. 1719, 72 L.Ed.2d 139 (1982), quoted in Tomczak v. City of Chicago, 765 F.2d 633, 640-641 (7th Cir. 1985)):

    (a) DON's Deputy Commissioner was authorized to
  provide the Commissioner with input on which programs
  would best serve the community, and thus to help
  establish policy. He also acted as the liaison
  between the incumbent administration and the
  communities he served, where he spoke with the

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