The exhibits attached to the complaint make clear that
Fontano did not have a legitimate expectation of continued
employment when he was reclassified as a probationary employee.
The City's memorandum and the Personnel Rules expressly
condition the attainment of full career service status and the
accompanying right to a pretemination hearing upon successful
completion of the six-month probationary period. See Exhibits
"A" and "C" to Complaint. Furthermore, the memorandum
incorporated Personnel Rule IX, § 3, which unequivocally states
that a PCS employee may be summarily suspended or discharged.
Fontano's argument that the ordinance and Personnel Rules
establish a property interest for all PCS employees is
specious. See Giliberto v. City of Chicago, No. 85 C 2496, slip
op. at 4 (N.D.Ill. Sept. 6, 1985) [Available on WESTLAW, DCTU
database]; cf. Randle v. City of Chicago, 527 F. Supp. 1, 10
(N.D.Ill. 1979). First, Fontano's reliance on the ordinance's
general goal to enact a merit system of employment ignores the
specific provisions of the Personnel Rules that, pending
successful completion of the probationary period, a PCS
employee may be terminated without a hearing. As is generally
true in matters of statutory construction, the specific
language of Rule IX, § 3 controls over the general language of
ordinance ch. 25.1-1. See, e.g., U.S. v. Kuecker, 740 F.2d 496,
502 (7th Cir. 1984). Likewise, with respect to tenure, Rule IX,
§ 3 outweighs the other unrelated rules equating PCS and Career
Furthermore, notwithstanding plaintiff's suppositions,
dismissal without a hearing is not inconsistent with the
nature of probationary employment. The right to a
pretermination hearing is attendant upon the right to
continued employment. In the context of civil service,
however, probation signifies "trial" or "test." See, e.g.,
Black's Law Dictionary 1082 (rev. 5th ed. 1979). It would
subvert the logic of the civil service system to grant a
probationer a vested right in career employment, with the
concomitant right to a pretermination hearing, before he is
tested for the position. Thus, the court concludes that, under
Illinois law, PCS employees do not attain a legitimate
entitlement to continued employment until they have
successfully completed their probationary term.*fn3 See Rose
Civil Service Commission, 14 Ill.App.2d 337, 343,
144 N.E.2d 768 (1957) (civil service statute intended to give department
head "broad authority in determining whether a probationer is
the proper person to discharge the duties of his office"); cf.
Romanik v. Board of Fire and Police Commissioners, 61 Ill.2d 422,
425, 338 N.E.2d 397 (1975) (probationary police officers
may be summarily discharged).
Next, Fontano asserts that the City's reference in its
memorandum to rating factors created an implied employment
contract obligating defendants to terminate Fontano for just
cause only, particularly his failure to satisfy the seven
enumerated factors.*fn4 See Complaint at ¶ 10. Plaintiff
alleges that the terms of his unwritten contract of employment
were implicitly modified at the time of his reclassification.
An implied contract deserves constitutional protection only if
state law recognizes its validity.*fn5 See Malcak v.
Westchester Park District, 754 F.2d 239, 242 (7th Cir. 1985).
Fontano acknowledges the general rule in Illinois that an
employer's announced and written personnel policies are a
gratuity rather than a part of the employment contract.
See, e.g., Patkus, 769 F.2d at 1263-64; Pudil v. Smart Buy,
Inc., 607 F. Supp. 440, 442-43 (N.D.Ill. 1985); Johnson v.
Figgie International, Inc., 132 Ill.App.3d 922, 926-27, 87
Ill.Dec. 669, 477 N.E.2d 795 (1985); Sargent v. Illinois
Institute of Technology, 78 Ill.App.3d 117, 121-22, 33 Ill.Dec.
937, 397 N.E.2d 443 (1979). Under traditional Illinois law,
Fontano has utterly failed to demonstrate sufficient
consideration to create mutuality of obligation with his
employer. See Sargent, 78 Ill.App.3d at 122, 33 Ill.Dec. 937,
397 N.E.2d 443; Carter v. Kaskaskia Community Action
Agency, 24 Ill.App.3d 1056, 1059, 322 N.E.2d 574 (1974).
Nevertheless, Fontano seeks asylum under a recent Illinois
Appellate Court decision questioning and rejecting this
general rule. Kaiser v. Dixon, 127 Ill.App.3d 251, 82 Ill.Dec.
275, 468 N.E.2d 822 (1984). Kaiser, however, does not salvage
Fontano's complaint. Kaiser held that a detailed, 83-page
policy manual that clearly imposed obligations on both the
employee and employer was enforceable under the particular
facts of that case. 127 Ill. App.3d at 263, 82 Ill.Dec. 275,
468 N.E.2d 822. The City's memorandum to Fontano is hardly of
the same caliber. Even under the progressive reasoning of
Kaiser, the three-sentence reference to rating factors in the
memorandum is a "mere expression of employer policies and
procedures as guidance or for informational purposes" for PCS
employees. Id.; see also Alberty v. Daniel, 25 Ill.App.3d 291,
298, 323 N.E.2d 110 (1974) (principal purpose of analogous
evaluation procedure "is not to protect the rights of
probationary employees . . . but . . . to aid the department
head in making a determination to either discharge or retain
In sum, the court concludes that the City's general policy
statement with respect to rating factors does not constitute
a binding contractual obligation, either express or
Plaintiff's unilateral expectancy of continued probationary
employment does not give rise to a constitutional entitlement.
For the reasons stated, plaintiff has failed to state a
federal cause of action. Accordingly, the defendants' motion
to dismiss the complaint is granted.