APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FOURTH DISTRICT
515 N.E.2d 1367, 162 Ill. App. 3d 719, 114 Ill. Dec. 96 1987.IL.1761
Appeal from the Circuit Court of Sangamon County; the Hon. Simon L. Friedman, Judge, presiding.
PRESIDING JUSTICE SPITZ delivered the opinion of the court. GREEN and McCULLOUGH, JJ., concur.
DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE SPITZ
On August 8, 1968, plaintiff Thomas C. Trigg was issued a high school type 09 teaching certificate by the Illinois State Teacher's Certification Board (Board), pursuant to the Illinois School Code (Code) (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 122, par. 21-1 et seq.).
On February 20, 1986, Trigg was charged by information in the circuit court of Piatt County with six counts of harassment by telephone (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 134, par. 16.4-1(1)). On April 8, 1986, Trigg entered a negotiated plea of guilty to five of the six counts. Pursuant to the plea agreement, Trigg was sentenced to one year of probation with 40 hours of public service work, and was fined $400 plus costs. He was also ordered to undergo a psychological examination and receive counseling.
Then on April 30, 1986, Donald L. Pratt, the superintendent of Monticello Community School District, No. 25, sent a letter to Charles Edmundson, the regional superintendent for Douglas and Piatt Counties. Pratt notified the regional superintendent of Trigg's convictions for harassment by telephone and requested that proceedings commence to suspend Trigg's teaching certificate. See, e.g., Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 122, pars. 10-21.9(b), (e).
On May 1, 1986, Trigg was served by a certified letter from the regional superintendent, with a "Statement of Charges" and a "Notice of Opportunity for Hearing Prior to Suspension of Certificate," pursuant to section 21-23 of the Code (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 122, par. 21-23). The notice informed Trigg that within 10 days of the receipt of the notice he could request a hearing. The notice further stated that if he did not request a hearing within the 10-day period, the allegations contained in the attached statement of charges would be deemed uncontested by him and his teaching certificate would be suspended.
The regional office of education received no request from Trigg for a hearing.
On May 20, 1986, pursuant to the aforementioned notice and based upon the harassment by telephone convictions, the regional superintendent issued an order suspending plaintiff's teaching certificate for a period not to exceed one year. The order stated that Trigg could appeal the suspension if he requested a hearing before the Board within 10 days of his receipt of the order.
The record reveals that Trigg did not appeal the suspension.
On May 21, 1986, defendant Ted Sanders, the State Superintendent of Education, served Trigg with a notice of hearing to be held before the defendant Board. The notice indicated that the hearing was being held to determine whether Trigg's teaching certificate should be revoked based upon his convictions for harassment by telephone.
On June 9, 1986, Trigg filed an objection to jurisdiction and a motion to dismiss, arguing that the May 20, 1986, suspension order by the regional superintendent was a final disciplinary act, thereby precluding further disciplinary action based upon the same conduct.
A hearing was held on August 5, 1986, before the Board to determine whether Trigg's teaching certificate should be revoked. At that time, the Board held that it had jurisdiction over the matter, it denied Trigg's motion to dismiss, and it voted to recommend to the State Superintendent of Education that plaintiff's teaching certificate be revoked. The Board based its recommendation for revocation on Trigg's "unprofessional conduct, immorality and a condition of health detrimental to the welfare of pupils due to his conduct in making obscene telephone calls to female students." Trigg did not appear at the hearing, either personally or through counsel.
On August 26, 1986, the Illinois State Board of Education, acting through the State Superintendent of Education, issued an administrative order in the revocation proceeding, ordering that Trigg's teaching ...