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05/03/88 Chicago Transit Authority, v. the Department of Human

May 3, 1988

CHICAGO TRANSIT AUTHORITY, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT

v.

THE DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN RIGHTS ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT, SECOND DIVISION

523 N.E.2d 1108, 169 Ill. App. 3d 749, 120 Ill. Dec. 197 1988.IL.655

Petition for review of order of Human Rights Commission.

As Amended November 3, 1988.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE BILANDIC delivered the opinion of the court. HARTMAN, P.J., and STAMOS,* J., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE BILANDIC

Plaintiff, Chicago Transit Authority (hereinafter CTA), appeals the denial of its petition for review by the Illinois Human Rights Commission (hereinafter Commission).

Clifton Hall, a discharged employee of the CTA, filed a charge against the CTA with the Illinois Department of Human Rights (hereinafter Department), alleging that he was discharged on the basis of racial discrimination. Pursuant to Department Rules and Regulations (Illinois Department of Human Rights, Rules & Regulations art. IV, § 4.4(c)), the complainant Hall and two alleged witnesses in the employ of the CTA were requested to attend a fact-finding conference. The complainant Hall appeared but the CTA refused, and persisted in its refusal, to produce its employees who are alleged to be witnesses. A default order was entered against the CTA, and the issues were determined in favor of Clifton Hall. The CTA filed a petition for review with the Commission. This appeal follows the Commission's denial of the petition for review.

The CTA's principal argument on appeal is that Department Rule 4.4(c) is ultra vires in that it extends the purpose of section 7-102(4) of the Illinois Human Rights Act beyond the intent of the legislature. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1985, ch. 68, par. 7-102(4).) It also contends that even if Rule 4.4(c) is proper, that punishment by entry of default is excessive and an abuse of discretion.

Clifton Hall filed his charge of race discrimination with the Department on November 29, 1982. On February 25, 1983, the CTA received a notice of fact-finding conference schedules for March 21, 1983, and a questionnaire to be answered prior to the conference. On March 7, 1983, the CTA responded by denying that Hall was discharged on the basis of race and set forth the following facts in its letter.

Hall was hired on August 7, 1974, by the CTA as a ticket agent. On July 2, 1982, Hall was working as a ticket agent at the Harrison/State Streets terminal in Chicago, Illinois. On that day, an officer of the Chicago police department tendered a $10 bill for the payment of a $ .90 fare. The officer observed the ticket agent register the fare as a transfer, receive and place the $10 bill in his pants pocket. That same day, a total of 24 police officers and civilians tendered fares with market bills. Hall was observed misregistering fares a total of 18 times.

When Hall left the booth for his break on July 2, 1982, an officer of the Chicago police department found the following items on Hall's person: one package of money totaling $15; one package of money totaling $200; one package of money totaling $59; and other monies totaling $395.40. Hall was arrested.

Ms. D. Richardson, the assistant district superintendent of the CTA, and James D. McPhee, ticket agent supervisor, were informed of Hall's alleged activities. Richardson directed McPhee to take over Hall's booth and instructed him to search the booth and find the gun that Hall had told police was in the booth.

A search of the booth revealed $100 concealed behind a water cooler and 50 loose tokens under the board. A .22 magnum high standard derringer pistol and two rounds of ammunition were also found. Richardson went to the police station, where she signed a criminal complaint against Hall.

Hall was discharged for rule violations including: possession of a firearm on duty; failure to properly record fares; failure to properly account for the receipts of the CTA; and ...


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