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NOWAK v. SZWEDO

January 11, 1989

HERBERT NOWAK, Plaintiff,
v.
FRANK SZWEDO and RICHARD JULIEN, Defendants


Paul E. Plunkett, United States District Judge.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: PLUNKETT

HONORABLE PAUL E. PLUNKETT, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

 Plaintiff Herbert Nowak brings suit against Defendants Frank Szwedo and Richard Julien under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for alleged violations of his rights under the First and Fourteenth Amendments. Defendants have moved to strike and dismiss the complaint. For the reasons set forth below, the motion is granted in part and denied in part.

 Allegations of the Complaint

 As a result of Plaintiff's recommendations regarding the elimination of waste in the running of the CFD, Defendants began to harass Plaintiff. *fn1" The harassing incidents are as follows.

 1. On October 26, 1983, Defendants confronted Plaintiff in the file room of the Quinn Fire Academy. In discussing Plaintiff's job performance, they characterized his attitude with obscenities and attacked him personally. They told Plaintiff to "clean up his act" and "do more than he was doing to protect his position," and engaged in verbal outbursts. Julien told Plaintiff that "if you should be expecting a promotion in the near future, you well better tell me about it. If you don't, I'll do my best to block it if I can."

 2. On February 16, 1984 Julien interrogated Plaintiff regarding the length of time Plaintiff was spending in the IAD office.

 3. On July 13, 1984, Szwedo accosted Plaintiff and threatened him with ejection from the IAD office. Szwedo told Plaintiff that he had good information that Plaintiff was trying to "overthrow his position" as Director and that he had a "bad attitude." He also informed Plaintiff that he should seriously consider which ambulance he wanted to be assigned to, but that he would not necessarily get that assignment.

 4. In the spring of 1985, Plaintiff was assigned to conduct surveillance on a retired fireman who was allegedly shaking down storefronts in Chicago. Plaintiff thought that this investigation was outside the realm of IAD, but was told by Defendants to do his job.

 5. On April 22, 1986 Szwedo told Plaintiff to call a detective regarding a particular investigation. When Plaintiff forgot to call the detective, Szwedo "went into a tirade and chased Plaintiff around his office yelling at him." On April 23, Szwedo confronted Plaintiff regarding the events of the previous day. Szwedo told Plaintiff that Plaintiff showed nothing but contempt for Szwedo and Szwedo's position, and told Plaintiff to do his work but nothing else. Szwedo also stated that he knew Plaintiff had wanted to strike him the day before. (In fact, Plaintiff was told by Carol Falcon, who witnessed the confrontation, that she thought Szwedo was going to strike Plaintiff). Szwedo offered to send Plaintiff into the field and stated that a report would be placed in Plaintiff's file, yet "again stated" that he had no complaints about Plaintiff's work. Szwedo did not issue a Disciplinary Register Number in the report, "which is outside the disciplinary process of the CFD."

 6. On July 11, 1986, Plaintiff was informed that a special investigation had been initiated against him as a result of requested overtime for being detailed to Grant Hospital. Plaintiff was told by Julien that he did not need overtime forms, yet Julien questioned the correctness and reasonableness of the overtime when Plaintiff submitted his request.

 8. At unspecified times, Plaintiff offered opinions contrary to those of Defendants at office meetings. His opinions were met with scorn. As a result, "Plaintiff would not contribute to office meetings and would ...


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