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February 16, 1989

ROBERT DE BONO, Plaintiff,
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, INC., a Delaware corporation, Defendant

Charles Ronald Norgle, United States District Judge.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: NORGLE


 Before the court are cross-motions for summary judgment, see Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a), (b), and defendant's motion for judgment on the pleadings. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(c). For the following reasons, defendant's motions are granted, and plaintiff's motion is denied.


 In his statement of undisputed facts, see local Court Rule 12(f), plaintiff fails to contest any of the undisputed facts recited by defendant in its statement of undisputed facts. See local Court Rule 12(e). Rather, plaintiff states two legal conclusions, makes two factual allegations, the substance of which were stricken by previous order of the court, DeBono v. Chicago Sun-Times, No. 87 C 2949 (N.D. Ill. July 8, 1988), and provides no reference to any evidence. Therefore, the following facts, as alleged by defendant, are undisputed.

 Plaintiff, Robert DeBono, was hired as Vice President of Circulation for the Chicago Sun-Times, Inc. ("Sun-Times") on September 15, 1986. At the time of his hiring, plaintiff and the Sun-Times entered into an employment contract, setting forth the terms and conditions of his employment. Deposition of Plaintiff ("Pl. Dep.") at 162-163. Section 3.02(b) of the contract sets forth the grounds for which plaintiff could be discharged from his employment. Section 3.02(b) states in full:

(b) " For Cause " means inadequate or improper performance of the duties assigned pursuant to Article I, acts of misconduct or dishonesty, activities harmful to the reputation of the Sun-Times, violation of any statutory or common law duty of loyalty to the Sun-Times, material breach of this Agreement, or any other similar circumstance, as reasonably determined by the President and Publisher and Executive Vice-President of the Sun-Times.

 As Vice President of Circulation, plaintiff was responsible for the Sun-Times' Circulation Department and all its operations. Pl. Dep. at 184-185. Plaintiff was also a member of the Sun-Times senior management team and a member of its eight member management committee. Deposition of Donald F. Piazza ("Piazza Dep.") at 40-41.

 Within ten days of being hired by the Sun-Times, plaintiff asked Donald F. Piazza, Executive Vice President of the Sun-Times, if he could borrow $ 14,000 from the Sun-Times so that he could exercise stock options from his former employer. Plaintiff told Piazza that he would repay the loan out of the proceeds of the stock sale immediately after he exercised his options. Piazza told plaintiff that the Sun-Times did not ordinarily make such loans, but that he would arrange for the loan so that plaintiff would not lose the profits from exercising his stock options. Plaintiff obtained the $ 14,000 loan on September 25, 1986, and executed a secured promissory note for $ 14,000 in favor of the Sun-Times (the "14,000 Note"). Pl. Dep. at 165-171; Piazza Dep. at 28-30. The Note became due and payable in full on October 15, 1986, and was secured by 600 shares of Knight Ridder stock, owned by plaintiff. With the proceeds of the Sun-Times's loan, plaintiff exercised his options and then immediately sold the stock for a profit. Pl. Dep. at 168, 173.

 Plaintiff did not repay the loan out of the proceeds of the stock sale as the parties had agreed. In the first week of November, 1986, Piazza reminded plaintiff that he had not repaid the Note when it became due on October 15, 1986. Plaintiff told Piazza that he would repay the Sun-Times in about a week. On December 3, 1986, after not hearing from plaintiff concerning the loan for four weeks, Piazza again reminded plaintiff of his obligation to repay the loan. Plaintiff again told Piazza that he did not have the money but that he would tell him on December 5, 1986, exactly when he would be able to pay. On December 5, 1986, plaintiff told Piazza that he would repay the loan on December 19, 1986. The above described events are summarized in a memorandum from Piazza to plaintiff's file. Plaintiff testified to the accuracy of that memorandum. Pl. Dep. at 173. Contrary to plaintiff's understanding with the Sun-Times and the express provisions of the Note, plaintiff has refused to repay any portion of the Note despite repeated requests by the Sun-Times. Pl. Dep. at 172. To this day, the $ 14,000 Note remains unpaid. Pl. Dep. at 172.

 In late September, 1986, after plaintiff had been employed by the Sun-Times for less than three weeks, plaintiff approached Nicholas Manzie, the City Home Delivery Manager for the Sun-Times and plaintiff's direct subordinate, and requested a $ 3,500 loan from him. Pl. Dep. at 198; Deposition of Nicholas A. Manzie ("Manzie Dep.") at 24-25. After knowing Manzie for less than three weeks, Pl. Dep. at 200, plaintiff called Manzie into his office, during the work day, and told him that he needed $ 3,500 because he "had to pay some bills or send some money to my brother . . . ." Pl. Dep. at 199; Manzie Dep. at 23-25. Manzie told plaintiff that he would try to obtain the money for him. Manzie Dep. at 25. Manzie stated that he could raise the money by going "out on the street," meaning that he would borrow the money and lend it to plaintiff. Manzie Dep. at 25-26. Manzie raised the the $ 3,500, Manzie Dep. at 25-26, and lent plaintiff $ 3,500 in plaintiff's office shortly after plaintiff requested the loan. Manzie Dep. at 26; Pl. Dep at 200-201.

 Plaintiff told Manzie that he would be able to repay the loan the following week but gave Manzie a $ 3,500 check postdated to October 7, 1986, in order to insure that plaintiff had enough time to obtain sufficient funds to repay the money. Manzie Dep. at 27; Pl. Dep. at 198-199. Plaintiff told Manzie that he could cash the check on October 7, 1986. Pl. Dep. at 202; Manzie Dep. at 27.

A. Well, he is my boss. He is the vice president of circulation. I don't want to prod him or, you know, close in on him and make him think that, you know, I was ...

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