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SANTELLA v. CITY OF CHICAGO

September 12, 1989

RONALD SANTELLA, Plaintiff,
v.
CITY OF CHICAGO, Defendant



The opinion of the court was delivered by: SHADUR

 MILTON I. SHADUR, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

 Chicago Police Department ("CPD") employee Ronald Santella ("Santella") has sued the City of Chicago ("City"), claiming City violated 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983 ("Section 1983") and also breached an employment contract when it deprived him of a supervisory title in CPD's Motor Maintenance Division ("MMD") and then demoted him without affording him due process. This is the third time this Court has issued a substantive opinion in this case (both earlier opinions -- "Opinion I," 654 F. Supp. 428 (N.D. Ill. 1987) and "Opinion II," 672 F. Supp. 321 (N.D. Ill. 1987) -- dealt with motions to dismiss under Fed. R. Civ. P. ("Rule") 12(b)(6)). After those two opinions had carved away portions of Santella's then-asserted claims, Santella filed his two-count Second Amended Complaint currently at issue.

 City has now moved for summary judgment under Rule 56. For the reasons stated in this memorandum opinion and order, its motion is granted as to Santella's Section 1983 claim, while his state-law breach of contract claim is dismissed under the principles of United Mine Workers v. Gibbs, 383 U.S. 715, 726-27, 16 L. Ed. 2d 218, 86 S. Ct. 1130 (1966).

 Facts1

 Byrne responded to the scandal by granting broad authority to DiLeonardi (Byrne Dep. 9):

 
I gave full authority to the acting superintendent to get to the bottom of the matter, to use the internal investigative units of the police department to look into it, cooperate with the Federal Government and to clean it up and make whatever modes, transfers or -- terminations as necessary.

 DiLeonardi in turn delegated responsibility to Zurawski -- both Byrne and DiLeonardi told Zurawski "to clean the mess up and put an end to the scandal" (Zurawski Dep. 8).

 Zurawski began his work by reorganizing: He split the Electronics and Motor Maintenance Division into MMD and the Electronics Maintenance Division ("EMD") (Zurawski Dep. 12). He then appointed Santella's brother Rick *fn2" to the position of MMD's Director (id.).

 Zurawski believed a professional management staff was essential to solving the corruption problem (id. 10). He therefore began hiring supervisors for both MMD and EMD. Rick recommended his brother (Santella) for a supervisory position in MMD (id. 13).

 In January 1980 Zurawski offered Santella the position of Supervisor of Motor Maintenance (Santella Dep. I 39). But there was a problem: No vacant supervisory title existed in City's 1980 Appropriation Ordinance. Santella, who at the time was an Investigator in CPD's Office of Professional Standards (D. Ex. 1-A), was reluctant to take the job (Santella Dep. I 47-48).

 Zurawski told Santella that the absence of such a Supervisor's title in the budget was not a problem: Santella would perform supervisory duties but would be hired into a vacant title in the budget, an arrangement known as a "title in lieu" (Santella Dep. I 45). Zurawski represented that Santella's new position would be a career service position. In fact, Zurawski said he believes the only reason Santella eventually took the job was the job protection associated with career service status (Zurawski Dep. 18-19).

 On January 11, 1980 DiLeonardi was replaced as Superintendent of Police (D. Ex. 1-E) by Richard Brzeczek ("Brzeczek"). On April 15, 1980 Matthew Rodriguez ("Rodriguez") was appointed Deputy Superintendent of the Bureau of Technical Services, replacing Zurawski as MMD's head (D. Ex. 1-G; D. Ex. 8 para. 1). On June 1, 1980 Santella received a provisional appointment to the position of Electrical Mechanic in MMD (D. Ex. 1-A). Zurawski's assistant Richard Joyce ("Joyce") confirms that DiLeonardi had delegated authority to Zurawski, that Santella's appointment was in lieu of the nonexistent Supervisor of Motor Maintenance title and that Santella had been promised he would be reclassified as soon as the appropriate title was approved by City (see generally Joyce Aff.).

 On December 12, 1980 the Chicago City Council passed the 1981 Appropriation Ordinance. That Ordinance did include a new Supervisor of Motor Maintenance title (D. Ex. 3-F). But Santella was not placed in that position. In fact, that Supervisor title was included in the 1982, 1983 and 1984 budgets as well, but Santella was never reclassified from his title of Electrical Mechanic.

 During each of those years Rick and Santella continually attempted to push the reclassification through the bureaucratic machinery. Numerous City employees were aware of the promises made to Santella and assured him the reclassification process was under way:

 
1. Former City Budget Director Albert Boumenot ("Boumenot") says he was aware of the promises made to Santella and he discussed the situation with City Patronage Chief Frank Santoro, Rick and various union representatives. He also approved the reclassification (Boumenot Aff. paras. 5-7).
 
2. Former Administrative Assistant to the Mayor Carl Bator was also aware of Santella's situation. Joyce says he spoke with Brzeczek, who told him he was aware of Santella's situation and had approved his reclassification. That was relayed to Santella (Joyce Aff. paras. 8-9).
 
3. Former City Comptroller Anthony Fratto ("Fratto") says he too was aware of Santella's situation. He says Deputy Superintendent Dennis Nowicki ("Nowicki") told him Brzeczek had approved the reclassification and Nowicki had personally submitted the required paperwork (Fratto Aff. para. 7).
 
4. Rodriguez also assured Santella the reclassification was under way (Santella Dep. I ...

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