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BRENNAN v. DALEY

October 31, 1991

DENNIS BRENNAN, Plaintiff,
v.
RICHARD M. DALEY, in his official capacity as Mayor of Chicago, a municipal corporation, Defendant



The opinion of the court was delivered by: NORDBERG

 The City of Chicago has made several attempts to dispose of Dennis Brennan's claim that the City improperly considered political affiliation in filling the position of hoisting engineer apprentice in violation of Shakman v. Democratic Organization of Cook County, 435 F.2d 267 (7th Cir. 1970), cert. denied, 402 U.S. 909, 28 L. Ed. 2d 650, 91 S. Ct. 1383 (1971). This Court denied the City's first motion for summary judgment, because of a genuine issue of material fact concerning when Brennan's claim accrued. Brennan v. Washington, No. 86 C 8665, slip op. (N.D. Ill. Feb. 23 1989). In an opinion dated September 14, 1989, this Court granted the City's second motion for summary judgment, finding that Brennan had failed to file his Shakman complaint within the 180-day statute of limitations established in Smith v. City of Chicago, 769 F.2d 408, 413 (7th Cir. 1985). Brennan appealed this decision. On April 8, 1991, the Seventh Circuit held that Brennan had timely filed his complaint and remanded the case to this Court. Having failed to dispose of the case through summary judgment, the City is back before the Court claiming that Brennan's claim should be dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction due to mootness. For the reasons set forth below, the City's motion is granted.

 STATEMENT OF FACTS

 The background of this case has been expounded upon several times, both by this Court and the Seventh Circuit. Therefore, this opinion will focus on the facts relevant to the disposition of the present motion.

 Brennan was an unsuccessful applicant for the position of Hoisting Engineer Apprentice. He learned of the position through a notice indicating that the application deadline was August 31, 1984 and filed his application on August 28, 1984. The deadline was subsequently extended to October 24, 1984. In the following months, Brennan contacted the City's personnel department repeatedly for information concerning the status of his application. On September 13, 1984, pursuant to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, Brennan obtained a computer printout indicating that as of September 5, 1984, forty-seven people had applied for the position. Through a subsequent FOIA request, Brennan learned that as of September 29, 1984, 116 applicants had submitted their names. A December 30, 1985 printout of active City employees, also obtained by Brennan, indicated that six people were hired as Hoisting Engineer Apprentices during 1985. Brennan was not selected for the position.

 Upon obtaining the list of those hired in 1985, Brennan asked the Deputy Commissioner of Personnel, Robert Joyce, whether any of those names were suspicious under Shakman. Joyce indicated that one of the six people hired in 1985, Robert Terzich, Jr., might be the son of a state senator. Brennan knew that Terzich was not on the list of applicants current through September, 1984, but the City refused to provide him with a final list of applicants. In July of 1986, Brennan obtained a copy of Terzich's employment application and discovered that he had been permitted to submit his name for the position on October 3, 1985, nearly one year after the extended deadline. According to the City, this special consideration had been granted him because he had submitted a statement from his doctor that he had been too sick to apply at the time of the deadline. The doctor's statement, it was later discovered, was false. Accordingly, on February 14, 1986, Terzich was fired from his position with the City. On November 6, 1986, Brennan filed his Shakman complaint.

 ANALYSIS

 Shakman.

 The original Shakman complaint was brought by independent candidates, voters and taxpayers challenging the patronage practices of the regular Democratic and Republican Party organizations. The complaint challenged the use of state and local government patronage power to coerce government employees to perform political work on behalf of incumbents. Shakman v. Democratic Organization of Cook County, 481 F. Supp. 1315, 1320 (N.D. Ill. 1979). The court found that the challenged patronage practices violated the plaintiffs' first and fourteenth amendment interests. On May 5, 1972, the court entered a consent decree enjoining the Shakman defendants from "conditioning, basing or knowingly prejudicing or affecting any term or aspect of government employment, with respect to one who is at the time already a governmental employee, upon or because of any political reason or factor." Id. at 1358. While the consent decree dealt with the issue of politically motivated firings and threats thereof, the parties agreed "that they would continue to litigate the issue of whether political sponsorship or other political considerations could be considered in hiring new employees."

 On April 4, 1983, the court entered a judgment implementing the hiring aspect of the Shakman case. Pursuant to the judgment, the defendants were prohibited from

 conditioning, basing or affecting . . . the hiring of any governmental employees . . . upon or because of any political reason or factor including, without limitation, any prospective employee's political affiliation, political support or activity, political financial contribution, promises of such political support, activity or financial contributions or such prospective employee's political sponsorship or recommendation.

 Shakman, 569 F. Supp. 177, 179 (N.D. Ill. 1983). The court granted the right to enforce the provisions of the injunction to any registered voter. Id. at 182. On appeal, however, the Seventh Circuit overturned the Shakman judgment as it applied to the nonconsenting defendants, holding that voters and independent candidates lacked standing to challenge the failure of the independent candidates to be elected. Shakman v. Dunne, 829 F.2d 1387 (7th Cir. 1987), cert. denied, 484 U.S. 1065, 98 L. Ed. 2d 991, 108 S. Ct. 1026 (1988); see also Bowman, "We Don't Want Anybody Anybody Sent": The Death of Patronage Hiring in Chicago, 86 Nw. U.L. Rev. 57 (1991).

 Brennan's Shakman Claim.


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