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KEENAN v. BOARD OF EDUC. OF CHICAGO

May 18, 1992

DR. CHARLES E. KEENAN, Plaintiff,
v.
BOARD OF EDUCATION OF THE CITY OF CHICAGO, et al., Defendants.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: MARVIN E. ASPEN

 MARVIN E. ASPEN, District Judge:

 This reverse-discrimination action arises out of plaintiff Dr. Charles E. Keenan's termination from employment as principal of Jane A. Neil School ("Neil School"). Keenan brings this multi-count action against nine members of the Neil Local School Council in both their individual and official capacities, *fn1" the Neil Local School Council, *fn2" the current principal of Neil School, and the Board of Education of the City of Chicago (the "Board"). Currently before the court are the parties' cross-motions for summary judgment on Counts V and VI of Keenan's amended complaint. For the reasons set forth below, we grant defendants', and deny Keenan's, motion for summary judgment.

 I. Summary Judgment Standard

 Under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, summary judgment is appropriate if "there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and . . . the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c). This standard places the initial burden on the moving party to identify "those portions of 'the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits, if any' which it believes demonstrate the absence of a genuine issue of material fact." Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 323, 106 S. Ct. 2548, 2553, 91 L. Ed. 2d 265 (1986) (quoting Rule 56(c)). Once the moving party has done this, the non-moving party "must set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c). In deciding a motion for summary judgment, the court must read all facts in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 254, 106 S. Ct. 2505, 2513, 91 L. Ed. 2d 202 (1986); Griffin v. Thomas, 929 F.2d 1210, 1212 (7th Cir. 1991).

 II. Undisputed Facts

 Keenan, a white male born on July 20, 1934, had been in the employ of the Board since January 1958. He served as a teacher until 1967, at which time he became a principal. On June 18, 1979, Keenan became the principal of Neil School, where he served in such capacity until June 30, 1991.

 In January of 1991, the Neil Local School Council notified Keenan that it would not renew his contract. This action transpired despite the fact that Keenan's immediate supervisor, Richard E. Stephenson, District Superintendent of the Chicago Board of Education, evaluated Keenan favorably during the 1990-91 school year. In April 1991, the Local School Council hired Peter Smith, a black man approximately eleven years younger than Keenan, as the new principal of Neil School. Unlike Keenan, Smith, at the time he was hired, did not have a doctoral degree. As such, Keenan asserts that he was more qualified than Smith to be principal of Neil School, and that the Local School Council's choice of Smith was based on Keenan's race and age.

 Keenan filed this action on January 9, 1992. In his amended complaint, Keenan claims that defendants' intentional and discriminatory refusal to renew his contract was in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1981 (Count I), the equal protection clauses of the United States Constitution and the Illinois Constitution (Count II), *fn3" Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. (Count III), and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, 29 U.S.C. § 621 et seq. (Count IV). Counts V and VI, the subject of the instant cross-motions for summary judgment, assert that Keenan was denied the rights guaranteed to him under a "Plan for the Implementation of the Provisions of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 Related To: Integration of Faculties, Assignment Patterns of Principals, and Bilingual Education Programs" (the "Implementation Plan"), adopted by the Board on October 12, 1977. Finally, in Counts VII and VIII of his amended complaint, Keenan pleads violations of the Chicago School Reform Act, III. Rev. Stat. ch. 122, P34-1 et seq.

 III. Discussion

 In Counts V and VI, Keenan asserts that the decision to not renew his contract without affording him the rights provided in the "Protective Principles" section of the Implementation Plan violates: (1) the Implementation Plan itself and Keenan's third-party beneficiary rights to the protective provisions set forth in the Implementation Plan; (2) Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 2000d et seq.; and (3) the due process clauses of the United States Constitution and the Illinois Constitution. As framed by Keenan, each of his claims hinges on the viability of the Implementation Plan. *fn4"

 Following exhaustive negotiations with the United States Department of Justice and the Offices of Equal Educational Opportunity and Civil Rights of the Department of Health, Education and Welfare, the Board adopted the Implementation Plan on October 12, 1977. This Implementation Plan constituted an agreement between the Board and the Department of Health, Education and Welfare ("HEW"), and outlined the obligations of the Board pursuant to Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Specifically, under the Implementation Plan principals would be assigned or reassigned so as to eliminate any identifiable pattern of assignment based on race so that the percentage of non-minority principals assigned to minority schools shall be the same as the percentage of non-minority principals assigned in the system as a whole. In effectuating the program of reassignment, reassigned employees, including principals, were afforded a number of rights, detailed in a section of the Implementation Plan entitled "Protective Principles." The protective principles apply to adverse personnel actions (including but not limited to dismissal, demotion or unsatisfactory evaluations) affecting all persons transferred or otherwise assigned for purposes of desegregation, and include the following:

 
(1) The right not to be demoted, dismissed or adversely affected in job position or compensation on the basis of race or color.
 
(2) The right not to be subject to dismissal, demotion, adverse compensation or other adverse personnel action in the absence of just cause which is defined as a violation of conduct based on ...

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