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March 7, 1995


The opinion of the court was delivered by: CHARLES RONALD NORGLE, SR.

 CHARLES R. NORGLE, SR., District Judge:

 Before the court is Defendant's motion for summary judgment. For the following reasons, the motion is granted.


 On May 26, 1992, Radomir Radic ("Radic") filed suit against the CTA, his former employer, under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Radic claims that he was not returned to work after disability leave in retaliation for exercising his First Amendment right to free speech. The court has jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1331.

 Radic was a CTA employee for approximately ten years. He was hired by the CTA in 1984 as a Civil/Structural Design Draftsman. Among Radic's duties was the preparation of "flange-angle books." A "book" consists of dimensions for the fabrication of steel parts which are used to repair or renew parts of the elevated train structure. The proper method of preparing these "books" became an issue within Radic's department in mid 1987. Radic disagreed with the CTA's position regarding the primary source of information for fabricating flange-angles.

 In June 1987, Radic sent a memorandum to David Hillock, Manager of Facilities Engineering and Maintenance, advocating the implementation of a flange-angle measuring procedure that would use original shop drawings. *fn2" The CTA considered Radic's proposals. *fn3" In addition, Radic attended a meeting with engineering supervisors and observed the renewal of flange-angles in the field. However, dissatisfied with the response from his superiors, Radic conveyed his concerns to top CTA administrators. Radic criticized the CTA's reliance on field measurements because, in his view, the procedure was both wasteful and unsafe.

 In a memorandum dated July 12, 1988, Glenn Zika, Supervisor of Structure Construction, discussed adjustments to the CTA's flange-angle measuring procedure. Later that year, Paul Swanson, Acting Manager of Facilities Engineering, described Radic as "instrumental in the review of methodology for structural component renewal" and recommended him for promotion. Following these events, the CTA began looking for a consulting firm in the Fall of 1988 to review its methods of structure renewal. In December 1988, a Senior Structural Engineer, D.F. Penepacker ("Penepacker"), wrote a memorandum, signed by four engineering supervisors, which outlined the CTA's revised procedure for specifying flange-angles for fabrication. The procedure called for the use of both original shop drawings and field verification. Id. In April 1989, the CTA entered into a contract with Parsons, Brinckerhoff, Quade and Douglas, Inc. ("PBQD"). Radic had opportunities to meet with PBQD engineering consultants prior to the issuance of their final report in August 1989.

 However, Radic was not satisfied with the CTA's actions, and he made his views known. Radic wrote several letters during his tenure at the CTA wherein he referred to specific superiors as "instinct killers" and the "magic circle." Radic's concerns were heard by local, state, and federal officials. In response to a letter written by Radic to President George Bush, the United States Department of Transportation's Urban Mass Transportation Authority ("UMTA") reviewed the CTA's methodology for replacing flange-angles on the rapid transit structure.

 During this time, however, Radic's disagreement with the CTA's engineering methods also prompted his refusal to follow the directives of his superiors. In November 1988, Radic was subject to disciplinary action which resulted in a final caution by the CTA. In the Summer of 1989, Radic was assigned to complete writing dimensions in tables for the Loop Expansion Devices. Radic questioned the assignment and thereafter refused to follow his superior's direction. Id. On June 5, 1989, in an internal memorandum addressed to Radic, Penepacker repeated his instructions and warned that refusal to comply may result in disciplinary action.

 Between June and August 1989, a disciplinary conference was set and then repeatedly rescheduled due to Radic's absence. In 1989, Radic called in sick or failed to report to work on 97 days. During part of that time, Radic was treated by a psychiatrist for stress. In December 1989, one superior recommended Radic's discharge. However, Radic was disciplined by having the days he missed during August 1989 considered a suspension and the days missed between August and December considered sick leave.

 In 1990, Radic continued his refusal to employ what he believed to be unsound engineering methods. After missing over thirty days in August and September, Radic was placed on sick leave as of October 8, 1990. On December 6, 1990, Radic's doctor recommended one month sick leave and the CTA complied by placing him on disability leave. At that time, Radic was placed in an administrative classification called "Area 605." *fn4" Pursuant to his doctor's recommendations, Radic remained on disability leave through April 15, 1991, when he was found fit to return to work. During his absence, however, the CTA filled Radic's former position. Thus, Radic remained in Area 605 and was not returned to work. In February 1994, Radic was notified that he had been "administratively separated" from the CTA. *fn5"

 On May 26, 1992, Radic filed his complaint pursuant to § 1983, alleging that the CTA deprived him of his right to free speech under the First Amendment. On May 27, 1994, the CTA filed the instant ...

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