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ANGARA v. CITY OF CHICAGO

July 20, 1995

PONCIANO S. ANGARA, Plaintiff,
v.
CITY OF CHICAGO, a municipal corporation, ALEXANDER VROUSTOURIS, individually and as Inspector General of the City of Chicago; TERESITA B. SAGUN, individually and as Commissioner of Department of Sewers of the City of Chicago; MICHAEL SPAGNOLA and JAMES SULLIVAN, individually and as employees of the Office of Inspector General of the City of Chicago; and JOHN DOE(S), and JANE DOE(S), individually and as employees of the Office of the Inspector General of the City of Chicago, Defendants.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: JAMES H. ALESIA

 The plaintiff, Ponciano Angara, filed a three-count amended complaint alleging a number of federal claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and a state law false imprisonment claim. The defendants have filed a motion to dismiss pursuant to FED. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6). For the reasons set forth below, defendants' motion to dismiss is granted in part and denied in part.

 I. BACKGROUND

 The following is a summary of the facts in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. Beginning in 1987 and continuing until May 1994, the plaintiff worked as a mason inspector for the City of Chicago Department of Sewers. His job was to inspect sewer connections made by independent contractors to assure that they were made in conformity with plans approved by the City of Chicago ("City"). In carrying out his duties, the plaintiff used his own car to go to and from various construction sites. In return, the City reimbursed the plaintiff for the mileage logged on his car.

 Beginning in November 1992 and continuing until April 1993, the Office of the Inspector General ("OIG") conducted surveillance of several employees of the Department of Sewers in furtherance of an ongoing investigation of mileage misrepresentations. On at least six occasions, employees of the OIG followed the plaintiff for the entire day, tracked his routes, and made written notes of each surveillance. These notes were then given to the Inspector General, who used them to compile an Investigative Case Summary. After compiling the summary, the Inspector General shredded the notes, despite the fact that the notes exculpated the plaintiff of any charges of mileage misrepresentation. Soon thereafter, the Inspector General charged the plaintiff with theft while performing city duties.

 On August 25, 1993, after arriving at City Hall to get work assignments for the day, the plaintiff and about sixteen other employees of the Department of Sewers were approached by several OIG employees, who flashed their badges and ordered the plaintiff and the others into some cars. Against his will, the plaintiff was compelled to get into one of the cars and was taken to a building located at 1224 West Van Buren, Chicago, Illinois. There, the plaintiff was placed alone in a room without windows and told to wait. At least one person was stationed outside the room to ensure that the plaintiff did not attempt to leave. When he made use of the restroom facilities, he was escorted by an OIG employee. Furthermore, the plaintiff was never advised of the reasons for his detention, no warrant was ever issued for his arrest, nor was plaintiff ever taken before a judge for a probable cause hearing.

 After about one hour, two employees of OIG arrived and interrogated the plaintiff about his alleged misconduct. They never advised him of his right to leave or gave him any Miranda warnings. After the interrogation, the two employees prepared a written statement and tendered it to the plaintiff. The statement contained Miranda warnings and the plaintiff's version admitting to the misconduct. The statement was untrue and had been written by one of the OIG employees. However, plaintiff signed it based on the false representation that if he cooperated by signing it, he would not lose his job. On May 16, 1994, the plaintiff was discharged from his job.

 Plaintiff contends that both the detention and interrogation were carried out pursuant to orders given by defendant Vroustouris, the Inspector General of the City of Chicago. Plaintiff further contends that the city ordinance which created the Office of Inspector General vested final decision-making authority in the Inspector General with respect to the manner of conducting investigations, thereby making him responsible for establishing final policy for investigations undertaken by his office. Finally, plaintiff claims that the named defendants, all of whom were licensed attorneys, acted under color of state law and in total disregard of established constitutional rights.

 II. STANDARD OF REVIEW

 A Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim is granted only where it is beyond doubt that the plaintiff is unable to prove any of the facts that would entitle him to relief. Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 45-46, 78 S. Ct. 99, 102, 2 L. Ed. 2d 80 (1957). The court must take all well-pleaded facts and allegations as true, and must view them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. Ellsworth v. City of Racine, 774 F.2d 182, 184 (7th Cir. 1985), cert. denied, 475 U.S. 1047, 106 S. Ct. 1265, 89 L. Ed. 2d 574 (1986). Furthermore, plaintiff is entitled to all reasonable inferences that may be drawn from the complaint. Id.

 III. DISCUSSION

 A. Section 1983 ...


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