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BROWN v. CITY OF AURORA

September 30, 1996

LISA HILLIVI BROWN, Plaintiff,
v.
CITY OF AURORA, Defendant.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: ALESIA

 This matter is before the Court on Defendant City of Aurora's motion for summary judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56 and motion to strike. For the reasons discussed hereafter, both motions are denied.

 I. BACKGROUND

 Plaintiff Lisa Hillivi Brown, a black female, began employment with the Defendant City of Aurora's Police Department in April 1990. Prior to becoming a patrol officer, one must first attend a ten-week training course at a police academy. Upon completion of the police academy training course, the recruits are hired by the City of Aurora as probationary patrol officers. The recruits are not released from probation until they next successfully complete the "Officer Training Program (OTP)."

 Generally, a recruit can earn a first release from the OTP after three months of training, and a second and final release after the fourth month of training. It is not unusual, however, for a recruit to spend an extra month in the OTP -- many do, especially if one is not familiar with the Aurora area. But, if the recruit fails to earn a first and second release, his employment with the City of Aurora will be terminated.

 While participating in the OTP, the recruits are assigned a "Field Training Officer (FTO)." FTOs train the recruits and are responsible for completing daily observation reports on each recruit. Generally, the recruits are assigned a new FTO on a monthly basis, but it is not unusual for a recruit to be assigned the same FTO twice.

 Brown failed to earn a first release within her first three months in the OTP. Her FTOs concluded that her performance was lacking in the "streets and orientation," "self-initiated field activity," and "report writing" areas. Consequently, Brown's stay in the OTP was extended by one month on two separate occasions. After six months in the OTP, Brown had yet to earn her first release. Brown was therefore terminated.

 On February 7, 1991, Brown filed a charge of race and sex discrimination with the Illinois Department of Human Rights (IDHR) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). On January 23, 1995, the EEOC issued a right to sue letter.

 On April 19, 1995, Brown filed a complaint in this Court alleging violations of Title VII, 42 U.S.C. ยง 2000e et seq.; the complaint was subsequently amended twice. The complaint contains one count of race discrimination and one count of sex discrimination.

 II. DISCUSSION

 Relying on Brown's brief, in her attempt to impose Title VII liability upon the City of Aurora, she advances one disparate treatment claim premised on two forms of discrimination -- race and sex. *fn1" Specifically, Brown claims that she was terminated from the City of Aurora's Police Department because of her race and/or sex. Following a statement of the summary judgment standard of review, the Court will address Brown's disparate treatment claim. The City of Aurora's motion to strike will be addressed while discussing the disparate treatment claim.

 A. Summary Judgment - Standard of Review

 Under FED. R. CIV. P. 56(c), summary judgment shall be granted if the record shows that "there is no genuine issue as to any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law." Black v. Henry Pratt Co., 778 F.2d 1278, 1281 (7th Cir. 1985). The moving party has the burden of providing proper documentary evidence to show the absence of a genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 91 L. Ed. 2d 265, 106 S. Ct. 2548 (1986). A genuine issue of material fact exists when "there is sufficient evidence favoring the nonmoving party for a jury to return a verdict for that party." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249, 91 L. Ed. 2d 202, 106 S. Ct. 2505 (1986). Unquestionably, in determining whether a genuine issue of material fact exists, the evidence is to be taken in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Adickes v. S.H. Kress & Co., 398 U.S. 144, 26 L. Ed. 2d 142, 90 S. Ct. 1598 (1970). Once the moving ...


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