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McCloud v. Rodriguez

March 30, 1999

DELWIN MCCLOUD, PETITIONER-APPELLANT,
v.
MATT L. RODRIGUEZ, FORMER SUPERINTENDENT OF POLICE; THE CITY OF CHICAGO, A MUNICIPAL CORPORATION; AND THE POLICE BOARD OF THE CITY OF CHICAGO, RESPONDENTS-APPELLEES.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Cook County. Honorable John K. Madden, Judge Presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Justice Rakowski

JUSTICE RAKOWSKI delivered the opinion of the court:

Following an administrative hearing, the Police Board of the City of Chicago (Board) discharged petitioner Delwin McCloud from the Chicago police department (Department) for violating certain departmental rules and regulations. On administrative review, the circuit court of Cook County confirmed the Board's decision. McCloud appeals. We have jurisdiction under Supreme Court Rule 301, allowing appeals from final judgments. 155 Ill. 2d R. 301.

On review, we find that the Board may correct clerical errors in issued decisions by filing a nunc pro tunc decision even though a petition for administrative review has already been filed in the circuit court. We also find that the Board's findings of fact are supported by the manifest weight of the evidence and that the Board's decision to discharge McCloud from the Department was reasonable and appropriate. We therefore affirm.

I. FACTS

On the evening of November 18, 1995, Julienne Phillips McCloud (Phillips), a corrections officer, paged her husband, McCloud, to obtain proof of insurance she needed as a result of her involvement in a car accident. McCloud was at a dinner party and refused to bring the material to Phillips. The following morning, McCloud returned home at approximately 6 a.m. While he was dressing for work in their bedroom, he and Phillips began arguing. The argument flared into a physical altercation. During the fight, McCloud struck Phillips several times on her head and body. Phillips reached for her service revolver, which she kept underneath her pillow, and shot McCloud. McCloud shot back, striking Phillips in her abdomen. Following the shootings, McCloud made a series of telephone calls to family members. He also spoke with police. He informed the police that he would shoot anyone who entered his house. Nearly eight hours later, McCloud finally surrendered to police. It was only then that Phillips and McCloud received medical attention.

The superintendent charged McCloud with numerous rule violations including: Rule 2, any action or conduct which impedes the Department's efforts to achieve its policy and/or goals and/or brings discredit upon the Department; Rule 6, disobedience of an order or directive, whether written or oral; Rule 8, disrespect to or maltreatment of any person, while on or off duty; Rule 9, engaging in any unjustified verbal or physical altercation with any person, while on or off duty; Rule 28, being absent from duty without proper authorization; and Rule 38, unlawful or unnecessary use or display of a weapon.

The superintendent called numerous witnesses against McCloud. McCloud's father, Roosevelt McCloud, testified that he went to McCloud's house after his wife received a call from McCloud. Upon arriving, he went to McCloud's neighbor's home, where he spoke to McCloud on the telephone. McCloud told him that he would shoot the first person who came through his door.

Officer Michael Rigoli testified that he and his partner responded to the scene after being notified by police radio that a woman had been shot. They knocked on the doors but could not enter. Soon after, McCloud's neighbor came out of her house, informed Rigoli that McCloud was on her telephone, and asked him if he wanted to speak with McCloud. When Rigoli spoke to him on the telephone, McCloud told him that he had a gun, that he shot his wife, and that he would not come out.

Detective Michael Hughes testified that he arrived at McCloud's house at approximately 7:30 a.m. Upon arriving, he went to the neighbor's house and spoke to Roosevelt McCloud, who asked him to speak to McCloud over the telephone. McCloud told Hughes that he would "shoot the first guy through the door" and then hung up the telephone. Similarly, the second time Hughes called McCloud, McCloud told him that he was "going to shoot the first policeman through the door" and, again, hung up the telephone.

Lieutenant David Cristovic testified that he arrived at McCloud's home at approximately 7:30 a.m. and that the doors to McCloud's home were locked. He also stated that there was no response from inside the house when he knocked. Upon being told that McCloud would shoot any officer attempting to enter his home, he requested the hostage and barricade team's assistance.

Commander John Kennedy of the hostage and barricade team testified that the use of the team was necessary. Two people had been shot and McCloud threatened to kill any officer attempting to enter his residence. The most important concern during the incident, however, was the safety of Phillips, which was difficult to ascertain because the team was unable to communicate with her during the standoff.

McCloud also spoke to various family members on the telephone. Alvin Phillips, Phillips' brother, testified that at approximately 7 a.m. McCloud called him and stated that he had shot his wife and that she was dead. Alvin then used another telephone to call police.

Wanita Phillips, Alvin's wife, also spoke to McCloud on the telephone. She testified that McCloud told her that Phillips shot him, that he then shot Phillips, and that he intended to shoot himself. Although McCloud refused to do so, Wanita insisted that he contact the paramedics. Similarly, Clyrisse Howard, one of Phillips' friends, recounted that McCloud told her ...


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