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DEHEVE v. PRICE

February 28, 2002

JACOB L. DEHEVE, PLAINTIFF,
V.
ANN PRICE AND RENEE CIPRIANO, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Scott, District Judge.

ORDER

This matter comes before the Court on Defendants Ann Price and Renee Cipriano's Motion for Summary Judgment. DeHeve claims that Defendants violated his First Amendment rights when they refused to hire him for a maintenance position at the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA). The parties have adequately briefed the issues. The Court therefore denies the Defendants' request for oral argument. The uncontroverted evidence establishes that DeHeve chose to support the Republican Party. There is no evidence that his political affiliation with the Republican Party adversely affected his application for the position at issue. The Court therefore grants the Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment.

STATEMENT OF THE FACTS

In 1996, DeHeve was looking for a job with the State of Illinois. He asked his sister for help.*fn1 His sister was a precinct committeeman for the Republican Party in Sangamon County, Illinois. She told him she would look into it. Shortly thereafter, DeHeve got a six month contract to work as a security guard with the Illinois Department of Mental Health.

Not long after that contract expired, Defendant Ann Price left a message on DeHeve's answering machine that she w as calling about a job at IEPA. Price is the Manager of Human Resources at IEPA. DeHeve called his sister; she said that she would talk to Irv Smith about the position. Smith is Chairman of the Sanagamon County, Illinois, Republican Party. DeHeve did not know Smith's position, but knew Smith was a "big shot" in the Party. DeHeve called Price back. Price told DeHeve that there was a maintenance position at IEPA. DeHeve interviewed for the position and was hired. DeHeve believes that he was considered for the temporary position because of his sister's efforts within the Republican Party.

DeHeve learned at the interview at IEPA that the maintenance position was technically a temporary position. He would actually be employed by Alice Campbell Temporary Service. IEPA employees, however, selected him for the job and supervised him. DeHeve began work on February 3, 1997. He worked 37 = hours a week. He w orked a day shift.

On June 16, 1998, DeHeve secured an evening dispatcher job at the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA). His shift at IEMA was from 4:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m. He did not use political connections to secure this job. At some point in 1999, a person with more seniority than he at IEMA elected to take the evening dispatcher shift. This meant DeHeve had to w ork the day shift. This interfered with his maintenance job at IEPA. DeHeve and the other IEM A employee agreed to split the day and evening shifts. DeHeve was then able to continue to work at IEPA for 21 hours per week.

DeHeve regularly told Price and others at IEPA that he w as interested in a permanent position at IEPA. In the fall of 1999, DeHeve learned that a permanent position in a maintenance department at IEPA would be opening up. The opening was posted on November 16, 1999. He asked about transferring to the position from IEMA, but was told that was not possible. He applied for the maintenance position as an outside applicant. He had a grade A score on the civil service exam and had a veteran's preference.

DeHeve learned from employees at IEPA that a man named Lance Bauman would be hired for the IEPA maintenance position. Bauman was w orking at the Secretary of State's office. Bauman did not apply for the job as an outside applicant.

Bauman had contacted a friend in Governor George Ryan's office to see about the possibility of a transfer to a position in an office under the Governor. Ryan, a Republican, had previously been Secretary of State. The current Secretary of State, Jesse White, is a Democrat. Bauman's friend in the Governor's office contacted IEPA about considering Bauman for the position. The IEPA is under the control of the Governor. Bauman ultimately secured the position through an interagency transfer from the Secretary of State's office to the IEPA. As a result, the IEPA did not need to consider outside applicants such as DeHeve for the position.

DeHeve went to speak with Price on D ecember 8, 1999, to find out why he would not get the job. According to DeHeve, Price told him that the Governor himself called her about the position. Price said that she contacted the Governor or the Governor's office about DeHeve's interest in the job, but she was told that if she did not keep her nose out of it she would lose her job.*fn2

Price advised D eHeve to contact Irv Smith. DeHeve contacted Teresa Starling, his precinct committeeman for the Sangamon, County, Illinois Republican Party. She told him to contact Republican headquarters. On December 9, 1999, DeHeve spoke to a person named Brenda at Republican headquarters. She said she would get him an interview and would call him back. She never did.

Both DeHeve and Bauman supported the Republican Party, although Bauman was more active. Bauman worked on several of Ryan's campaigns. He put up signs in yards, walked in parades, walked door to door, bought tickets for fund raising events, and made contributions to Ryan's campaigns. DeHeve put up signs in his own yard, bought a ticket in 1997 to a Ryan fund raising event, sent Ann Price $25 as a contribution for a Ryan fund raising event, and made a $10 contribution to the Republican Party. In 1997, Price had sent DeHeve two tickets to the above referenced Ryan fund raising event. She wanted him to purchase the tickets. He returned the tickets to Price with a note in which he explained that he bought a fund raising ticket at IEMA. He sent her the $25 contribution with the returned tickets.*fn3

On December 20, 1999, DeHeve resigned from his position at IEPA. His fellow employee at IEMA would no longer agree to split the day and evening shifts with him. She had more seniority and preferred the evening shift. He thus had to work full-time on days at IEMA and could no longer work the temporary job at IEPA. He then brought this action under 42 U.S.C. ยง 1983. He named Price in her personal and official capacities. He ...


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