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Ienco v. City of Chicago

April 12, 2002

JOSEPH IENCO, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
CITY OF CHICAGO, A MUNICIPAL CORPORATION, P.O. KENNETH ANGARONE, INDIVIDUALLY AND IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS A MEMBER OF THE CHICAGO POLICE DEPARTMENT, AND P.O. THOMAS MCGANN, INDIVIDUALLY AND IN HIS OFFICIAL CAPACITY AS A MEMBER OF THE CHICAGO POLICE DEPARTMENT, DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES.



Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division. No. 00 C 3831--Ruben Castillo, Judge.

Before Coffey, Manion, and Williams, Circuit Judges.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Williams, Circuit Judge.

Argued February 13, 2002

Joseph Ienco was convicted of various federal weapons and extortion charges in April 1995. After raising several successful constitutional challenges to the manner of his arrest, his conviction was overturned and the indictment was dismissed. Seeking compensation for what he believed to be a wrongful prosecution caused by the actions of defendants City of Chicago ("the City") and two City police officers, Ienco brought an action under 42 U.S.C. sec. 1983. The district court, in granting summary judgment for defendants, concluded that Ienco's state and federal malicious prosecution claims failed on the merits as a matter of law, because he could not prove that the defendants denied his substantive due process rights. Ienco appeals. During the pendency of his appeal, we decided Newsome v. McCabe, 256 F.3d 747 (7th Cir. 2001), which held that federal malicious prosecution claims should not be examined under a theory of substantive due process, but must instead be analyzed under the due process clause directly. In light of Newsome, we reverse judgment as to the individual officers but affirm judgment as to the City.

I. BACKGROUND

A. Facts

Joseph Ienco operated as a real estate broker and rent collector, along with his associate Gregory Iovine. On the side, Ienco doubled as a debt collection enforcer. In August 1994, Ienco and Iovine were sent to collect payment from a Chicago businessman, Jerome Greenberg, who apparently owed a debt to Ienco's boss, a clothing importer. Ienco and Iovine traveled to Chicago and secured a hotel room and rental car. Shortly thereafter, they paid a visit to Greenberg at his Chicago office, where they talked tough with Greenberg about the money that he owed to Ienco's boss. Ienco and Iovine left, intending to return to Greenberg's office to engage in more aggressively threatening behavior, primarily with the aid of firearms and explosives.

When Ienco and Iovine returned to Greenberg's building, Greenberg saw them and called the police. Defendant Chicago police officers Kenneth Angarone and Thomas McGann soon arrived at the scene. What happened next is the source of much dispute. In brief, Ienco claimed that the officers conducted an unlawful search and seizure. The officers claimed that they received consent for all search and seizure activity. What is not in dispute is that the search and seizure of Ienco and his associate began a chain of events that led the officers to discover that Ienco and Iovine's rental vehicle contained a variety of dangerous weapons. Acting with Iovine's tacit approval, government agents also discovered more incriminating evidence in Ienco and Iovine's hotel room.

B. District Court Procedural History

Ienco was charged with various federal crimes regarding his cache of illegal weapons and explosives and his attempts at extortion. As one might expect, he moved to suppress the physical evidence seized following his arrest, arguing that it was the product of an illegal search and seizure. At trial, these issues were initially discussed at length in a suppression hearing before Judge Duff. Judge Duff denied the motion to suppress, finding that the testimony of Officer Angarone was "complete, consistent, informed, careful, [and] professional." As a result of the denial of the motion to suppress, Iovine became a witness against Ienco--who was promptly convicted at trial. Officer Angarone testified at the suppression hearing and at trial. Officer McGann offered a stipulation for the suppression hearing and proffered testimony that was not introduced at trial. Ienco was sentenced to 425 months in prison, and he appealed.

In United States v. Ienco, 92 F.3d 564 (7th Cir. 1996) ("Ienco I"), we reversed and remanded, finding that the district court committed several prejudicial errors, which required a new suppression hearing and trial. Pursuant to Circuit Rule 36, we assigned the matter to Judge Coar.

Judge Coar conducted a thorough review of the record on the motion to suppress. Both officers testified at the new suppression hearing. After weighing all available information, Judge Coar found numerous inconsistencies in the officers' stories, concluding that "[i]n short, Angarone and McGann lied."*fn1 Appropriately, he suppressed the evidence. The government appealed.*fn2

We affirmed. In United States v. Ienco, 182 F.3d 517 (7th Cir. 1999) ("Ienco III"), we found that suppression of all physical evidence was warranted, because the officers lacked reasonable suspicion for a Terry stop and also unlawfully arrested Ienco. See, e.g., Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1, 21-22 (1968). We did not extensively address Judge Coar's factual findings that the officers lied. However, we did note that the government did not appeal Judge Coar's findings of fact as to what actually occurred, effectively conceding that the officers' testimony was not to be believed. See Ienco III, 182 F.3d at 524, n. 4.

After our decision in Ienco III, the government dismissed the indictment. Shortly thereafter, Ienco brought thecurrent action. Although Ienco initially alleged a host of constitutional violations, he eventually focused on a single issue: whether the defendants were liable under a ...


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