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KELLEY v. CITY OF CHICAGO

April 23, 2002

JUDITH M. KELLEY, PLAINTIFF,
V.
CITY OF CHICAGO, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Alesia, United States District Judge.

CONSENT DECREE

WHEREAS, on February 21, 2002 Plaintiff, a sworn Chicago Police Officer, by her attorneys, Karen I. Ward and Byron L. Mason of Equip for Equality, Inc., brought this action under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 against the City of Chicago; and

WHEREAS, Plaintiff's Complaint charged that, after she had served on Limited Duty at a desk job for more than five years, the Chicago Police Department discriminated against her because of her disability by applying an unlawful police department policy to her, (ie. General Order 98-2; "Minimum Eligibility Requirements" for limited duty, attached hereto as Exhibit A) pursuant to which it removed her from Limited Duty, forced her to take medical leave and subsequently refused allow her to return to limited duty, all because she walked with a limp and was found to need a cane;

WHEREAS, Plaintiff's Complaint sought a permanent injunction barring the Department from applying the allegedly unlawful policy to her, restoration of all leave taken as a result of the application of the policy, compensatory damages, and attorneys fees; and

WHEREAS, Plaintiff also filed a motion for a temporary restraining order to enjoin the Defendant from refusing to grant her a Release to return to her previously held Limited Duty position on April 8, 2002; and

WHEREAS the factual allegations of the Plaintiff in this case, supported by affidavit, are as follows:

• Plaintiff Judith Kelley became a sworn police officer for the Chicago Police Department in 1990 and was assigned to the patrol Division;
• From 1990 until 1994, Kelley served as a full duty officer;
• In 1994 when she underwent surgery for a non-malignant brain tumor, and such surgery left her with left side hemeplegia, which consisted of weakness on her left side and a substantial limp which impairment substantially interfered with the major life activities of walking;
• After a period of recuperation and rehabilitation, she was returned to work in September of 1995 in a Limited Duty status assigned to the Central Booking;
• Plaintiff worked at a desk in Central Booking doing telephone and computer work until December of 2000 and during that entire time she was approved for Limited Duty with the restrictions of no prolonged walking and no prolonged standing;
• For the five years that she worked in Central Booking, Plaintiff was able to perform all of her duties, none of which required walking without a limp or without an assistive device, and received excellent performance ratings (ranging from 90-94);
• Plaintiff qualified with her weapon at the firing range each year from 1995 through 2000;
• In December of 2000; Plaintiff was removed from her position on limited duty after a mandatory evaluation by a physical therapist retained by the Police Department determined that she walked with a limp and could benefit from using a cane and was placed upon the medical roll after ...

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