Defender's Office, then the Court would be allowing a misuse of
the protections provided by Shakman, and its purpose would be thwarted.
Thus, Defendants' motion for summary judgment on Count IV is granted.
VI. Equal Protection
Finally, Count V alleges that Defendants violated Plaintiffs' rights
under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the
United States Constitution by arbitrarily and capriciously denying
Plaintiffs pay increases and promotions without any rational basis.
(Defs.' 56.1 ¶ 235.) In order to state a cause of action under the
equal protection clause, plaintiffs must prove that they were
intentionally treated differently from others who were similarly situated
and that there is no rational basis for the difference in treatment.
Village of Willowbrook v. Olech, 528 U.S. 562, 564-65 (2000).*fn31
Although Plaintiffs are correct in asserting that the number of
individuals in a class is immaterial to establishing a claim under
Olech, Plaintiffs still must prove that others were not treated similarly
to them. The Seventh Circuit has clearly held that plaintiffs cannot
maintain an equal protection claim if the record shows that others
similarly situated to plaintiffs were not treated any differently from
the plaintiffs. See Hedrich v. Rd. of Regents of the Univ. of Wisconsin
Sys., 274 F.3d 1174, 1183 (7th Cir. 2001); Simonsen v. Bd. of Educ. of
the City of Chicago, No. 01-3081, 2002 WL 230777, at *5 (N.D. Ill.
February 14, 2002) (holding that plaintiff's admission that he was not
treated differently from other similarly situated teachers pleads him out
of an equal protection claim under a "class of one" theory)
In this case, Plaintiffs have proffered evidence showing various
instances where other Attorney Supervisors, and even Chiefs, have been
allegedly treated arbitrarily by Defendants' system of compensation,
promotion, and hiring. (Pls.' 56.1 Resp. ¶¶ 87-91, Ex. 6). For
instance, Chiefs appear to be graded anywhere from D3, D5, DC, D7, D8 to
D9 (Pls.' 56.1 Resp. ¶ 87, Ex. 6), but according to Defendants,
Chiefs should be D8 or D9, with only a Training Chief at D5.*fn32 In
addition, among the Attorney Supervisors in felony, Mr. Collins and Mr.
Mullane were each a D4, while Mr. Smith was a D5 and Mr. Howard was a
D6. (Id.) Thus, Mr. Mullane was arguably treated similarly to Mr.
Collins, and paid less than both Mr. Smith and Mr. Howard, but Mr.
Mullane is not a Plaintiff. Further, Plaintiffs argue that Defendants
have not explained why Ms. Horn, Ms. Williams, Mr. Fletcher, and Mr.
Miller each remain at either D4 or D3, while Mr. Hirschboeck, Mr. Nash,
and Mr. Ptacek in juvenile, misdemeanor, and felony, respectively earn
more at D6. (Id.) However, looking at the same document which allegedly
proves Plaintiffs' point, apparently
other individuals are also earning
less than Mr. Hirschboeck, Mr. Mash, and Mr. Ptacek, including Attorney
Supervisors Crystal Marchigiani a D3 in juvenile, Howard Winston a D3 in
felony, and Mr. Matsopola and Lisa Brean, both a D3 in the misdemeanor
division. (Id.) Curiously, Plaintiffs do not mention Ms. Rogers nor Ms.
Kozlowski in making their equal protection arguments.
Plaintiffs devote much of their time attempting to show the arbitrary
and irrational nature of Defendants' hiring and promotions practice, but
to succeed with an equal protection claim under Olech, Plaintiffs must
also prove that they were singled out and that no one was similarly
mistreated. Plaintiffs have failed to meet this burden. Similar to the
facts in Simonsen, the record here shows that Defendants have arguably
treated numerous Attorney Supervisors as unfairly as it treated
Plaintiffs and has similarly paid these non-Plaintiffs less money than
other Attorney Supervisors. Proof that other, non-Plaintiff supervisory
attorneys are arguably mistreated by Defendants' hiring and promotions
system results in Plaintiffs' inability to maintain an equal protection
claim under the "class of one" theory.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT, for the reasons set forth above, Defendants'
Motion for Summary Judgment on Count I of Male Plaintiffs' claim, and
Counts IV and V, be, and the same hereby is GRANTED.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, that Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment on
Count I of Female Plaintiffs' claim, and Counts II and III be, and the
same hereby is, DENIED.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED, that Plaintiffs' Motion for Summary Judgment on
Counts III and IV, be, and the same hereby is, DENIED.