The opinion of the court was delivered by: ROBERT GETTLEMAN, District Judge
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
In his first amended, seven-count complaint, plaintiff Jason
Rozskowiak seeks damages against defendants arising from their alleged
discrimination against him on the basis of national origin during and
subsequent to his employment with the Village of Arlington Heights Police
Department. Specifically, plaintiffs claims are as follows: hosfile work
environment in violation
of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended.,
42 U.S.C. § 2000 et seq.. against defendants Village of
Arlington Heights (the "Village"), Rodney Kath, Ronald McClaskey, Peter
Kinsey, William Martin, and William Newman (Count I); termination on the
basis of plaintiff's national origin in violation of Title VII against
defendant Village of Arlington Heights Board of Fire and Police
Commissioners and its individual members (the "Board of Commissioners"),
the Village, Kath, McClaskey, Kinsey, Martin and Newman (Count II);
damages under 42 U.S.C. § 1981 and 1981(a) against all defendants
(Count III); violation of the Labor-Management Relations Act (the
"LMRA"), 29 U.S.C. § 158(a)(1), against the Village and Board of
Commissioners (Count IV); intentional interference with an employment
relationship under Illinois law against Kath, McClaskey, Kinsey, and
Martin (Count V); intentional interference with a prospective business
advantage under Illinois law against the Village and Kath (Count VI); and
"defamation and false light invasion of privacy" under Illinois law
against Kath (Count VII).
Defendants have moved for summary judgment on all counts pursuant to
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56. For the reasons stated herein, defendants' motion is
granted in its entirety.
Plaintiff was hired as a probationary officer by the Village on October
8, 1998. He was sent to the Illinois State Police Basic Recruits School
and after graduation was placed in a fourteen-week field training
program. Upon completion of the fourteen-week program, plaintiff was
released for "solo patrol."
On May 15, 1999, while on solo patrol, plaintiff arrested Harvey Olson
for driving without a license on his person and speeding. Olson
subsequently filed a citizen complaint*fn2 with the Village in which he
stated that plaintiff used "Gestapo-like tactics" and used undue force
during his encounter with Olson. Among other things, Olson complained
that plaintiff instructed him that he could say only "yes, sir," and "no,
sir" and was "abusive with the use of his power" over both Olson and
All citizen complaints are investigated, and Deputy Chief of Police
Ronald McClaskey assigned Sergeants William Martin and Kenneth Galinski
to investigate the Olson complaint. On May 28, 1999, Sergeants Martin and
Galinski interviewed plaintiff regarding the Olson incident and
subsequently filed a report summarizing their investigation.
At his deposition, Martin testified that he concluded that plaintiff
"overreacted to a traffic stop in which he was confused about a charge of
driving without a driver's license [on the person] and the charge of
driving with no valid driver's license." According to Martin, after
pulling Olson over for speeding, plaintiff handcuffed Olson and brought
him to the police station thinking that the proper charge was driving
without a valid license, which is a custodial offense. Ultimately,
however, plaintiff charged Olson with driving without a driver's license
on his person, which Martin characterized as a "minor traffic violation."
According to Martin, the speeding violation committed by Olson did not
require a custodial arrest, unless Olson "[did not] have a driver's
license or [could not] prove that [he had] a valid driver's license."
According to Martin, plaintiff explained in his interview that he was
confused between the charges of driving without a driver's license
on the person and driving without a valid driver's license. Martin
testified that, although plaintiffs confusion was not uncommon, the
recommended course of action in such a situation would be to call a
supervisor, which plaintiff failed to do.
In light of the Olson complaint and Martin's and Galinksi's
investigation thereof, on June 15, 1999, Chief of Police Rodney Kath
inquired of the Command Staff whether he should dismiss plaintiff
immediately or invest more time in retraining plaintiff, and the staff
recommended the latter. Sergeant William Newman, who was not a field
training officer, was assigned to ride along with plaintiff for the
purpose of providing additional training.
According to Commander Peter Kinsey's deposition testimony, the Command
Staff determined that the field training program had failed plaintiff and
thus it would be inappropriate to put plaintiff back into field training.
Before the meeting, Sergeant Newman, who had previously spoken with
Commander Peter Kinsey regarding plaintiffs performance deficiencies,
volunteered to do the additional training, and the Command Staff assigned
the task to him (even though he was not a field training officer). In his
affidavit, plaintiff asserts that Sergeant Newman was assigned to
ride-along with him either to document reasons justifying plaintiffs
termination or to force him to resign.
Between June 17, 1999, and July 12, 1999, Sergeant Newman spent
thirteen work days, totaling approximately 90 to 100 hours, directly
observing plaintiff. Sergeant Newman completed typewritten daily reports
of his observations which plaintiff signed. In his affidavit, plaintiff
asserts that, based on a conversation in which Commander Kinsey informed
him that Sergeant Newman would make a decision on whether or not
plaintiff would continue to work for the
police department, plaintiff understood that "Sergeant Newman was
chosen to ride along with [me] for the reason of getting me terminated."
Newman was never asked for any recommendation with respect to discipline
or termination of plaintiff, however.
According to plaintiff, Sergeant Newman made derogatory remarks about
plaintiffs Polish national origin, calling him a "stupid Polack" and a
"dumb Polack," among other things, during the thirteen-day ride along.
Sergeant Newman denies plaintiffs characterization of his remarks.
Rather, at his deposition, Sergeant Newman testified:
Well, [plaintiff] would make a specific comment,
he would say he would raise his hands and
put a smile on his face and he'd say, "What do you
expect? I'm Polish," when confronted with a
problem or some type of criticism, and he would do
that several times a day. . . . And after several
days of observing that, when he would start to put
his hands up on several occasions, as he would
start to say that, I would say, "Yes, I know,
you're Polish. Let's move on," and I would move on
in our conversation.
Sergeant Galinski testified at his deposition that every time he would
point out necessary corrections in plaintiffs police reports, plaintiff
would say, "Come on, what do you expect from a Polack." Another officer,
Sergeant Raymond Rohde, stated in an affidavit that when plaintiff would
make a mistake and it was called to his attention, plaintiff would "cock
his head to one side with a big smile and say `It's because I am a
Polack.'" According to Rohde, he told plaintiff to stop making comments
about his Polish identity, which were an insult to the Polish nationality
and made him look foolish. Plaintiff disputes Rohde's characterization of
their conversation, and denies making derogatory comments about himself
as an excuse for his mistakes.
At one point in his deposition, plaintiff testified that he did not
recall anyone else in the police department ever making any derogatory
remarks about his Polish ancestry; at later point, however, he testified
that Sergeant Martin called him a "stupid Polack" during his
of the Olson incident and that Commander Kinsey made comments to
the effect of "You're not cut out [to be a police officer] because you
The parties also dispute whether plaintiff was told that he needed
higher quotas for tickets and driving under the influence arrests.
Although plaintiff testified at his deposition that no one told him that
he had to have higher quotas, he did state that he was expected to have
higher statistics than other probationary officers, and that he believed
he had to have higher quotas because of his Polish extraction. Plaintiff
did not produce evidence regarding the statistics for other probationary
officers relating to their arrests or productivity, however.
At his deposition, plaintiff testified that he could not recall any
other ethnic slurs directed at him after he completed his tour with
Sergeant Newman. In his affidavit, however, plaintiff stated that, after
he completed his tour, "on almost a daily basis, Sergeant Newman would
call me in from patrol to tell me personally that the written evaluations
he made of me during my training were handed ...