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WILLIS v. CITY OF CHICAGO

August 1, 2005.

LILLIE M. WILLIS, Plaintiff,
v.
CITY OF CHICAGO, Defendant.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: AMY J. ST. EVE, District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Plaintiff Lillie M. Willis ("Willis") brought a two-count First Amended Complaint against Defendant City of Chicago ("City") alleging sexual harassment in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. and disability discrimination in violation of Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq. On March 24, 2005, Willis voluntarily dismissed her disability claim. Before the Court is the City's Motion for Summary Judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(c) as to the sexual harassment claim. For the following reasons, the Court grants the City's motion.*fn1 UNDISPUTED FACTS

I. Willis' Employment with City of Chicago

  On May 14, 1985, Willis began working for the Chicago Department of Transportation ("CDOT") as a bridge operator. (R. 39-1, Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment and Rule 56.1 Statement of Facts, ¶¶ 8, 9.) Willis' immediate supervisor, Darryl Rouse, has been the Superintendent of Operations for Bridges with CDOT since 1994. (Id. ¶¶ 10, 11.) Willis has also had three rotating supervisors, including Jim Frobes, Lawson Brown, and Ray Damarjian. (Id. ¶ 12.) These supervisors' duties include assisting on boat runs, picking up time sheets and daily reports, assisting in checking bridge houses, and reporting problems to Superintendent Rouse. (Id. ¶ 13.) From 1993 until 2003, Stan Kaderbeck was Chief Engineer/Deputy Commissioner of Bridges and Transit for CDOT and served as Superintendent Rouse's supervisor. (Id. ¶ 14.)

  II. The 92nd Street Bridge Tower (West)

  On April 4, 1997, Willis found copies of Hustler magazine in the bathroom shared by men and women bridge operators at the west bridge tower located at 3300 East 92nd Street. (Id. ¶¶ 16, 17.) Willis did not know who left the magazines in the bathroom and complained about the magazines to Superintendent Rouse on or about April 8 or 9, 1997. (Id. ¶¶ 18, 19.) Rouse had the offensive magazines removed within two days of Willis' complaint. (Id. ¶ 20.)

  On April 11, 1997, Willis filed a written complaint concerning the magazines with the City of Chicago Sexual Harassment Office. (Id. ¶ 21.) Thereafter, the Sexual Harassment Office conducted an investigation into Willis' complaint that included witness interviews and an on-site investigation. (Id. ¶ 22.) As a result of its investigation, the Sexual Harassment Office sustained Willis' complaint. (Id. ¶ 23.)

  Superintendent Rouse then issued a memorandum on September 22, 1997, stating that sexually suggestive materials were prohibited in the workplace, and ordered any such materials discarded. (Id. ¶ 24.) Rouse also ordered that the memorandum be conspicuously posted at all bridge control towers and checked to make sure that the memorandum was posted as ordered. (Id. ¶¶ 25, 26.) After Rouse had the offensive magazines removed in April of 1997, Willis did not encountered any more offensive magazines at the west bridge tower at 3200 East 92nd Street. (Id. ¶ 27.)

  III. Dearborn Street Bridge Tower

  In 1998 or 1999, while working at the Dearborn Street bridge tower, Willis found a page torn from a men's magazine depicting a nude female with Willis' name written on it. (Id. ¶¶ 28, 31.) Willis reported the incident to Superintendent Rouse who issued a memorandum to other employees concerning the incident. (Id. ¶¶ 29, 30.) Rouse also sent Willis to talk to Andra Gomberg and her staff at the City of Chicago Sexual Harassment Office, where they informed Willis that they would investigate the incident. (Id. ¶ 30.) Willis does not know who left the magazine page at the Dearborn Street bridge tower. (Id. ¶ 31.)

  IV. East Grand Avenue Trailer

  In 1998 or 1999, at the East Grand Avenue trailer, Willis found some Hustler magazines. (Id. ¶ 33.) She also noted that someone had posted three or four photographs of nude people torn from the magazines. (Id.) Willis reported the magazines and pictures to Superintendent Rouse. (Id. ¶ 35.) Although Willis cannot say that anyone intentionally left the magazines for her, she believes that the tradesmen who were assigned to a construction project at East Grand Avenue left the pictures. (Id. ¶¶ 36, 37, 38.) In response to Willis' complaint, Rouse issued another memorandum. (Id. ¶ 40.) At her deposition, Willis testified that Rouse investigated her complaint to the fullest extent possible. (Id. ¶ 41.)

  V. Kinzie Street Bridge Tower

  When Willis arrived at the Kinzie Street bridge tower on or around May 28, 2003, she found the door to the bridge tower ajar. (Id. ¶¶ 42, 43.) She then found a pair of women's underwear by the bridge tower door. (Id. ¶¶ 42, 44.) Willis notified Superintendent Rouse about the underwear. (Id. ¶ 47.) In addition, Willis notified Gomberg at the Sexual Harassment Office. (Id. ¶ 49.) Willis did not know who left the underwear at the Kinzie Street bridge tower. (Id. ¶ 50.) Meanwhile, rotating supervisor Jim Frobes investigated Willis' complaint. (Id. ¶ 48.)

  Thereafter, Donald O'Malley, Employee Relations Supervisor for CDOT, issued a memorandum reminding bridge operators and trades employees of the City's policy prohibiting sexual harassment, and advising them that the display of inappropriate articles of clothing at bridge towers was prohibited. (Id. ¶ 52.) Since May 2003, Willis has not found additional materials, such as offensive magazines or articles of clothing, at any of the bridge locations. (Id. ¶ 53.)

  VI. Other Incidences

  A. Clogged ...


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