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Harrison v. City of Chicago

June 19, 2007

DANIEL J. HARRISON, PLAINTIFF,
v.
THE CITY OF CHICAGO, ROBERT FLYNN, EDWARD LERACZ, AND UNKNOWN OFFICERS AND AGENTS OF THE CITY OF CHICAGO POLICE DEPARTMENT, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge George M. Marovich

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Plaintiff Daniel Harrison filed a three-count amended complaint against defendants City of Chicago, Robert Flynn ("Flynn"), Edward Leracz ("Leracz") and unknown officers and agents of the Chicago Police Department.*fn1 The City of Chicago has filed a motion for summary judgment with respect to plaintiff's claims against it. Defendants Leracz and Flynn have filed a joint motion for summary judgment as to plaintiff's claims against them. For the reasons set forth below, the Court grants in part and denies in part defendants' motions.

I. Background

Local Rule 56.1 outlines the requirements for the introduction of facts parties would like considered in connection with a motion for summary judgment. As the Court notes on its website (and has mentioned in multiple opinions), the Court enforces Local Rule 56.1 strictly.

Facts that are argued but do not conform with the rule are not considered by the Court. For example, facts included in a party's brief but not in its statement of facts are not considered by the Court because to do so would rob the other party of the opportunity to show that such facts are disputed. Where one party supports a fact with admissible evidence and the other party fails to controvert the fact with citation to admissible evidence, the Court deems the fact admitted. See Ammons v. Aramark Uniform Services, Inc., 368 F.3d 809, 817-818 (7th Cir. 2004). It is not enough at the summary judgment stage for either party to say a fact is disputed. The Court considers a fact disputed only if both parties put forth admissible evidence of his or its version of the fact. Asserted "facts" not supported by deposition testimony, documents, affidavits or other evidence admissible for summary judgment purposes are not considered by the Court. The Court enforces Local Rule 56.1 with respect to both parties regardless of whether either party moves to strike non-complying portions, because the purpose of the rule is to make the Court's job manageable, not to give litigants additional ammunition to use against one another.

Unless otherwise noted, the following facts are undisputed as to all parties.

Plaintiff Harrison is an Asian-American man of Filipino descent. He commenced his employment with the City of Chicago as a probationary police officer on or about October 27, 2003. By the end of January 2004, the City of Chicago had discharged him.

Before becoming a probationary employee, Harrison filled out a lot of paperwork. Among other things, Harrison signed a document entitled "Special Attention & Notification." That document stated that "candidates must complete a Personal History Questionnaire and other forms answering all questions accurately and truthfully." The document also stated that pursuant to "Municipal Code of Chicago 2-74-095, any falsification or omission of information may subject a candidate to disqualification and/or termination."

In addition, Harrison twice filled out a Personal History Questionnaire. On March 12, 2000, the first time Harrison filled out the Personal History Questionnaire, Harrison checked the "No" box in answer to the question, "Do you currently own any weapons?" In fact, as of March 12, 2000, Harrison owned a Heckler & Koch USP firearm, a Heckler & Koch pistol, a Ruger MK-2, a SIG p229, a Benelli shotgun, an Armalite AR 10A4 firearm, a Kahr K firearm and a Colt AR 15A3 rifle. On May 16, 2003, the second time Harrison filled out a Personal History Questionnaire, Harrison again checked the "No" box in answer to the question, "Do you currently own any weapons?" In fact, as of May 16, 2003, Harrison owned a Ruger MK2 firearm and a Sigarms P229.

When Harrison signed the Personal History Questionnaire on May 16, 2003, he also signed a "Chicago Police Department Authorization to Release Information and Waiver." That document stated, among other things:

I, Dan Harrison, an applicant for a position with the Chicago Police Department (hereinafter "CPD"), understands [sic] that the CPD needs to thoroughly investigate my personal and employment histories to evaluate my qualifications to hold the position for which I have applied. It is in the public's interest that all relevant information concerning my personal and employment histories be disclosed to the CPD.

I consent to your release of any and all public and private information that you may have concerning me for the following:

* * * --any and all records maintained by any criminal justice or corrections agency including incident reports, arrest records, traffic citations and criminal history information

Once he had all of the paperwork filled out, Harrison started as a probationary police officer on October 27, 2003. A highpoint of Harrison's time at the police academy was his becoming class commander of his police academy class. A low point was when Harrison was standing at attention and Flynn, who worked at the police academy, made a "rambling comment" in which he called Harrison a "sand-nigger" and "Al ...


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