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Libri v. Quinn

July 15, 2010


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Richard Mills, U.S. District Judge


Pending before the Court are the Defendants' motion for summary judgment and the Plaintiff's motion to strike the Defendants' motion for summary judgment.

Motion to strike is DENIED.

Motion for summary judgment is ALLOWED.


Prior to her termination, Plaintiff Ann Libri ("the Plaintiff" or "Ms. Libri") was an employee of the Illinois Department of Transportation ("IDOT") in Springfield, Illinois. The Plaintiff worked in the Division of Traffic Safety, Grants Section, which was abolished in its entirety. Ms. Libri testified that as of May 27, 2004, she was aware that her position was being abolished.*fn2 The Plaintiff alleges that the effective date of her termination was June 30, 2004. This lawsuit was filed on June 30, 2006.

The Defendants allege that the Plaintiff's position was one of a number of jobs that were abolished at the end of fiscal year 2004, pursuant to a material reorganization. According to the Defendants, the Office of Management and Budget ("OMB") had called for a reduction in the employee headcount in numerous State agencies, in response to a pending financial crisis.

The 2005 budget instructed IDOT in particular, under the heading "Headcount Reduction," to "[s]treamline operations and improve efficiency by consolidating functions and reorganizing operations agency-wide." Additionally, the OMB directed IDOT to reduce its headcount by 190 personnel compared to the authorization for Fiscal Year 2004. The authorized headcount for Fiscal Year 2004 was 6,315. Thus, pursuant to the OMB's directive, the recommended headcount for Fiscal Year 2005 was 6,149.*fn3 Even prior to releasing its proposed budget, the OMB informally advised IDOT, in late 2003, that Fiscal Year 2005 was going to be "a tough budget season" and that IDOT would need to streamline its operations and reduce its headcount.

The Defendants allege that, in response to the OMB's directive, IDOT implemented a material reorganization.*fn4 Its purpose was to address the State's unfunded pension liability and significant budgetary deficit by reducing waste and eliminating redundancies. The Defendants further contend that the positions held by the 20 Plaintiffs in these cases (including a total of 19 Plaintiffs in two similar cases), as well as 27 other incumbent positions, were abolished pursuant to the material reorganization.*fn5 Additionally, a total of 104 positions were abolished at IDOT which did not then have employees assigned to them. The Plaintiff disputes these allegations, contending that IDOT did not develop a financial analysis of the savings to be gained from the material reorganization and that the purpose of the reorganization was to create vacancies to be filled by the common scheme to control state employment. Moreover, the Plaintiff asserts that the material reorganization was a pretext for discriminatory reasons.

The Plaintiff's Complaint includes eight counts, though some are no longer being pursued. In Counts I and II, the Plaintiff asserts that her termination was unlawful and in violation of the Personnel Policies of IDOT. In Count III, the Plaintiff alleges a denial of her due process rights guaranteed by the Illinois Constitution. Each of these Counts is asserted against Defendants Timothy Martin, Michael R. Stout and Scott Doubet.

During the Spring and early Summer of 2004, Martin was the Secretary of IDOT.*fn6 In February of 2003, Stout was hired by IDOT on a contract basis. His primary duty was to gather facts to aid IDOT in the determination of whether employees who took "voluntary reductions"*fn7 immediately prior to or following the gubernatorial election in the Fall of 2002 had done so in conformance with the Personnel Rules. His contract ended in June of 2003.*fn8 From June 16, 2003, until November 1, 2004, Stout was employed with IDOT as the Deputy Director of the Bureau of Finance and Administration. Stout was then appointed the Acting Director of the Division of Traffic Safety. Doubet was the IDOT Bureau Chief of Personnel Management from February of 2004 through April 24, 2009. He is no longer employed in State government.

The Plaintiff does not dispute that she is no longer pursuing Counts IV, V and VI. Count VI is the only claim asserted against Defendant Jacob Miller, who preceded Doubet as the IDOT Bureau Chief of Personnel Management. Accordingly, Miller is entitled to summary judgment.

Count VII was asserted against Defendant Rod Blagojevich, the former Governor of Illinois. Because Mr. Blagojevich is no longer in office, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 25(d), Governor Pat Quinn is now the proper Defendant. Count VII seeks a declaratory judgment and mandamus relief compelling the removal of Directors of various Departments who allegedly violated provisions of the Finance Act.

Count VIII is asserted against Defendants Martin, Stout and Doubet. In Count VIII, the Plaintiff alleges that her position was abolished because of her political ...

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