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Evans v. City of Chicago

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division

May 11, 2017

Glenn Evans, Plaintiff,
City of Chicago, et al., Defendants.


          Manish S. Shah United States District Judge.

         Plaintiff Glenn Evans sues the City of Chicago and several employees of the city's Independent Police Review Authority, alleging First Amendment retaliation and various state-law claims. Defendants move to dismiss all claims against them. For the following reasons, the motions to dismiss are granted.

         I. Legal Standards

         To survive a motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), a complaint must contain factual allegations that plausibly suggest a right to relief. Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 677-78 (2009). The court must construe all factual allegations as true and draw all reasonable inferences in the plaintiff's favor, but the court need not accept legal conclusions or conclusory allegations. Id. at 677-79. A plaintiff's failure to respond to an argument raised in a motion to dismiss forfeits any argument on that issue. See Alioto v. Town of Lisbon, 651 F.3d 715, 721 (7th Cir. 2011) (“[A] litigant effectively abandons the litigation by not responding to alleged deficiencies in a motion to dismiss.”).

         Evans attached to his complaint the ruling from his criminal trial, [1-1], and he and one of the defendants have also attached various documents to their briefs on the defendants' motions to dismiss. See [47]; [58].[1] “[D]ocuments that are attached to the complaint, documents that are central to the complaint and are referred to in it, and information that is properly subject to judicial notice” may be considered on a motion to dismiss. Williamson v. Curran, 714 F.3d 432, 436 (7th Cir. 2013); Fed.R.Civ.P. 10(c). The only documents meeting these criteria are: (1) the ruling from Evans's trial, [1-1], which is attached to the complaint; (2) Evans's complaint to the inspector general, [58-3], and the articles published by WBEZ, [58-6], which are central to his complaint and referred to in it; and (3) the appointment of Fairley to IPRA, [47-2], which is a public record subject to judicial notice. The other documents and any unsupported facts in Evans's response brief that were not alleged in his complaint are not considered.

         II. Background[2]

         Plaintiff Glenn Evans is a Chicago police officer. In 2011, he assisted in processing Rita King, an arrestee. King later sued Evans, alleging that he pressed his hand against her nose for an extended period of time. (King's lawsuit, King v. Evans , Case No. 13-cv-01937 (N.D. Ill.), remains pending.) The City of Chicago's Independent Police Review Authority investigated King's allegations, and Evans gave IPRA a statement in November 2013. IPRA recommended a fourteen- day suspension for Evans, but the Chicago Police Department declined to discipline him.

         In 2013, Evans was the subject of another IPRA investigation. Rickey Williams filed a complaint with IPRA, alleging that Evans had shoved a gun down Williams's throat and held a taser to his groin. IPRA investigators had Evans's gun tested for DNA, and the results revealed Williams's DNA on the gun. At the time, Martrice Campbell and Vincent Jones were two of the IPRA investigators working on the Williams matter.[3] In May 2014, Jones, Campbell, and a Cook County Assistant State's Attorney met with Williams, showing him a series of photos to identify the officers involved in his arrest. Williams misidentified several officers and identified a “filler” photo, but he did not identify Evans by photo. He did identify Evans by name, saying that he found it by searching the Internet with his girlfriend, who used to be a friend of Evans.

         Campbell gave the DNA test results and other confidential materials from the Williams IPRA file to WBEZ reporter Steven “Chip” Mitchell. On July 30, 2014, Mitchell contacted Evans for an interview and told him that he received information from Campbell. The next day, WBEZ and Mitchell began publishing stories about Evans and allegations of misconduct, which were picked up by other media outlets. During the summer of 2014, other allegations of police misconduct had been highlighted in the media.[4] In September 2014, Evans was indicted for aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and official misconduct. Evans alleges that these charges arising out of the Williams incident were “due to the political pressures facing” the mayor of Chicago and the Cook County State's Attorney “in light of police misconduct in the media.” [1] ¶ 112. He was placed on no-pay status in October 2014.

         In May 2015, Evans filed a complaint with the city's Office of the Inspector General about IPRA. Evans “complained about IPRA leaking confidential information to the media and investigators Jones and Campbell being allowed to participate in investigations against him despite conflicts of interest.” [1] ¶ 116; [58-3]. (In 1999, when Campbell worked in the administrative office for the Chicago Police Department, she was suspended after Evans initiated a complaint register against her for active insubordination. [1] ¶¶ 27-30. Evans alleges that he and Jones had “prior adversarial contact during other IPRA investigations” but does not elaborate. [1] ¶ 54.)

         At a bench trial in December 2015, Evans was acquitted of all criminal charges. [1-1]. He returned to work in April 2016 but was assigned to the Medical Section against his wishes and was denied back pay for the pendency of his criminal case. After his return to work, Evans received up to thirty phone calls from superiors, who pressured him to retire. Senior Police Command Staff also personally delivered retirement documents to Evans, but he refused to retire.

         In July 2016, Evans received notice that IPRA investigators Linda Franko and Shannon Hayes alleged that he testified falsely at his 2013 IPRA interview regarding the King investigation. (Sharon Fairley had been appointed as Chief Administrator of IPRA in early 2016.[5] [47-2].) The investigation was reopened and Evans was ordered to appear for a second interview (which had yet to occur at the time he filed this complaint). Evans heard that IPRA was seeking to change its recommendation from the King investigation from suspension to termination.

         Shortly after receiving notice that the King investigation was being reopened, Evans filed this suit. [1]. He brings claims for retaliatory inducement to prosecute under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against Campbell (Count I) and Fairley, Franko, and Hayes (Count V). He also brings Illinois state-law claims for malicious prosecution against Campbell, Jones, and other IPRA employees (Count II), false light against Campbell (Count III), tortious interference against all defendants (Count IV), civil conspiracy against Campbell and Jones (Count VI), and respondeat superior and indemnification claims against the City of Chicago (Counts VII and VIII).[6]Defendants now move to dismiss all claims against them.

         III. ...

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