January 5, 2018
from the United States District Court for the Northern
District of Illinois, Eastern Division. No. 15 CV 7771 -
Charles P. Kocoras, Judge.
Kanne, Rovner, and Hamilton, Circuit Judges.
Davis worked for Chicago's Independent Police Review
Authority. He alleges that his supervisor fired him because
he refused to change his findings in a number of
investigations into police misconduct. Davis sued the City of
Chicago, arguing that his firing violated his First Amendment
rights. The district court dismissed Davis's claim. We
affirm because Davis's refusal to change his reports is
not protected speech.
Independent Police Review Authority ("IPRA")
investigated certain types of complaints against
Chicago police, including domestic violence, excessive force,
and death in police custody. Chi., Ill., Municipal Code
§§ 2-57-020, -040(a)-(f). After investigating such
allegations, I PRA made a disciplinary recommendation to the
Chicago Police in the form of a report. The reports
summarized the investigation and included findings on the
alleged misconduct: namely, whether the allegations were
"sustained, " "not sustained, "
"exonerated, " or "unfounded."
investigators played a key role in creating these reports.
They interviewed police and civilian witnesses and procured
and preserved other evidence. They also drafted the report.
Nevertheless, IPRA's Chief Administrator retained final
responsibility for making recommendations to the Chicago
Police. Id. § 2-57-040(h). The Administrator
could also create "rules, regulations and procedures for
the conduct of [IPRA's] investigations."
Id. § 2-57-040(m).
Davis began working for IPRA in 2008 as an investigator. In
2010, he was promoted to supervisor. In both positions, Davis
collected and reviewed evidence on complaints of police
misconduct, then submitted draft reports. In 2014, Scott Ando
became IPRA's Chief Administrator. Ando hired Steven
Mitchell as his First Deputy Chief Administrator.
alleges that between 2014 and 2015, Ando and Mitchell ordered
Davis to change "sustained" findings of police
misconduct and to change his reports to reflect more
favorably on the accused officers. Davis refused to change
his findings. Ando allegedly threatened to fire Davis if he
did not change his disciplinary recommendations, but Davis
still refused. Davis also alleges that Ando and Mitchell
requested Microsoft Word versions of Davis's reports to
alter them in a way that would look like Davis had made the
March 2015, Ando implemented a policy requiring his approval
for all "sustained" findings. Under the new policy,
if an investigator refused to make a change recommended by
Ando, he would be disciplined for insubordination. After the
policy was implemented, Davis again refused to change
"sustained" findings. Ando fired him in July 2015.
district court, Davis claimed that Ando fired him because he
refused to change his "sustained" findings. He
insisted that this violated his First and Fourteenth
Amendment rights. He also alleged violations of the Illinois
Whistleblower Act and common law retaliatory discharge.
district court dismissed his constitutional claims with
prejudice and declined to exercise supplemental jurisdiction
over his state law claims. Davis appeals only his First
Amendment claim, which we review de novo. Tamayo
v. Blagojevich, 526 F.3d 1074, 1081 (7th Cir. 2008).