United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
POLICEMEN'S BENEVOLENT AND PROTECTIVE ASSOCIATION OF ILLINOIS, UNIT 156-SERGEANTS and STEPHEN FRANKO, Plaintiffs,
CITY OF CHICAGO, Defendant.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
L. ALONSO UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
been suspended from his job as a Police Sergeant without pay
and had his hearing put off indefinitely, plaintiff Stephen
Franko (“Sgt. Franko”) and his union (plaintiff
Policemen's Benevolent and Protective Association of
Illinois, Unit 156-Sergeants, the “Union”) filed
a two-count complaint against defendant City of Chicago. In
Count I, Sgt. Franko seeks relief under § 1983 for
violation of his constitutional right to due process. In
Count II, plaintiffs seek, in the alternative, to compel
defendant to arbitrate the grievance the Union filed on Sgt.
Franko's behalf. Defendant moves to dismiss. For the
reasons set forth below, the Court grants in part and denies
in part the motion to dismiss.
Court takes as true the allegations in plaintiffs'
Union and the defendant are parties to a collective
bargaining agreement (“CBA”). That collective
bargaining agreement includes a grievance procedure. (CBA at
13-15/ Docket 1-1 at 20-22). The CBA states, among other
A grievance is defined as a dispute or difference between the
parties to this Agreement concerning the interpretation
and/or application of this Agreement or its provisions. The
separation of a Sergeant from service and suspensions in
excess of thirty (30) days are cognizable only before the
Police Board and shall not be cognizable under this procedure
. . .
The grievance procedure provisions herein and the Police
Board procedures are mutually exclusive, and no relief shall
be available under both, provided that, if the Police Board
reduces discipline of over thirty (30) days to thirty (30)
days or under, the Sergeant may grieve the reduced
(CBA at 13-14/Docket 1-1 at 20-21). The collective bargaining
agreement goes on to say:
A sergeant who receives a recommendation for suspension of
eleven (11) days or more, not including a suspension
accompanied by a recommendation for separation, may file a
grievance challenging and seeking review of that
(CBA at 20/Docket 1-1 at 27). The grievance procedure allows
either party to seek arbitration. (CBA at 15/Docket at 1-1 at
August 30, 2016, defendant's Superintendent of Police
filed charges with the Police Board against plaintiff Sgt.
Franko and four other officers. The charges recommended that
Sgt. Franko be separated from service (i.e., discharged) for
violating the Police Department's Rules of Conduct in the
aftermath of a police-involved shooting in late 2014. Months
earlier, the Police Officer involved in the shooting had been
charged with a crime in connection with the shooting.
later, on September 1, 2016, Sgt. Franko was served with a
suspension notification. The notice stated that he would be
suspended without pay for thirty days, beginning September 2,
2016. The notice also stated that “charges have been
filed with the Chicago Police Board seeking the
separation” of Sgt. Franko. Docket 1-2.
Police Board operates under Rules of Procedure. Those rules
state, in relevant part:
[N]o later than seven (7) days after service of the notice of
suspension a member of the Police Board or its Hearing
Officer shall review the order of the Superintendent together
with the reasons therefor and shall at that time determine
whether suspension pending the disposition of charges is
Board Rules of Procedure at IV.D./Docket 1-3 at p. 8.
Plaintiffs allege that on September 7, 2016 and
“[p]ursuant to Rule IV.D., ” a Hearing Officer
for the Police Board concluded that “a continuing
suspension beyond thirty (30) days without pay was warranted
for Sergeant Franko ...