United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
L. Alonso United States District Judge.
plaintiff Andrew Remus (“Remus”) was not selected
for promotion from part-time to full-time police officer for
the Village of Dolton, he filed a three-count complaint
against defendants Village of Dolton (the
“Village”), Village of Dolton Board of Fire and
Police Commissioners (the “Board”) and several
individuals. The Court previously dismissed Count I,
which was the only count asserted against the individuals.
The remaining defendants, the Village and the Board, move for
summary judgment on plaintiff's two remaining claims:
Count II for alleged violation of the Age Discrimination in
Employment Act (“ADEA”); and Count III, under
§ 1983, for alleged violation of the Equal Protection
Clause of the United States Constitution. For the reasons set
forth below, the Court denies defendants' motion for
facts discussed below are undisputed unless otherwise
Village is a home-rule municipality. Defendant Board is the
Village's Board of Fire and Police Commissioners. During
the period of time relevant to this case, the Board's
members were Dallas Gordon (“Commissioner
Gordon”), Ken Dahl (“Commissioner Dahl”)
and Ken Gray (“Commissioner Gray”).
Village maintains a police department, and several laws
affect the hiring of police officers for that department. For
example, 65 ILCS 5/10-2.1-4 provides, in relevant part:
The board of fire and police commissioners shall appoint all
officers and members of the fire and police departments of
the municipality, including the chief of police and the chief
of the fire departments, unless the council or board of
trustees shall by ordinance as to them otherwise provide[.]
65 ILCS 5/10-2.1-4. Pursuant to Illinois statute,
“[a]ll applicants for a position in either the fire or
police department of the municipality shall be under 35 years
of age, ” but that “age limitation . . . does not
apply (i) to any person previously employed as a policeman or
fireman in a regularly constituted police or fire department
of (I) any municipality, regardless of whether the
municipality is located in Illinois or in another
state[.]” 65 ILCS § 5/10-2.1-6(a) & (d). In
addition, the Village passed Ordinance 07-406 in 2007. In
relevant part, that ordinance states:
Section 7.1 - Eligibility of Part-Time Police Officers, and
Part-Time Paid-On-Call Firefighters.
a. A person who is a current Part-Time Police Officer, as
defined in the Illinois Compiled Statutes, who has not
attained his or her 41st birthday, who is in good
standing and has served a minimum of two (2) years six (6)
months as a Part-Time Police Officer with the Village of
Dolton Police Department, or in a regular police department
of any municipality with similar duties and responsibilities
as police officer in the Village of Dolton, shall be eligible
for employment as a full-time probationary police officer
with the Dolton Police Department without examination.
c. All Applicants for full-time probationary police officers
and firefighters must complete and submit applications to the
Village of Dolton Personnel Department. The Chief of Police
and Fire or their designee(s) shall review the applications
for transfer and the applicant's employment record . . .
If the Chief of Police or Chief Fire desires to have the
applicant employed, the Chief of Police or Fire shall submit
such request to the Board of Fire and Police
Commissioners. The Commission will make all
recommendations to the Mayor and the Board of Trustees for
full-time appointments of firefighters and police officers.
(Docket 109-1) (emphasis added). Defendants agree that the
“Police Chief has the authority to select which
officers to recommend for promotion” to full-time
employment (Docket 108 at ¶ 10), and plaintiff agrees,
as well (Docket 119 at ¶ 20). The Board cannot spend
Village funds, so the Village must approve salaries of anyone
recommended by the Board.
September 2012, the Village of Dolton passed Ordinance
12-572. In relevant part, that ordinance provides:
Persons are allowed to submit applications until his or
her 35th birthday (applicants with
previous full-time experience are exempted from this age
[A]ll Ordinances or parts of Ordinances, in conflict herewith
shall be and are hereby expressly repealed.
(Docket 119-3 at 5, 20).