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Blog comments do not reflect the views or opinions of the Author or Ancel Glink. Some of the content may be considered attorney advertising material under the applicable rules of certain states. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Please read our full disclaimer

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Court Rules in City's Favor in FOIA Challenge


An appellate court recent ruled in favor of a public body in a FOIA challenge in Sherrod v. City of Kankakee, 2020 IL App (3d) 190374-U. 

In 2016, an inmate (plaintiff) filed two FOIA requests with the City of Kankakee for records regarding the murder of a specific individual. After the City conducted a reasonably diligent search for records responsive to the request, the City provided responsive records in the City’s possession and custody, while denying portions of both requests for records the City was unable to locate during their searches. After the plaintiff filed a request for review with the PAC to appeal the City’s denial of certain records, the PAC issued a nonbinding letter requesting the City to provide a requested video in VHS format to the plaintiff, instead of the DVD format originally provided by the City. After the City did not provide the video in VHS format, the plaintiff filed a lawsuit, alleging that the City failed to conduct a reasonably diligent search for records responsive to his request and otherwise failed to properly respond to his FOIA requests. The circuit court dismissed the case, however, finding that the City provided all responsive records in its possession after conducting an adequate search under FOIA for the requested information. On appeal, and the appellate court affirmed the decision in favor of the City.

First, in considering whether the City conducted a reasonable search, the appellate court looked at whether the City's search was reasonably calculated to discover the requested documents and not whether it actually uncovered every existing document. In this case, the City submitted a detailed affidavit describing the locations where City personnel searched for responsive records and ultimately which records the City identified and failed to identify. The appellate court determined that the City’s affidavit demonstrated the City's compliance with its obligation to conduct a reasonably diligent search under FOIA. Moreover, the appellate court noted that the City’s affidavit describing the City’s exhaustive search for records should be accorded a presumption of good faith, which cannot be rebutted by the plaintiff’s purely speculative claims about the existence of other documents.

Next, since the only method available to the City for copying a responsive video was on a DVD because the City lacked the capability to copy the video into the requested VHS format, the appellate court found that the City properly responded to plaintiff's FOIA request when it provided the record in the DVD format. Importantly, the appellate court noted that the passage of time and technological advancements made it unfeasible for the City to copy the video in VHS format. Also, the City’s affidavit demonstrated that the City found an outside company that could copy a VHS video into DVD format, but the company was unable to copy a DVD into a VHS format. As a result, the appellate court determined that the City complied with FOIA by providing the plaintiff with the DVD copy available to the City.  

Also, since the City’s affidavit demonstrated that the City did not possess the requested enhanced FBI within the City’s possession, and because the plaintiff failed to file a counter-affidavit to rebut the City’s affidavit, the appellate court found that the City did not violate FOIA by denying plaintiff's request for items it did not possess. 

Post Authored by Eugene Bolotniko

Monday, August 3, 2020

Case Addresses Employee Termination and Political Affiliation


On July 21, 2020, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals decided in Hanson et.al. v. LeVan that the firing of deputy assessors because of their political affiliation violated their First Amendment rights. 

Dawn Hanson and her fellow plaintiffs worked as Deputy Assessors in the Milton Township Assessor’s Office, when Chris LeVan was elected as the new Assessor. Plaintiffs had publicly supported LeVan’s predecessor Bob Earl in his reelection campaign. LeVan won election, and shortly after taking office, he fired plaintiffs, who then sued him, alleging that their termination violated their First Amendment rights.

As a general rule, the First Amendment prohibits the firing of public employees on the basis of their political affiliation. There is an exception to this rule when party affiliation is an appropriate requirement for the position involved. This exception is called the Elrod-Branti exception, named after  two Supreme Court decisions that held that “without political alignment in certain positions, employees occupying those positions could obstruct the implementation of policies presumably sanctioned by the electorate, who placed the current administration in power.” So, when a job description expressly references political affiliation as a requirement for the position, the political affiliation of an employee can be reason for dismissal without violating the First Amendment rights of the employee in question. The Elrod-Branti exception is also called the policymaking exception, because political affiliation of an employee is only of importance for policymaking positions. 

In defending his decision to terminate plaintiffs, LeVan pointed out that the Illinois Tax Code confirmed that the Deputy Assessor position is one for which political alliance is a valid requirement. Plaintiffs, on the other hand, argued that the Deputy Assessor positions did not give them any policymaking authority, and that they were not authorized to perform any advisory or managerial functions. They argued that their positions involved taking measurements of property and inputting those measurements, along with other collected data, into computer programs and formulas that were set by statutes, regulations, state-issued guidelines, and the County and Township Assessors. They further claimed they had no control or discretion over these formulas and programs. In sum, plaintiffs alleged that because they held low-level positions lacking political discretion and for which political affiliation was not a valid requirement, they could not be terminated for political affiliation.

The district court had denied LeVan's motion to dismiss the case on qualified immunity grounds, and LeVan appealed. The Seventh Circuit agreed with the district court, finding that the Deputy Assessor position was a lower-level position involving no political discretion in performing the assessments. The Court further held that LeVan should have understood that firing the plaintiffs because of their political affiliation violated their First Amendment rights. As a result, LeVan was not entitled to qualified immunity at this stage of the litigation, and the case was remanded back to the district court.

Post Authored by Joyce Jezeer and Julie Tappendorf, Ancel Glink

Friday, July 31, 2020

Quorum Forum Podcast Ep. 42: Sunshine Laws - LIVE!


Join Ancel Glink's Quorum Forum live at 5:00 p.m. on Monday, August 3, 2020 for a live recording of our newest podcast episode. We'll celebrate summertime talking about sunshine laws with Eugene Bolotnikov, including the latest guidance from the Public Access Counselor (PAC) on the Open Meetings Act and Freedom of Information Act during the COVID-19 pandemic. Then, Catie Coghlan will review how the State of Illinois and large counties are distributing CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Funds to local governments. 

Just visit youtube.com/ancelglink on Monday at 5:00 p.m. to listen and share your questions with us!

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Appellate Court Dissolves TRO in Case Involving COVID-19 Records


On April 10, 2020, the McHenry County Sheriff (Sheriff), and the City of McHenry, the Village of Algonquin, the City of Woodstock, and the Village of Lake in the Hills obtained a temporary restraining order (TRO) requiring the McHenry County Department of Health to disclose the names and addresses of people residing in McHenry County who tested positive for COVID-19 to the McHenry County Emergency Telephone System Board (Telephone System Board)

The Department appealed, and the appellate court ruled in the Department's favor and dissolved the TRO in McHenry County Sheriff v. McHenry County Department of Health, 2020 IL App (2d) 200339.

The appellate court held that although the Department had the discretion to release the requested medical information under a HIPPA exemption and similar guidance issued by the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Attorney General’s Office, plaintiffs had no right to the information. Since plaintiffs failed to establish even an arguable right to the information, let alone a fair question, the appellate court ruled that the motion for a TRO should not have been granted because the HIPPA exception permitted, but did not require, the Department to release protected health information. 

Post Authored by Eugene Bolotnikov, Ancel Glink

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

APA Hosting Webinar on Housing Diversity



The American Planning Association’s Planning & Law Division, in partnership with APA Learn, is hosting an upcoming webinar on July 30, 2020, called “Housing for Diversity: Ending Segregation Through Zoning.” Information about the webinar and registration is below:

Thursday, July 30, 2020
12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. CT

In 1974, the Supreme Court declared it constitutional for a locality to limit zoning districts to detached homes occupied by traditional, blood-related families.  Now, nearly 50 years later, the viability and fairness of that ruling is debatable as the effects of race-, ethnic-, and income-segregated housing are laid bare in recent national events, increasing numbers of people choose nontraditional living arrangements, sharing economy platforms such as AirBnB offer seemingly unlimited opportunities for communal living, and traditional forms of housing are becoming increasingly unaffordable for many people.  This panel of legal and policy experts will address the ways in which local governments can and should be modernizing zoning regulations to accommodate inclusion and modern living arrangements, with an eye toward achieving greater access to and fairness in housing.  In addition to developing policy solutions, speakers will offer specific recommendations for code drafting and other regulatory programs.

Information on the webinar cost and how to register can be found here: REGISTER

For registration questions:
E-mail: confregistration@planning.org
Call:  (312) 334-1250

Friday, July 17, 2020

Restore Illinois New Mitigation Plan



On July 15, 2020, Governor Pritzker announced a new mitigation plan that modifies the existing “Restore Illinois” plan aimed at preventing another COVID-19 surge in Illinois. 

You will recall that the first iteration of the “Restore Illinois” plan divided the state into four regions, envisioning a progression through five stages of reopening, each with fewer restrictions on lives and business as the virus came under control. But, under the new plan, Illinois is now separated into 11 smaller regions, with the City of Chicago occupying its own region, with the rest of Cook County County in its own region as well. All of Illinois is currently in Phase 4 of the original “Restore Illinois” plan, and the modified plan does not require any region to make any immediate changes. 

Under the original plan, if one region saw an increase in COVID-19 cases, the entire region, sometimes comprising dozens of counties, could be bumped back to a more restrictive phase. This original approach prompted criticism about lumping some downstate counties with lower case counts together with more densely populated areas seeing higher infection rates, and subjecting both regions to the same restrictions in a one-size-fits-all approach. In response, the modified plan adopts “a more granular approach” with a menu of restrictions to enable the state to act in a more decisive, targeted way in addressing COVID-19 hotspots without reacting more broadly than circumstances require by imposing blanket restrictions across large geographic areas or moving entire regions back to an earlier phase.

Although Illinois has among the lowest positivity-case-rates and highest testing tallies in the country, the Governor announced the possibility of taking certain mitigation measures, including moving a region back to an earlier phase of the reopening plan if cases surge, which could involve renewed restrictions on businesses and social interactions. The Governor’s new plan lists several factors that could move a region back to an earlier phase, namely if a region has a sustained increase in its seven-day rolling average positive test rate, coupled with either an increase in hospital admissions for COVID-19-like illnesses, or a specific reduction in hospital capacity. A region could also be bumped back if it sees three consecutive days of its testing positivity case rate of 8% or more. It is important to note that altough local governments are allowed to create their own locally-tailored reopening plans, these plans cannot be less restrictive than the State’s plan.

Post Authored by Eugene Bolotnikov, Ancel Glink

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Required Postings for the IMRF and Participating Municipalities



In 2019, Governor Pritzker signed Public Act 101-0504 into law, which amends part of the Illinois Pension Code. Effective July 1, 2020, the new law certain website posting requirements for the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund (IMRF) and for municipalities.

Of most interest to municipalities is the new requirement that municipalities with a website post a link to the IMRF “Employer Cost & Participant Information” webpage on their websites. Although the law became effective July 1, 2020, this website posting requirement does not take effect until January 1, 2021. The law also makes it clear that it does not require a municipality to establish or maintain a website.

The law also requires the IMRF to post information on its website that includes: (1) copies of resolutions adopted by municipalities on or after January 1, 1995 to participate in the IMRF; (2) an annual report detailing the date that municipalities participating in the IMRF first became a municipality; and (3) all documents pertaining to each participating municipality’s annual projected future contributions and past required contributions. The lIMRF is not required to post information on its website that would be exempt under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act.

Post Authored by Eugene Bolotnikov, Ancel Glink

Monday, July 13, 2020

Updated PAC Guidance on OMA and FOIA During the COVID-19 Pandemic



On July 2, 2020, the PAC issued updated guidance to public bodies regarding complying with the OMA and FOIA during the COVID-19 pandemic. There are very few substantive changes from the previous guidance issued in April, except to update the guidance to be consistent with the recent amendment to the Open Meetings Act authorizing remote meetings during a disaster. We have summarized the guidance below:

OMA Guidance

Requirement for Physical Presence of a Quorum for Members of a Public Body

On June 12, 2020, the Governor signed Senate Bill 2135 (Public Act 101-0640) amending the OMA, which allows public bodies to hold “an open or closed meeting by audio or video conference without the physical presence of a quorum of the members” during a public health disaster as long as several conditions discussed below are satisfied. 

The OMA’s new remote meeting provisions only apply when the Governor or the IDPH Director have issued a disaster declaration because of a disaster, and all or part of a public body’s jurisdiction is covered in the disaster area. The head of the public body must determine that an in-person meeting is not practical or prudent because of a disaster. The OMA requires public meetings to be “convenient and open” for members of the public, although that can be satisfied through remote attendance means. Once the required conditions exist to hold a remote meeting during a disaster, the public body must follow further requirements for conducting the meeting, which are discussed below.

Member Participation
  • All members of a public body participating in the meeting, regardless of their physical location, must be verified and able to hear other participants, discussions and testimony.
  • All votes must be conducted by a roll call, and each member’s vote on each issue must be identified and recorded.
  • At least one member of the public body or the chief legal counsel or chief administrative officer must be physically present at the regular meeting location unless physical presence is “unfeasible due to the disaster”.
  • Each member of the public body who participates in a remote meeting held under these disaster requirements is considered present at the meeting for purposes of determining a quorum and participating in all proceedings.
Public Attendance

If attendance at the regular meeting location is not feasible because of the disaster, the OMA requires public bodies to make alternative arrangements, with the proper notice, to allow interested members of the public to hear all discussion, testimony, and roll call votes. If public bodies are convening via electronic means, the public body should ensure that the public has a means to both observe and comment during these meetings, for example by sharing conference call numbers, weblinks, or other log-in information in the meeting notice. Public bodies may also consider using third party resources that provide conference call-in lines or other virtual meeting programs to host their meetings during the pandemic.

Notice Provisions

In addition to the existing OMA notice requirements, the updated guidance reminds public bodies that the new law requires notice for remote meetings to be provided to all public body members, posted on the body’s website, and provided to any news media who has requested notice of meetings. However, if the public body declares a bona fide emergency, notice will be given under existing OMA notice requirements. In the event of a bona fide emergency meeting, the presiding officer must state the nature of the emergency at the beginning of the meeting.

Recordings

The updated guidance also reminds public bodies that they need to create a verbatim audio or video record of any remote open meeting which must be made available to the public. These verbatim records must be kept for at least 18 months after the meeting was held, in the same manner that verbatim recordings of closed sessions are retained.

Postponing or Cancellation of Public Meetings

If a public body cancels a meeting after it already posts the meeting notice and agenda in accordance with the OMA’s 48-hours’ notice requirement, the public body should place the cancellation notice on its website, at the principal office of the public body, and at the meeting location. Also, the PAC reminds public bodies that the 10 days’ notice of change by publication in a newspaper requirement only applies to changes in the schedule of regular meetings, not to cancelling a single meeting or changing a meeting date.

Meetings Held In-Person

If a public body decides to hold an in-person meeting, or members of the public are present at the meeting location to observe a remote meeting, the PAC encourages public bodies to be mindful of public health considerations, including holding meetings in larger rooms to maintain social distancing, maintaining a separate room for the public that is video or audio linked to the room where the public body is meeting, recording the entire meeting for people who cannot attend or access meetings during the pandemic and posting the open session on the public body’s website, and clearly designating the location of the meeting in the notice with instructions for accessing the meeting remotely, as well as including signs in the facility hosting the meeting so the public is aware of the specific location where a meeting is being held.

Public Comment

Since the OMA requires public bodies to allow members of the public to comment at meetings, the PAC urges public bodies to provide multiple remote access options to the public, including telephone or video-conference capabilities, and update their websites and social media with the goal of openness and transparency. The PAC also encourages public bodies to accept public comment by email or written submission and read those public comments into the record of the meeting (although this is not required by state statute). If members of the public attend meetings in-person, the PAC encourages adhering to social distancing guidelines, having commenters approach a microphone one at a time, and avoid gatherings in close proximity.

FOIA Guidance

While public bodies are taking steps to protect their employees and the public from COVID-19 by reducing staff, adopting remote work arrangements and partially or fully closing public offices, the PAC reminds public bodies that no legislative actions or executive orders issued by the Governor have relaxed FOIA’s requirement for public bodies to respond to FOIA requests within 5 business days. So, public bodies should continue to comply with FOIA and respond to each request as promptly as possible under the circumstances.

However, the PAC reiterates that public bodies can extend the time to respond to requests for an additional 5 days based on the reasons described in the FOIA by notifying requestors about the reasons for the delay and the date when the public body will respond to the request. Even with an extension, the PAC recognizes that responding to requests may be difficult, and encourages requestors and public bodies to reach a reasonable, mutually agreeable response period to comply with FOIA requests. Also, due to public bodies operating with limited staff and resources, remote work challenges, partially or fully closed offices, and employees unable to work due to infection, the PAC encourages public bodies to consider using the unduly burdensome exemption, particularly in circumstances where unavailable staffers cannot review records or the request requires reviewing records located off-site that are unattainable.

Based on this guidance, the recommend best practice includes first trying to work with requestors to reach an agreeable extension deadline. Then, if the requester refuses to agree to an extension and will not narrow their request to a more manageable proportion that the public body can fulfill, then the public body could consider invoking the unduly burdensome provision. 

Post Authored by Eugene Bolotnikov, Ancel Glink

Friday, July 10, 2020

Court Rejects Bad Faith Claims in FOIA Dispute



In Mohammad v. Chicago Police Department, 2020 IL App (1st) 190011, the First District Appellate Court elaborated on a public body’s duty to conduct a reasonable diligent search for records in response to a FOIA request. The court also looked at whether a public body that previously disclosed information in response to criminal discovery proceedings waives their right to assert future FOIA exemptions over the same information. 

The case involved two FOIA requests submitted to the Chicago Police Department (“CPD”) in September 2016. The requests sought police reports and other investigatory records for a particular case number. CPD responded to both requests by producing responsive records and providing detailed explanations for applicable FOIA exemptions under FOIA sections 7(1)(b), 7(1)(c) and 7(1)(d)(iv). In December 2017, the requestor sued CPD, requesting the circuit court to order CPD to fully release the requested records and penalize CPD for acting in bad faith when responding to both requests. In November 2018, the circuit court granted CPD’s motion for summary judgement, concluding that CPD fully complied with both requests by providing the requestor with all responsive records, that CPD’s redactions were proper and that a civil penalty was inappropriate because CPD did not violate FOIA.
Reasonably Diligent Search
On appeal, the requestor claimed that CPD failed to produce all responsive records in response to the FOIA requests. CPD rebutted that claim by demonstrating that its search was reasonable by providing an affidavit from CPD’s FOIA Officer that responded to the requests. The affidavit detailed CPD’s process for reviewing FOIA requests and the search for responsive investigative files undertaken by CPD’s Bureau of Detectives. The court rejected the requester's argument that CPD’s search for responsive records was conducted in bad faith. The court acknowledged that just because documents may have existed during the trial did not mean that the documents still existed or that CPD had a reasonable method to access these records. As a result, the court found that CPD did not fail to comply with FOIA by not producing documents that CPD was unable to locate after a reasonably diligent search. 

Waiver
The requester also argued that CPD waived its right to claim FOIA exemptions over certain records that were previously produced during a criminal proceeding. However, the appellate court disagreed, noting that even if CPD had previously provided unredacted records to the State's Attorney's Office, which then provided them to the defendant’s attorney during discovery in a criminal matter, that does not mean that CPD waived its right to claim exemptions in response to a FOIA request. Indeed, the court underscored that FOIA’s disclosure standards are different than the criminal trial disclosure requirements, and that similar documents should not be treated similarly in the two different types of proceedings.

Penalties
Lastly, because CPD’s response to the first FOIA request produced 60 pages versus the 242 pages CPD produced in response to the second request, the requester argued this disparity proved that the CPD acted in bad faith in responding to the initial request. Notably, the court recognized that the requester’s later request was far broader and more detailed in specifying the types of documents sought. As a result, CPD’s more limited response to a more limited request was not evidence that CPD acted in bad faith. So, the requester was not entitled to civil penalties.
Post Authored by Eugene Bolotnikov, Ancel Glink

Thursday, July 9, 2020

PAC Issues Binding Opinion Interpreting FOIA Exemption Regarding Fair Trial or Impartial Hearing



The PAC recently issued a binding opinion finding a public body in violation of FOIA for denying various records pertaining to a fatal car accident. The PAC rejected the public body's reliance on the FOIA exemption contained in section 7(1)(d)(iii) which allows a public body to withhold information that creates a substantial likelihood of depriving a person of a fair trial or impartial hearing. PAC Op. 2020-05.

In its opinion, the PAC concluded that a Sheriff’s Office improperly used FOIA 7(1)(d)(iii) to withhold squad car footage, emergency dispatch audio recordings, and other written crash and incident reports requested by a reporter regarding a police chase that resulted in a fatal crash. The Sheriff’s Office had defended its denial of te request by arguing that disclosing the requested records would deprive the Sheriff’s Office of its right to a fair trial or an impartial hearing in a wrongful death lawsuit brought against the Sheriff's Office and individual employees, because releasing the videos would make it more difficult to select a fair and impartial jury in the trial.

To demonstrate that records are exempt under FOIA section 7(1)(d)(iii), the Sheriff’s Office was required to show that (1) a trial or adjudication is pending or truly imminent and (2) that disclosing the requested materials would more likely than not seriously interfere with the fairness of those proceedings. Relying on prior Illinois cases and PAC decisions, as well as cases from other States and federal cases interpreting a similar exemption in the Federal FOIA statute, the PAC stated that the Sheriff’s Office failed to specifically explain how or why disclosing the requested records would deprive the Sheriff’s Office of a fair trial or impartial hearing or prejudice the jury. The PAC rejected the Sheriff’s Office speculation that the effects of potential publicity from disclosing the videos could taint the jury pool for the future trial was conclusory and failed to satisfy the level of proof required to exempt the requested public records by FOIA. The PAC also noted that the Sheriff’s Office failed to specifically demonstrate how disclosing the records would substantially deprive a person of a fair trial or impartial hearing in this particular trial, since most plaintiffs in pending lawsuits involving automobile fatalities request jury trials.

Post Authored by Eugene Bolotnikov, Ancel Glink

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

No Defamation or Constitutional Violation in Removal of Library Trustee



In September 2017, the village council of Downers Grove removed a library trustee from the library board of trustees because of his comments in a report written and published by the League of Women Voters. In the report, the League alleged that the trustee made bigoted comments about race and sexual orientation during a August 23rd library board meeting in the discussion about a proposal for library staff to receive training about equity, diversity, and inclusion. 

After his removal, the former library trustee sued the Village, the League, and individual members of the League, individual Village Council members, and the Mayor. He raised several legal issues, including defamation, free speech claims, limitations on the home-rule authority of municipalities, and due process rights. The Circuit Court dismissed the complaint, and he appealed. In Jaros v. Village of Downers Grove, 2017 IL App (2d) 170758, the Second District ruled in favor of the defendants and affirmed the dismissal.

Defamation

The appellate court first determined that the reported statements attributed to the library trustee were not defamatory per se. Also, since he was a public official when the statements were made, he failed to demonstrate that defendants acted with actual malice, that is, knowledge that the statement was false or made with reckless disregard for its truth or falsity, when the League published his reported remarks.

The court distinguished between statements accusing someone of lacking professional integrity or ability in their trade, versus statements relating to someone’s personal integrity and character. The court noted that an attack on personal integrity, no matter how it might diminish reputation and damage future business or employment prospects, is not necessarily an attack on professional integrity. The court found that the reported statements related to the former trustee's personal character, and did not suggest that he lacked professional ability or integrity as an attorney. At worst, the court found that the reported statements portrayed him as “somehow a racist,” which “in and of itself is not defamation.” Importantly, a statement is not defamatory simply because it paints someone as a bad character when there is no reason to believe that the individual cannot separate his personal views from his professional performance. Although the court acknowledged that the reported statements migth discourage people from retaining his services as an attorney, that possibility did not make the reported statements defamatory per se. Since the reported statements were not defamatory per se, the court also concluded that defendants were not liable for publishing the reported statement, and later republishing the reported statement.

Free Speech

The former trustee also argued his removal from the board was improper because his reported remarks were entitled to free speech protection under the Illinois Constitution. The court  disagreed, indicating that he expressed his views as a public board employee, rather than as a private citizen. The court discussed the difference between the free speech rights afforded to elected officials versus appointed officials. Specifically, elected officials are charged with representing their own wishes and that of their constituency. In contrast, appointed officials serve on behalf of and at the will of an appointing body, and appointees are expected to represent and reflect the views of the appointing body. In this case, the court concluded that the former trustee had no free-speech right against removal from the board based on his reported remarks at the August 23 meeting.

Due Process and Home Rule Power Claims


Finally, the former trustee argued that his removal from the board violated his due process rights and that the section of the Village code that authorized the board to remove Jaros from his library trustee position exceeded the Village’s home-rule powers. The court rejected that argument, finding that the Village decision to remove the trustee was a proper exercise of the Village’s home-rule power. 

Moreover, the court noted that the former trustee failed to allege a due process claim independent of his claim relating to home-rule authority. The only suggested due process claim was that plaintiff’s removal from office would cause “irreparable injury to his state-constitutionally protected liberty interest” in his position as library trustee. However, the court found that the former trustee failed to allege how the removal procedure itself was lacking in due process. At best, he implied that the Village’s lack of home-rule authority itself constitutes a due process violation. However, since the court already determined the Village did not exceed their home-rule power by removing him, there was no due process violation.

Post Authored by Eugene Bolotnikov, Ancel Glink

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Quorum Forum Podcast: Can I be Fired for Protesting?



Ancel Glink's Quorum Forum Podcast just released Episode 41: Can I be Fired for Protesting?

Timely issues affecting public and private employers are on the agenda for the latest episode of Ancel Glink's Quorum Forum podcast. Ancel Glink Attorneys dicuss whether employees risk discipline at work for participating in recent protest. We also review the Supreme Court’s recent decision on gay and transgender rights, and what it means for local governments and other employers. 

What issues are your employees facing this summer? Email us at podcast@ancelglink.com

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