Political Retaliation Claim Defeated

Attorneys Martin McManaman and Patrick Moran once again won summary judgment for a defendant in a civil rights retaliation case. This time, the plaintiff, a sergeant with a local county sheriff’s office, claimed that he was the victim of political retaliation in violation of the First Amendment after he refused to support the incumbent sheriff in his re-election bid. The United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois disagreed and threw out the plaintiff’s claims, finding that most of the employment decisions at issue were the result of the plaintiff’s own misconduct, and that there were legitimate reasons, unrelated to the plaintiff’s politics, for the other decisions. Because all of the sheriff’s alleged conduct was legitimate and warranted given the plaintiff’s behavior, the court concluded that all of the sheriff’s actions were in compliance with the First Amendment. The published opinion can be found at 2009 WL 3187788 (N.D.Ill. Sept. 30, 2009).