Section Newsletter Articles on Public Employees

Who is in charge of determining disability for police officers—Pension boards or witnesses? By Jenette M. Schwemler Local Government Law, September 2007 For more than 15 years, Illinois appellate courts have been struggling with the interpretation of section 3-115 of the Illinois Pension Code regarding the requirement of a pension applicant to submit three certificates of disability to the pension board in order to receive benefits.
Murray v. Chicago Youth Center: Restricting the immunity of the Local Government and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act By Russell W. Hartigan and Victoria R. Benson Local Government Law, August 2007 In July 2006, Justice McMorrow upheld the lower courts’ decisions to grant summary judgment to the Chicago Board of Education, Chicago Youth Center and its instructor under the Local Governmental and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act (hereinafter “the Act”) (745 ILCS 10/1-101 et seq.) in Ryan Murray, et al. v. Chicago Youth Center, et al., 2006 WL 1822656. At issue is whether the general grant of immunity allowed under the Act, such as that found in §§ 2-201 and 3-108(a), were subject to the exceptions found in § 3-109 of the Act. According to Justice McMorrow’s opinion, it does; however, the Illinois Supreme Court opined that the conduct at issue did not constitute willful and wanton conduct and, as a result, upheld the First District’s decision to uphold the District Court’s award of summary judgment to the Defendants.
Does a public employee have a right to closed meeting minutes of the discussion of her employment? A case review of Wisconsin Appellate Court case Sands v. Whitnall School District By Lisle A. Stalter Government Lawyers, June 2007 Although we do not typically see a discussion of cases from other states in the Government Lawyers’ newsletter, a recent decision from Wisconsin raises an interesting question.
Public employee free speech rights—Are there any left after Garcetti? By John H. Brechin Local Government Law, May 2007 The Garcetti decision disturbed earlier precedent which had established that a public body cannot condition public employment on a basis that infringes on an employee’s constitutionally protected interest in freedom of expression.
A municipality’s dilemma involving injured police officers By Carlos S. Arévalo Local Government Law, April 2007 Whenever an employee is injured on the job, employers and employees are significantly affected.
Case note By John H. Brechin Local Government Law, September 2006 The Calibraro case involved a firefighter/paramedic employed by Buffalo Grove who made application for a disability pension.
The Public Safety Employee and Employment Litigation: The effects of Police and Fire Commission proceedings on the federal case By Brian Clauss and Michelle Camden Labor and Employment Law, September 2006 When litigating Federal employment claims of public safety employees1 or proceeding in a discipline hearing before a municipal Board of Police and Fire Commissioners (the “Board”), there are special concerns that a practitioner should consider.
Public employees’ free speech rights By John H. Brechin Local Government Law, July 2006 The United States Supreme Court on May 30, 2006, issued its decision in Garcetti v. Ceballos involving the question of whether the First Amendment protects a government employee from discipline based on speech made pursuant to and in the course of the employee’s official duties. Ceballos was a Los Angeles County Deputy District Attorney who exercised supervisory responsibilities over other lawyers.
Police and fire pension disability issues: Part II By Richard J. Reimer Local Government Law, May 2006 This is part 2 of a two-part article. Part one was published in the April 2006 issue of this newsletter.
Police and fire pension disability issues: Part I By Richard J. Reimer Local Government Law, April 2006 This is part 1 of a two-part article. Part 2 will be published in the May 2006 issue of this newsletter.
Casenote—Use of background checks By John H. Brechin Local Government Law, October 2005 Sroga v. Personnel Board of the City of Chicago points out the need for a background check to thoroughly examine any arrest, even those not technically resulting in a conviction because of the imposition of court supervision.
The Illinois State Officials and Employees Ethics Act By Lynda K. Given and Timothy A. Stratton Education Law, September 2005 This article will summarize pertinent provisions of the Act, including those related to the Article 10 Gift Ban and the Article 5 Prohibited Political Activities.
The potential implications of the University of Michigan cases on public sector employment: Opening up leadership in the public sector workplace? By Vickie A. Gillespie and Laura H. Anderson Racial and Ethnic Minorities and the Law, September 2005 In 2003, the Supreme Court considered, for the first time since its 1978 decision in Regents of the University of California v. Bakke,1 whether the use of race as a factor for admitting students to an institution of higher education violates the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
Attorney General creates Office of Public Access Counselor to assist local government officials By Lynn Patton Local Government Law, February 2005 Attorney General Lisa Madigan has announced the creation of a Public Access Counselor within her office to enhance understanding of and compliance with the Freedom of Information Act and Open Meetings Act.
Governmental ethics: Public Acts 93-615 & 93-617 By Phillip B. Lenzini Human Rights, February 2004 In its zeal to close the door after the horses have left the barn, the Illinois General Assembly has created Public Act 93-615, the State Officials and Employees Ethics Act, and Public Act 93-617, an act in relation to governmental ethics.
Significant recent case law affecting fire departments and fire protection districts By Shawn P. Flaherty and Thomas Gilbert Local Government Law, May 2002 The following is a review of those significant case law decisions issued in 2001 that affect Illinois fire departments and fire protection districts.
Liabilities and immunities: An outline of the Illinois Local Governmental and Governmental Employees Tort Immunity Act By Michael D. Bersani Local Government Law, March 2000 A. Tort Immunity Act was enacted in 1965 in response to Illinois Supreme Court's abolishment of common law sovereign immunity.