Employment/Civil Rights Law – 7th Circuit affirms SJ for Cook County
A Cook County Lothario, Felice “Phil” Vanaria, in his capacity as an administrative assistant at Oak Forest Hospital decided to create a fictitious position at the hospital and then convinced the plaintiff to provide him erotic massages in exchange for this position, which again did not even exist. Vanaria also had a long history of similar conduct while an employee of the Cook County Adult Probation Department, a state entity.
In her lawsuit against Cook County, plaintiff’s claims were dismissed via summary judgment. 1) Her § 1983 equal protection relief under Monell could not succeed because the County was not the “moving force” behind Vanaria’s action, especially since his prior misconduct had come as a state, and not a county, employee. 2) Her § 1983 due process claim was dismissed because plaintiff could not show that what happened to her was an obvious result of hiring Vanaria since he previously had positions of authority and his position with the County was not. 3) Her claim under Title VII was dismissed since the employment she sought was fictitious and not an actual job for which she was passed over.