Joseph Sangirardi was employed as a police officer for the Village of Stickney, Illinois from July 1988 until February 1999. Chief Zitek observed that Sangirardi had conduct problems that were affecting the operations of the Village of Stickney Police Department. Chief Zitek laid out the case in a letter to the Village of Stickney Board. The allegations stated that Sangirardi had difficulty dealing with juvenile calls, did not apply corrective advice from supervisors, exhibited poor judgment, and did not display a favorable impression when dealing with the public and violated policy and procedures in place to address conflict of interest, fairness, and impartiality.
The board reviewed the letter and attachments. They came to the conclusion that Sangirardi was in need of a psychological fitness for duty examination. Any disciplinary actions would be handed down following the completion of that evaluation.
Sangirardi was ordered to submit to the psychological fitness for duty examination, and although he arrived to the appointment on time, he refused to sign forms necessary to release the results to Chief Zitek. Sangirardi was ordered to report for a second examination. He participated in this second exam which was conducted by a certified psychologist, Dr. Glenn.
On September 23, 1998 after the examination, Sangirardi assisted the North Riverside Police Department without authorization from his superior officers. Chief Zitek wrote the board a letter asking that they review that incident and various reports and documents. The board reviewed the documents but took no action.
On October 10, 1998, Chief Zitek issued an order that delineated that the psychologist had issued his opinion but Sangirardi had not authorized release of the document. Chief Zitek ordered Sangirardi to release the report within 48 hours.
As of October 15th the report had not been received, and Chief Zitek filed formal disciplinary charges against Sangirardi for his refusal to release the document. As a result the board suspended Sangirardi without pay pending a hearing.
On October 15th Chief Zitek filed an additional charge. It was alleged that on March 17th Sangirardi had threatened a businessman, Mr. Cleary, in the community. Sangirardi was involved in a matter of litigation with Mr. Cleary.
In November 1998, an administrative hearing was commenced to determine the validity of the charges. The board decided that the charges that occurred in North Riverside, the slamming of a car door, and the juvenile complaint would not be addressed due to Chief Zitek's communications with the board. Sangirardi had the right to a hearing within 30 days of the filing which did not occur. The board decided to address the insubordination and the charge regarding the Mr. Cleary.
Prior to the hearing, the attorney for the board made the following statement that the board: "may not and should not consider any materials, information, communications, documents or otherwise which were received by it from any source whatsoever outside of the formal hearing process, and this Board must conduct its hearing and [reach its] decision based solely on the evidence that is presented and the testimony that is presented during the hearing which [the Board has] now scheduled." (JOSEPH SANGIRARDI, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. THE VILLAGE OF STICKNEY; JOHN ZITEK, as Chief of Police of the Village of Stickney; THE BOARD OF FIRE AND POLICE COMMISSIONERS OF THE VILLAGE OF STICKNEY; and EDWIN NOSKA, JAMES BERNARD and FRED SCHIMEL, as Members of the Board of Fire and Police Commissioners of the Village of Stickney, Defendants-Appellees.No. 1-02-1339, APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, FIRST DISTRICT, FIRST DIVISION,342 Ill. App. 3d 1; 793 N.E.2d 787; 2003 Ill. App. LEXIS 845; 276 Ill. Dec. 28)
During the hearing, witnesses regarding the threat were heard. Mr. Cleary, the alleged victim of the threat, testified that he received a phone call from Sangirardi and that: "Sangirardi threatened to use Cleary's face to play curb racquetball and that Cleary could be hit in the head with his own two-by-fours or run over by a bus." (. App. 3d 1; 793 N.E.2d 787)