677 F.2d 622 (7th Cir. 1982), 81-1961, Bart v. Telford

Docket Nº:81-1961.
Citation:677 F.2d 622
Party Name:Mary A. BART, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. William C. TELFORD, et al., Defendants-Appellees.
Case Date:May 12, 1982
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

Page 622

677 F.2d 622 (7th Cir. 1982)

Mary A. BART, Plaintiff-Appellant,


William C. TELFORD, et al., Defendants-Appellees.

No. 81-1961.

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

May 12, 1982

Argued April 8, 1982.

Page 623

Andrew J. Leahy, Springfield, Ill., for plaintiff-appellant.

Fredric Benson, Peter K. Woody, Springfield, Ill., for defendants-appellees.

Before CUMMINGS, Chief Judge, POSNER, Circuit Judge, and GRANT, Senior District Judge. [*]

POSNER, Circuit Judge.

We are required to consider in this case questions relating to the First Amendment rights of public employees who run for public office.

Mary Ann Bart is an employee of the City of Springfield, Illinois. She works in the city's Department of Development and Programs, though we have not been told the nature of her work. The department is

Page 624

apparently under the direct supervision of the Mayor of Springfield. Miss Bart brought this suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 against the mayor and three of his subordinates, seeking actual and punitive damages for their alleged violations of her rights under the First Amendment, made applicable to the states by the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. Her brief in this court also charges the defendants with having violated the equal protection clause of the Fourteenth Amendment; but there is no such allegation in the complaint, and since the case is before us on her appeal from the dismissal of the complaint for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, see Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(6), the equal protection claim is not properly before us.

The complaint contains two distinct allegations. The first is directed only at the mayor. Miss Bart alleges that when she told him she was going to run for mayor, he replied that she would have to take a leave of absence from her job with the city to do so. She complied, and now complains that in forcing her to take the leave of absence the mayor violated her First Amendment rights. The second allegation is that after she returned from the leave of absence, having lost the race, the mayor-who though not a candidate for re-election was still in office (apparently Miss Bart's candidacy aborted early in the campaign season)-orchestrated a campaign of petty harassments designed to punish her for having run for public office, and the other defendants participated in this campaign...

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