Campana v. City of Greenfield

Citation164 F.Supp.2d 1078
Decision Date28 September 2001
Docket NumberNo. 00-C-0282.,00-C-0282.
PartiesJoyce CAMPANA, Plaintiff, v. CITY OF GREENFIELD, et al., Defendants.
CourtU.S. District Court — Eastern District of Wisconsin

Robert E. Sutton, Robert E. Sutton Law Office, Milwaukee, WI, for plaintiff.

William W Ehrke, Crivello Carlson Mentkowski & Steeves, Milwaukee, WI, for defendants.


ADELMAN, District Judge.

Plaintiff Joyce Campana brings this action against her former employer, the City of Greenfield, her former supervisor, Tim Seider and two former co-workers, Milton Vandermeuse and Edward Neudauer ("defendants") alleging violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000(e), et. seq., the Equal Pay Act, 29 U.S.C. § 206(d), et. seq., and her Fourteenth Amendment right to due process actionable under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Initially, plaintiff also brought a number of state law claims, but has since withdrawn them. Defendants now move for summary judgment on all claims.


Rule 56(c) requires a district court to grant summary judgment "if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits ... show that there is no genuine issue of material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). The mere existence of some factual dispute does not defeat a summary judgment motion; the dispute must be material. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248, 106 S.Ct. 2505, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986).

A party opposing summary judgment "may not rest upon mere allegations or denials" but rather must introduce affidavits or other evidence to "set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e). "Supporting and opposing affidavits shall be made on personal knowledge, ... [not] conjecture." Palucki v. Sears, Roebuck & Co., 879 F.2d 1568, 1572-73 (7th Cir.1989).

In evaluating a motion for summary judgment, the court must draw all inferences in a light most favorable to the nonmoving party. Matsushita Elec. Industrial Co., Ltd. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587, 106 S.Ct. 1348, 89 L.Ed.2d 538 (1986). "However, [I am] not required to draw every conceivable inference from the record — only those inferences that are reasonable." Bank Leumi Le-Israel, B.M. v. Lee, 928 F.2d 232, 236 (7th Cir.1991). Moreover, neither the "mere existence of some alleged factual dispute between the parties," Anderson, 477 U.S. at 247, 106 S.Ct. 2505, nor the demonstration of "some metaphysical doubt as to the material facts," Matsushita Elec., 475 U.S. at 586, 106 S.Ct. 1348, will sufficiently demonstrate a genuine issue of material fact. In that regard, the "mere existence of a scintilla of evidence in support of the plaintiff's position will be insufficient." Anderson, 477 U.S. at 252, 106 S.Ct. 2505.


On March 5, 1991, Joyce Campana began working for the City of Greenfield ("City") as its treasurer. As treasurer, she oversaw the City's cash management and investments, and "prepared tax bills, sewer bills, the tax roll ... [and] collect[ed] all city receipts." (Campana 4/30/01 Aff. ¶ 6.) Qualifications for the position included a Bachelor's degree and four years related experience in "finance, cash management, budgeting and general accounting work," with experience in "municipal finance [and] accounting ... preferred." (Campana 4/30/01 Aff. Ex. 6.) Campana herself held a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and a Masters in Public Administration with a specialization in public finance.

In 1992, the City created the position of comptroller to oversee the accounting department. The comptroller was to "direct[] the financial activities" of the City by overseeing the accounting system, compiling financial reports for the state, performing internal audits, guiding the work of outside auditors, coordinating the development and implementation of the City budget, and overseeing the City's computerized information system. (Reply to Pl.'s Resp. to Defs.' Proposed Findings of Fact ¶¶ 10-17.) Qualifications for the position included a Bachelor's degree in Accounting and between four and ten years related experience, with a Public Accountant Certification desired. In early 1994, the person who had held that position since its creation notified the City that he intended to resign.

With the impending resignation, Campana sent a memorandum to the City personnel director, Edward Neudauer ("Neudauer") and to the City finance committee recommending that the City combine the treasurer's and the accounting departments. She stated that this consolidation would "achieve more efficient operations and better customer service." (Blumenfeld Aff. Ex. G.) Campana's proposed structure did away with the comptroller's position, replacing it with an "accounting assistant" who would work under the treasurer, the head of the combined departments. (Id.) The City took no action on Campana's proposal, and in September hired Milton Vandermeuse ("Vandermeuse") to serve as comptroller. Vandermeuse held a Bachelor's degree in Accounting and was a Certified Public Accountant. Campana had also applied for the position.

On October 18, 1994, Campana sent a memorandum to the City aldermen stating that the City was violating the Equal Pay Act by setting her annual salary at $228 below that of the comptroller, then Vandermeuse. (Campana 4/30/01 Aff. Ex. 9.) In 1991 and 1992, the treasurer's salary had been slightly higher than the comptroller's, but in 1993 and 1994 it had been lower.1 (Campana 4/30/01 Aff. Ex. 28.) In a memorandum to the mayor following Campana's complaint, Neudauer stated that a $228 increase in Campana's salary might be appropriate, given that the comptroller and treasurer had "nearly equal duties." (Campana 4/30/01 Aff. Ex. 9.)

In 1995, the Council passed an ordinance giving it sole authority over decisions regarding salary rates and pay increases. Campana offers evidence that Vandermeuse's annual salary was $929 higher than hers in 1995, $3,700 higher in 1996, and $4,803 higher in 1997. (Campana 4/30/01 Aff. ¶ 9.) The parties have not offered evidence of their salary differential in 1998.2

In 1995, Greenfield elected a new mayor, Tim Seider ("Seider"), who took office in 1996. The record indicates that the new administration began to examine more intensively the idea of consolidating City departments. At least three different organizational structures were discussed. First an outside firm hired by the City recommended that the City combine the offices of clerk and treasurer because the treasurer's office workload was "seasonal/cyclical." Second, Neudauer acting under Seider's authorization, surveyed other cities and found that many combined either the offices of clerk and treasurer or the offices of comptroller and treasurer.3 Neudauer believed that under the current structure, the treasurer's office was overstaffed, while the comptroller's office was understaffed. Third, the City personnel committee recommended combing the assessor's office, treasurer's office, comptroller's office, clerk's office and the information systems administration into the "department of finance and administration" under a single director. The City Common Council ("Council") approved this last proposal. Pointing to his accounting background and certification, the Council chose Vandermeuse as director of the combined departments. For reasons the record does not make clear, only the accounting department and the assessor's office were actually consolidated at that time.

During the next two years, Campana's relationships with Seider, Neudauer and Vandermeuse declined. On April 3, 1996, Seider came to Campana's office to discuss statements she had made at two finance committee meetings about matters that Seider believed should have been handled internally and to discuss comments she had written on her time sheet "relating to personnel within another department." (Campana Dep. at 68-69; Campana 4/30/01 Aff. Ex. 35.) Seider's memorandum to Campana memorializing the incident states that Campana responded by saying that she could "write whatever [she] want[ed]." (Campana 4/30/01 Aff. Ex. 35.) During the course of the conversation, Seider raised his voice, pointed his finger at her and gave her a "verbal warning" for her statements at the meetings and on the time sheets. (Id.)

Campana also had difficulty obtaining Seider's approval for travel. She requested approval to attend three different conferences in 1997. The record does not indicate whether he eventually approved the requests, but does indicate that he did not respond for as many as four weeks. Campana has supplied the court with a copy of a travel request from a male City employee approved by Seider the day after it was submitted. In April 1997, Campana also requested approval to attend the State Treasurer's Advisory Council, on which the State Treasurer had asked her to serve. Seider denied her request stating that her presence on the state council would indicate that he "endorsed [her] performance as treasurer." (Campana 4/30/01 Aff. Ex. 30.) Because of their "tremendous communication problem" and because of her "vision and inability to comprehend fundamentals of goal setting and service to the City," he could not make such an endorsement. (Id.)

On June 12, 1997 in her office in front of other City employees, Campana made a sarcastic comment to Vandermeuse about "distribution of credit." Vandermeuse responded by saying that he was "tired of her shit." (Campana 4/30/01 Aff. ¶ 17; Defs.' Proposed Findings of Fact ¶¶ 44-47.) He then left the office, but returned and apologized. Campana filed a written complaint with Seider about Vandermeuse's conduct. Neudauer investigated the incident and interviewed those present, except for Campana. In his report to the mayor, Neudauer recommended that no disciplinary action...

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