Hadad v. Croucher, No. 1:87 CV 1211.

CourtU.S. District Court — Northern District of Ohio
Writing for the CourtGallas
Citation970 F.Supp. 1227
Decision Date28 January 1997
Docket NumberNo. 1:87 CV 1211.
PartiesNorman C. HADAD, Plaintiff, v. Alvin T. CROUCHER, et al., Defendants.
970 F.Supp. 1227
Norman C. HADAD, Plaintiff,
v.
Alvin T. CROUCHER, et al., Defendants.
No. 1:87 CV 1211.
United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division.
January 28, 1997.

Page 1228

COPYRIGHT MATERIAL OMITTED

Page 1229

COPYRIGHT MATERIAL OMITTED

Page 1230

COPYRIGHT MATERIAL OMITTED

Page 1231

COPYRIGHT MATERIAL OMITTED

Page 1232

Stephen W. Gard, Kevin J.M. Senich, Cleveland, OH, for Norman C. Hadad.

Christopher L. Gibbon, Walter & Haverfield, Cleveland, OH, John G, Peto, Reminger & Reminger, Cleveland, OH, Alvin T. Croucher.

Robert L. Musser, Christopher L. Gibbon, Walter & Haverfield, Cleveland, OH, Larry W. Zukerman, Zukerman & Daiker, Cleveland, OH, Jonathan Greenberg, Cleveland, OH, for Village of Moreland Hills, Ronald Gymer.

Robert L. Musser, Christopher L. Gibbon, Walter & Haverfield, Cleveland, OH, Larry W. Zukerman, Zukerman & Daiker, Cleveland, OH, Jonathan Greenberg, Cleveland, OH, H. Kenneth Paulett, Cleveland, OH, for Charles Clark.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

GALLAS, United States Magistrate Judge.


Norman C. Hadad brought this action challenging his discharge from employment under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 alleging constitutional violations of his First Amendment right to free speech, Fourteenth Amendment right to substantive and procedural due process, and a state law tort of defamation. Hadad names as defendants Chief of Police Charles M. Clark, the Mayor of the Village of Moreland Hills, Alvin T. Croucher, the individual members of the Village Council who were involved in his termination from the Village's employ and the Village of Moreland Hills, itself. The parties have consented to the jurisdiction of a Magistrate Judge.

The parties have cross-motioned for summary judgment and defendant Police Chief Clark has moved for dismissal claiming Hadad has failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. The parties do not contest the following facts.

Hadad was employed by the Village of Moreland Hills as a police officer (patrolman) from November 1978 until his discharge on May 23, 1986. During the summer of 1985 plaintiff and his superior, Police Commander Frank Perry, participated in investigation of possible criminal activities by the Village Mayor, Alvin T. Croucher. Commander Perry also investigated defendant Chief of Police Charles Clark.

In his affidavit Hadad relates that he served in the role of a detective on the Village Police Department and that on March 1985 he was present with Commander Perry and Police Officer James Dubnick at a meeting with Ann Washington. Ms. Washington was a secretary employed by the Village of Moreland Hills and she informed the officers that Mayor Croucher regularly stole City of Cleveland water by filling his swimming pool at his private home from a nearby fire hydrant with the Village of Moreland Hills fire hose. Ms. Washington further stated to the police officers that employees of the Village Service Department would transport the fire hose to the Mayor's private home and that

Page 1233

their employment records would be altered or falsified to indicate that the employees were performing some other employment duty than delivering the fire hose to Mayor Croucher's private residence. That May or early June 1985 Hadad was informed by Ms. Washington that Village employees had once again delivered the fire hose to the private home of Mayor Croucher. Hadad then states that with the authorization of Commander Perry he telephoned TV8 and met with Don Olson and Carl Monday, employees of TV8, assigned to an investigative unit known as the "I Team". Hadad telephoned a TV8 mobile unit using a special telephone number previously given to him by TV8 and informed the unit that Mayor Croucher was in the act of filling his private swimming pool with the City of Cleveland water from a municipal fire hydrant. The "I Team" reporters videotaped this act, and told Hadad that they had obtained an excellent videotape. This videotape was broadcast by the television station. Also Hadad in his affidavit relates another incident in which he investigated an allegation made by an employee of the Service Department that scrap metal owned by the Village of Moreland Hills was being sold and the proceeds of the sale of scrap metal were returned in checks made payable to cash which were given to Mayor Croucher and not deposited with the Village. Hadad states that his investigation disclosed that the records of the Village contain no information that proceeds of the sale of scrap metal had ever been received by the Village of Moreland Hills. Thereafter, in August or early September 1985 with the approval of Commander Perry Hadad went to the office of the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor and informed Prosecutor John Corrigan of all the relevant facts regarding the investigation of Mayor Croucher and other employees of the Village of Moreland Hills allegedly involved in these illegal activities.

Meanwhile, on September 4, 1985 Mayor Croucher issued a letter of warning to Hadad giving him official disciplinary warning relative to deficiencies in attendance. Hadad was cited for failing to maintain a regular work schedule with numerous unexcused absences occurring in March and May of 1985, an unexcused absence on June 9, 1985 and three unexcused absences in August 1985. Hadad signed this letter of warning acknowledging receipt. This letter also admonished that future violations and/or irregularities may result in more severe disciplinary action up to and including removal from employment.

On or about October 30, 1985 a subpoena was issued and served upon Commander Perry to testify before the Cuyahoga County Grand Jury on October 31, 1985. Commissioner Perry did testify, but Hadad did not testify before the grand jury. Subsequently on November 1, 1985 both defendants Mayor Croucher and Police Chief Clark were indicted by the Cuyahoga County Grand Jury. Mayor Croucher was indicted for theft in office, petit theft, and obstruction of justice.

Hadad emphasizes that once Mayor Croucher learned that Commander Perry would be testifying before the grand jury, on October 31, 1985 the Mayor gave Commander Perry notice of the Mayor's decision to discharge him due to insubordination. A pre-termination hearing was held and appeal to the Village Council followed. On November 25, 1985 the Village Council consisting of defendants Charles Mellen, Robert Ashton, Robert Gymer, Diane Commes, Janet Narten and John Elliot convened a post-termination hearing and voted unanimously to sustain the Mayor's decision to discharge Commander Perry. Hadad testified at Commander Perry's post-termination hearing before Council on Commander Perry's behalf concerning the investigation of the Mayor's alleged illegal use of water and municipal fire hose.

The criminal case against Police Chief Clark terminated in March 1986, and the case against Mayor Croucher terminated by the end of April 1986 with their acquittal. On April 5, 1986 Police Chief Clark wrote a letter regarding activities of Patrolman Hadad bringing to his attention for the purposes of review evaluation and consideration for disciplinary measures. Hadad maintains that this letter was written at the behest of Mayor Croucher. This letter contained over 30 instances of alleged improprieties. This was followed by a letter dated May 19, 1986 from Mayor Croucher to Patrolman Hadad

Page 1234

captioned "notice of charges, intention to discharge, pre-termination hearing and immediate suspension with pay." This letter cited Hadad with the following eight alleged infractions:

1. For improperly requesting and obtaining data from the LEADS [Law Enforcement Automated Data System] computer terminal in Chagrin Falls on or about August 4, 1985, concerning the traffic violation history of Charles S. Mellen which was not related to a legitimate criminal justice purpose.

2. For improperly requesting and obtaining data from the LEADS computer terminal in Chagrin Falls on or about September 17, 1985, concerning the criminal history of Antonia Hadad which was not related to a legitimate criminal justice purpose.

3. For improperly requesting and obtaining data from the LEADS computer terminal in Chagrin Falls on or about January 6, 1986, concerning the traffic violation history of Francisco DiBlasi which was not related to a legitimate criminal justice purpose.

4. For conducting outside employment of collecting delinquent accounts during 1984 and 1985 without receiving prior approval.

5. For intimidating and harassing members of the public and misusing and abusing your position as a Moreland Hills police officer in furtherance of the debt collecting business during 1984 and 1985.

6. For performing services in relation to your debt collecting business while on duty during 1984 and 1985.

7. For engaging in the unauthorized practice of law by filing pleadings with the Bedford Municipal Court on behalf of Peter DiBlasi-Peter's Store for Men and Women during the period between June 1, 1985 through November 1, 1985.

8. For improperly requesting, receiving and cashing, in January and February, 1986, a check from the Common Pleas Court for testifying at the trial of the case of Orrico v. Geier, Case No. 61581, when you had already requested and received compensatory time from the Village for your time testifying at that trial in November, 1985.

A pre-termination hearing was scheduled for May 22, 1986 before Mayor Croucher at the Moreland Hills Village Hall. The pre-termination hearing was held as scheduled on May 22, 1986 and on May 23, 1986 Mayor Croucher issued a "notice of discharge" stating that upon review of the charges against Patrolman Hadad and responses thereto, it was the Mayor's decision to remove him from employment from the Village of Moreland Hills as a police officer effective immediately.1 This notice further provided that Hadad had 10 days to appeal this decision to the Village Council under the Village Charter.

The Village's Charter empowers the...

To continue reading

Request your trial
5 practice notes
  • See v. City of Elyria, No. 06-4195.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
    • September 19, 2007
    ...The court further explained its conclusion in the telephone status conference: Relying on this Court's decision in Hadad v. Croucher, 970 F.Supp. 1227, Medders argues that he is entitled to qualified immunity because the statements made . . . to the FBI were false. Judge Gallas in Hadad cor......
  • McDaniel v. Princeton City Sch. Dist. Bd. of Educ., No. C-1-98-772.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Southern District of Ohio
    • November 13, 1999
    ...1062, 1067 (6th Cir.1984) (citing Arnett v. Kennedy, 416 U.S. 134, 94 S.Ct. 1633, 40 L.Ed.2d 15 (1974)); see also Hadad v. Croucher, 970 F.Supp. 1227, 1251 (N.D.Ohio 1997). Instead, due process only requires that "such descriptive explanation be afforded as to permit the employee to identif......
  • Vogel v. City of Medina, CASE NO.1:17CV272
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Court of Northern District of Ohio
    • January 31, 2018
    ...against him, 2) given an explanation of the employer's evidence and 3) given an opportunity to present his case. Hadad v. Croucher, 970 F.Supp 1227, 1250 (N.D. Ohio, 1997). Plaintiff alleges that the investigation into his inappropriate behavior violated "essentially every standard, common ......
  • Laketran Board of Trustees, 02-LW-6440
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Ohio)
    • July 1, 2002
    ...before the commencement of trial." Such a voluntary dismissal is not a bar subsequent litigation. Hadad v. Croucher (N.D.Ohio 1997), 970 F.Supp. 1227, 1237. For the foregoing reasons, we conclude that appellant's first assignment of error lacks merit. In its second assignment of error, appe......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
5 cases
  • See v. City of Elyria, No. 06-4195.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (6th Circuit)
    • September 19, 2007
    ...The court further explained its conclusion in the telephone status conference: Relying on this Court's decision in Hadad v. Croucher, 970 F.Supp. 1227, Medders argues that he is entitled to qualified immunity because the statements made . . . to the FBI were false. Judge Gallas in Hadad cor......
  • McDaniel v. Princeton City Sch. Dist. Bd. of Educ., No. C-1-98-772.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Southern District of Ohio
    • November 13, 1999
    ...1062, 1067 (6th Cir.1984) (citing Arnett v. Kennedy, 416 U.S. 134, 94 S.Ct. 1633, 40 L.Ed.2d 15 (1974)); see also Hadad v. Croucher, 970 F.Supp. 1227, 1251 (N.D.Ohio 1997). Instead, due process only requires that "such descriptive explanation be afforded as to permit the employee to identif......
  • Vogel v. City of Medina, CASE NO.1:17CV272
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 6th Circuit. United States District Court of Northern District of Ohio
    • January 31, 2018
    ...against him, 2) given an explanation of the employer's evidence and 3) given an opportunity to present his case. Hadad v. Croucher, 970 F.Supp 1227, 1250 (N.D. Ohio, 1997). Plaintiff alleges that the investigation into his inappropriate behavior violated "essentially every standard, common ......
  • Laketran Board of Trustees, 02-LW-6440
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Ohio)
    • July 1, 2002
    ...before the commencement of trial." Such a voluntary dismissal is not a bar subsequent litigation. Hadad v. Croucher (N.D.Ohio 1997), 970 F.Supp. 1227, 1237. For the foregoing reasons, we conclude that appellant's first assignment of error lacks merit. In its second assignment of error, appe......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT