Mullen v Waterbury Board of Education
ORDER: Defendants are directed to supplement the summary judgment motion with additional evidence pursuant to the attached order on or before 09/26/2017. Plaintiff shall submit a Local Rule 56(a)(2) statement on or before 10/03/2017. The trial will be continued until February 2018 and the parties shall submit the Joint Trial Memorandum on or before 12/19/2017. Signed by Judge Vanessa L. Bryant on 09/12/2017. (Lee, E.)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF CONNECTICUT
EDDIE C. MULLEN,
WATERBURY BOARD OF
EDUCATION, RON FROST;
Civil Case Number
September 12, 2017
RULING AND ORDER
Defendants have moved for summary judgment as to Plaintiff’s employment
discrimination case brought under 28 U.S.C. § 1983. Defendants submitted an
affidavit from Paul Guidone, the Chief Operating Officer for the Waterbury
Department of Education from 2002 until 2015 and the Chief of Staff from 2010 until
2015. [Dkt. 36-3 (Guidone Aff.)]. Guidone attests to the standard practices and
procedures for evaluating full-time and substitute teachers seeking to be rehired
in the Waterbury school system. Id. ¶¶ 4-6. He attests the “procedures were
followed when Eddie Mullen applied to be rehired” and that “Ronald Frost was the
Director of Personnel when Eddie Mullen applied for a teaching position in 2011.”
Id. ¶¶ 7-8. Defendants also submitted an affidavit from Daniel Foster, Staff Attorney
for the City of Waterbury Office of Corporation Counsel, who attested that the
Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities (“CHRO”)
documents filed as exhibits were true and accurate copies. See [Dkt. 36-4 (Foster
Aff. and Exs.)]. The exhibits include (A) Mullen’s Affidavit of Illegal Discriminatory
Practice (i.e. his CHRO complaint), (B) Respondents’ Response, (C) Mullen’s Letter
in Response, (D) the CHRO’s draft findings, (E) Mullen’s Letter in Response and
newspaper articles, and (F) the CHRO’s final determinations. Id.
In reviewing the parties’ briefing, the Court notes that while Defendant filed
CHRO material indicating Plaintiff was intoxicated, suffers from alcoholism, and
may have suffered a seizure as a result, and the decision not to hire Plaintiff was
based on knowledge of these facts, such material is not admissible evidence. See
[Dkt. 36-4 at 40-42]. The CHRO documents merely constitute evidence that the
CHRO made a determination of “no reasonable cause” for the reasons set forth in
the Findings of Fact.
The CHRO’s findings are not admissible to
demonstrate a legitimate, non-discriminatory reason why Plaintiff was not rehired,
because it is not direct evidence and Plaintiff is entitled to this Court’s own review
of the parties’ admissible evidence. See generally Abrams v. Dep’t of Public Safety,
764 F.3d 244 (2d Cir. 2014) (discussing plaintiff’s performance reports, depositions,
and other direct evidence in evaluating plaintiff’s § 1983 claim); Patterson v. Cty.
of Oneida, N.Y., 375 F.3d 206, 213-14 (2004) (evaluating affidavits from each
individual defendant “denying that the discriminatory and/or harassing conduct
attributed to him by Patterson had in fact occurred”).
Defendants have not presented the Court with any evidence of admissible
business or public records, such as Plaintiff’s employment file, that address the
rehiring decision made in November 2011.
Defendants similarly have not
submitted affidavits from people with personal knowledge about the decision not
to rehire Plaintiff. The Court also has not been presented with any investigatory
reports about Plaintiff’s incident in 2001. Accordingly, the Court hereby ORDERS
Defendants to supplement the Local Rule 56(a)(1) statement to provide admissible
business and public records, affidavits from those with personal knowledge, or
discriminatory reason for electing not to rehire Plaintiff.
supplement the Local Rule 56(a)(1) statement on or before September 26, 2017.
Plaintiff shall file a Local Rule 56(a)(2) statement on or before October 3, 2017. The
trial will be continued to February 2018 and the parties shall submit the Joint Trial
Memorandum on or before December 19, 2017.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
Hon. Vanessa L. Bryant
United States District Judge
Dated at Hartford, Connecticut: September 12, 2017
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