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Gonzalez v. City of Milwaukee

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

June 26, 2015

MARTIN GONZALEZ, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
CITY OF MILWAUKEE, Defendant-Appellee

Argued, April 1, 2015

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. No. 11-C-1070 -- Lynn Adelman, Judge.

For Martin Gonzalez, Plaintiff - Appellant: Rex R. Anderegg, Attorney, Anderegg & Associates, Milwaukee, WI.

For City of Milwaukee, Defendant - Appellee: MaryNell Regan, Attorney, Milwaukee City Attorney's Office, Milwaukee, WI.

Before WOOD, Chief Judge, and FLAUM, Circuit Judge, and KENNELLY, District Judge[*].

OPINION

Page 710

Flaum, Circuit Judge.

Martin Gonzalez was a police officer for the City of Milwaukee from 1995 until 2011. He was discharged from his employment with the City following an incident in January 2011 in which he failed to report for work. Gonzalez is Caucasian and worked in a predominately African-American police district in Milwaukee, District 4. Gonzalez alleges that he was discharged because of his race in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the City of Milwaukee after denying Gonzalez's motion to compel discovery, in which he specifically requested that the City turn over a District 4 " climate survey." Gonzalez now appeals the district court's denial of his motion to compel. We affirm.

I. Background

Martin Gonzalez was hired by the City of Milwaukee as a police officer in 1995. At some point prior to January 2011 (it is unclear precisely when), Gonzalez was transferred to District 4.[1] Between March 2009 and March 2011, Gonzalez was disciplined on seven different occasions for various

Page 711

misbehaviors, including: " failure ... to abide by the ordinances in another jurisdiction," " idling and loafing," " causing damage to department property and ... fail[ing] to report to [a] supervisor," " fail[ing] to be courteous toward the public ... and ... officiously interfering in the private business of another," " failing to fully investigate a crime," and " fail[ing] to promptly and thoroughly investigate and report a crime." Aff. of Franklin Gayle in Supp. of Def.'s Mot. for Summ. J. 1-2. Gonzalez received discipline ranging from an official reprimand to a ten-day suspension for these infractions.

On January 28, 2011, Gonzalez requested to be off from work on January 30, but his request was denied. Gonzalez then submitted a request to switch shifts with another officer, and he informally arranged for another officer to take his shift. Gonzalez's formal request, however, was neither approved nor denied. Gonzalez did not report to work on the 30th, but neither did his replacement. Gonzalez's supervising sergeant, Sergeant Flowers, called Gonzalez several times on the morning of the 30th, but could not reach him. Sergeant Flowers also could not locate an approved replacement form on file. When Gonzalez eventually returned Sergeant Flowers's phone call, Sergeant Flowers ordered Gonzalez to report to work. Gonzalez told Sergeant Flowers ...


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