Posts tagged "Cristo"

Cristo v. Evangelidis (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-158-16)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA, 02108-1750; (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us   15-P-91                                         Appeals Court   JUDE CRISTO  vs.  LEWIS EVANGELIDIS.[1]     No. 15-P-91.   Worcester.     November 2, 2015. – October 28, 2016.   Present:  Agnes, Sullivan, & Blake, JJ.     Civil Rights, Immunity of public official, Termination of employment.  Employment, Retaliation, Termination.  Constitutional Law, Freedom of speech and press, Public employment.  Public Employment, Termination.  Practice, Civil, Summary judgment, Civil rights.  Sheriff.       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on September 6, 2011.   A motion for summary judgment was heard by David Ricciardone, J.     Andrew J. Abdella for the defendant. Timothy M. Burke for the plaintiff.     AGNES, J.  The question before us is whether the defendant, Lewis Evangelidis, sheriff of Worcester County, was entitled to judgment as a matter of law on count three of the plaintiff Jude Cristo’s complaint, charging Evangelidis with a violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983.[2]  In particular, Cristo alleges that Evangelidis retaliated against him by terminating him from employment in the Worcester County sheriff’s office (sheriff’s office or department) on January 7, 2011, for exercising his rights under the First Amendment to the United States Constitution in early 2010, the year before Evangelidis took office.  For the reasons that follow, we conclude that Evangelidis’s motion for summary judgment, based on the defense of qualified immunity, should have been allowed because on the record before us, Cristo’s speech, while related to matters of public concern, was undertaken in his capacity as an employee of the sheriff’s office, and not as a private citizen.[3]  See Garcetti v. Ceballos, 547 U.S. 410, 421 (2006). Background.  We view the summary judgment record in the light most favorable to Cristo, the nonmoving party.  Cristo was hired in June, 1999, as the assistant personnel director of the sheriff’s office.  Cristo was promoted to human resources director of the sheriff’s office in February, 2006, by Guy Glodis, Evangelidis’s predecessor.  Shortly thereafter, Cristo was also appointed by Glodis to be the payroll director, and given other human resource duties.  When, during the summer of 2009, Glodis decided not to seek reelection as sheriff, Shawn P. Jenkins assumed the role of acting sheriff. In early 2010, Cristo expressed concerns to Jenkins, and to deputy superintendent Paul Legendre, that assistant deputy superintendent Scott Bove, a candidate for the sheriff’s position, was not performing his human resource duties and […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - October 29, 2016 at 1:21 am

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