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Can Emanuel Residency Ruling Apply To Police, Firefighters?

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CHICAGO (WBBM) — The heads of the Chicago police and firefighter unions are commenting today on how the residency ruling for mayoral candidate Rahm Emanuel might affect the rule requiring city workers to live within the city limits.

Mark Donahue, the president of the Fraternal Order of Police, says he’s tried for the past few years to get the legislature to change the law so Chicago police could go to the bargaining table with the city and negotiate over whether police could live in the suburbs. Donahue says the FOP will make that legislative push again this session.


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Donahue says he doesn’t know whether any legal connection can be made between yesterday’s Illinois Supreme Court ruling for Emanuel and the city’s employment rule.

Chicago Firefighter Union leader Tom Ryan says he’s had members who’ve lost their jobs because they didn’t live in the city of Chicago. He says he doesn’t know whether yesterday’s Illinois Supreme Court ruling will have a bearing on those or any other cases.

“I’m not a lawyer”, he says.

Ryan says he does understand the difference between residency as it pertains to being eligible to be a candidate for elective office and the city’s residency rule for employment purposes, but he’s not sure whether the employment rule can be argued using yesterday’s ruling on Emanuel.

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