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Political Activity/Patronage Employment

     Eleven former city employees sued the mayor and city claiming that the mayor had violated their First Amendment rights by firing them because of their political affiliations. The trial court granted summary judgment to the mayor on the claims of nine of the eleven employees, finding that his argument that political affiliation was a permissible qualification for their jobs was sufficiently arguable to entitle him to qualified immunity. The trial court had declined, however, to certify interlocutory appeals with respect to the claims of the other two plaintiffs. A federal appeals court stayed the proceedings pending an interlocutory appeal of the issue as to whether the mayor was entitled to qualified immunity on the claims of these two employees. The issue of whether a job is one for which political affiliation is an allowable criterion is an issue of law, not a question of fact as the trial court seemed to think. If the mayor was entitled to qualified immunity, he was entitled not to stand trial and that privilege would effectively be lost if the claims were erroneously allowed to go to trial. Claims against the city were also stayed until this issue is decided. Allman v. Smith, #14-1792, 764 F.3d 682 (7th Cir. 2014).
     The collective bargaining organization representing Philadelphia police officers, the Fraternal Order of Police, operated a political action committee to distribute political contributions to candidates for state and local office. The union, the political action committee, and four officers sued to question the constitutionality of provisions of the city charter that barred employees of the police department from making contributions "for any political purpose. The provision only applied to police, and not to other city employees and was adopted in 1951 because of a history of patronage employment. The federal appeals court found that the ban was unconstitutional, reasoning that it may address valid concerns (such as police partiality and politicized personnel practices) but that the city did not explain how the ban addressed the feared harms in a direct and material way. There was a lack of fit between the city's stated purpose and the means chosen to promote it, and it was illogically under-inclusive. Lodge No. 5 of the Fraternal Order of Police v. City of Philadelphia, #13-1516, 763 F.3d 358 (3rd Cir. 2014).
     A former fire captain claimed that his termination was an act of political discrimination in violation of his First Amendment rights in retaliation for his support for a candidate for Fire Commissioner. A federal appeals court rejected this claim, finding that the employer gave legitimate business-related reasons for their personnel decisions, including a new familial relations policy forbidding officers from working shifts with or supervising their family members, such as the plaintiff's wife, a full time firefighter, and that the employee failed to show that the reasons given were pretexts. Pierce v. Cotuit Fire District, #13-1428, 2014 U.S. App. Lexis 1746 (1st Cir.).
     Six employees of a sheriff's office claimed that they lost their jobs after expressing support for the sheriff's opponent in an upcoming election. Some of them did so by "liking" or commenting on the opponent's Facebook page. A federal appeals court found that expressing likes on Facebook is protected free speech, and the "Internet equivalent of displaying a political sign in one's front yard." The defendant sheriff was entitled, however, to qualified immunity on three employee's claims seeking damages against him individually as well as Eleventh Amendment immunity against claims seeking money damages against him in his official capacity. No Eleventh Amendment immunity was available, however, on three employee's claims seeking reinstatement in their jobs. Bland v. Roberts, #12-1671, 2013 U.S. App. Lexis 19268 (4th Cir.).
    An employee at a county jail wrote a letter to the editor of a newspaper during an election campaign for sheriff, expressing his support for the current sheriff's reelection and opposing his political opponent. When the opponent was elected, the employee and a number of others were told that they had two months to improve conditions at the jail or they would be fired. Subsequently, the employee was demoted, and he took retirement, and he sued the sheriff, his office, and the county for unlawful retaliation in violation of the First Amendment. A federal appeals court found that summary judgment for the defendants was inappropriate since there was evidence from which a jury could find that the defendants had failed to show that they would have taken the same actions against the plaintiff in the absence of his protected speech. The court found that the plaintiff, in writing the letter, was speaking as a citizen supporting a candidate during an election. Haverda v. Hays County, #12-51008, 2013 U.S. App. Lexis 14485 (5th Cir.).
     A police department detective supported a candidate for mayor in a party primary. When the candidate lost, the detective talked to a reporter about the election. One day after these comments were published, the detective was reassigned to station duty officer, a more deskbound position. He sued for unlawful retaliation in violation of the First Amendment on the basis of his support for a political candidate, and for demotion and constructive discharge without due process. The defendants counterclaimed for abuse of process and malicious prosecution, and the trial court granted the defendants summary judgment on the plaintiff's claims and summary judgment to the plaintiff on the defendants' abuse of process claim but not on their malicious prosecution claim, which the parties subsequently agreed to be dismissed. The appeals court reversed on the retaliation claim, finding that there was enough evidence for a reasonable jury to conclude that the reassignment was motivated at least in part by a retaliatory motive, after which the defendants would have to try to show that they would have taken the same action even without the protected speech. Peele v. Burch, #12-3562, 2013 U.S. App. Lexis 13800 (7th Cir.).
     A number of correctional officers were members of a specialized Special Operations Response Team (SORT) that guarded inmates in the Cook County Jail’s Abnormal Behavioral Observation Unit (ABO). When six violent felons escaped from that unit, an officer confessed to allowing them to escape and named three other officers as either having advance knowledge of the planned escape or asssisting him. The SORT team was disbanded and the plaintiffs were investigated and reassigned. In a lawsuit, they claimed that they had been retaliated against because of their political support for a particular candidate for sheriff. A federal appeals court rejected this claim, noting that there had been probable cause for the investigation, so other motivations for investigating them were less relevant. It was clearly objectively reasonable to conduct an investigation of officers believed to have been involved in a multiple-felon jailbreak. Hernandez v. Cook Cnty. Sheriff's Dep't, #12-1941, 2013 U.S. App. Lexis 6417 (7th Cir.).
      An employee of a county court clerk's office asserted that her termination by the newly elected clerk was based on her prior candidacy in the primary as the clerk's rival, and therefore unconstitutional under the First Amendment. A federal appeals court rejected this claim, finding that it did not violate the First Amendment. The jobs of deputy court clerks were not protected by civil service, and those in the job lacked a protected property interest in their employment. The court noted that this was not a pure political patronage case nor a pure political affiliation case, since both the newly elected clerk and the terminated employee belonged to the same political party, both being Republicans. The court held that an elected official may fire an immediate subordinate for opposing her in an election without violating the First Amendment if the subordinate, under state or local law, has the same duties and powers as the elected official, as they are the type of confidential employee who can be terminated under applicable U.S. Supreme Court precedents. The clerk had to be able to select a deputy from whom she could expect undivided loyalty even if the day-to-day job did not involve setting policy or the exercise of unlimited discretion. Underwood v. Harkins, #11-13117, 2012 U.S. App. Lexis 21788 (11th Cir.).
    An employee of a county detention facility was fired by a federal court-appointed administrator. The administrator was appointed pursuant to a settlement with inmates who sued over the conditions at the facility. He argued that the termination, justified on the basis of budget cuts, was actually motivated by his political affiliation, and was unlawful, in violation of his federal civil rights. The defendant argued that, because he was court appointed, he was entitled to absolute quasi-judicial immunity. A federal appeals court rejected this argument, ruling that terminating an employee is an administrative act which absolute immunity does not apply to. None of the administrator's duties were judicial in nature. "Nor would the administrators of a municipality that has filed for reorganization under Chapter 9 be immune from claims under sec. 1983 if they engaged in patronage hiring." Coleman v. Dunlap, #11-2669. 2012 U.S. App. Lexis 17696, 34 I.E.R. Cas. (BNA) 321 (7th Cir.).
     A police commander claimed that he had lost certain duties and perquisites and that this constituted a series of adverse employment actions taken against him because of political animus. He failed to show, however, that he was being discriminated against because of his participation in constitutionally protected activities or his party preference or any other political affiliation. Additionally as to a due process claim for alleged deprivation of a property interest in his job, he had not alleged that he was fired, demoted, or subjected to diminished compensation. He had no protected property interest in the loss of particular job-related duties. Rojas-Velazquez v. Figueroa-Sancha, #11-1447, 2012 U.S. App. Lexis 6395 (1st Cir.).
      After a lieutenant lost his election bid to replace the incumbent sheriff, during which he accused the sheriff-coroner of corruption, he was placed on administrative leave and then demoted. In a lawsuit by the ex-lieutenant charging unlawful retaliation in violation of his First Amendment rights, a federal appeals court rejected the sheriff's defense that the plaintiff had been a policymaker and therefore could be dismissed for politically motivated reasons. "Moreover, dismissals on the basis of political considerations must further a 'vital government end' [absent here] because they infringe upon a constitutional right." The court ruled that the sheriff was entitled to qualified immunity from liability, however, in light of the plaintiff's concurrent service as chief of police services for a city under a contract between the city and county. Under these circumstances, the sheriff could have mistakenly believed that political loyalty was required for someone with the lieutenant's job responsibilities. Hunt v. County of Orange,  #10-55163, 2012 U.S. App. Lexis 2815 (9th Cir.).
     A newly elected mayor found that the city's employees had swollen in number during the administration of the previous mayor, a member of a different political party. Because the city now had a $7.2 million annual deficit, with 82% of its budget spent on salary and benefits, he made personnel cuts. In a lawsuit by 61 terminated employees, he was accused of due process violations and political discrimination. An appeals court ruled that these claims failed because the personnel reductions were carried out under a validly enacted ordinance as a bona fide reduction in force for legitimate financial reasons. The selection of those who were terminated was not based on their political affiliations. As for the due process claim, pre-termination hearings "are not required by due process where a bona fide government reorganization plan bases dismissals on factors unrelated to personal performance." Rodriguez-Sanchez v. Municipality of Santa Isabel, #09-2635, 658 F.3d 125 (1st Cir. 2011).
     A city employee had severe attendance difficulties due to health problems. When she was denied a closer parking space at work that she had requested as a reasonable accommodation because of her difficulty walking, she sued the city for disability discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). A federal appeals court ruled that she was not an otherwise qualified employee for purposes of the ADA, because her attendance was unpredictable, and regular attendance was an essential function of her job. The record also showed that her absenteeism problem was present long before she was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, her claimed disabling condition. The court also rejected the plaintiff employee's retaliation claim, since she could not show that she suffered any adverse employment action in retaliation for requesting the accommodation of the closer parking space. Colon-Fontanez v. Municipality of San Juan, #10-1026, 660 F.3d 17 (1st Cir. 2011).
     A sergeant failed to prove that he was passed over for promotion to lieutenant for political reasons by a Democratic sheriff because he is a Republican, did not donate to the sheriff's election campaign, and donated to and voted for his Republican opponent. The average donations to the sheriff's election campaign by eligible officers not promoted exceeded the average donations of those who were promoted. The plaintiff's "lurid" evidence concerning possible sex discrimination in favor of a female officer who was promoted, including a story about her having sex with a boyfriend in a backyard hot tub in the view of others (and the fact that she was the sister-in-law of one of the sheriff's top advisors) was irrelevant and inadmissible hearsay, since the plaintiff had not claimed gender discrimination in his complaint. He was properly denied permission to amend his complaint to include such a claim 56 months after the suit was filed. "If all that's charged is discrimination on political grounds, any nonpolitical ground that the defendant can prove would have caused the discrimination regardless of the presence of political hostility will preclude liability." Brown v. County of Cook, #11-1953, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 21513 (7th Cir.).
     Sheriff could involuntarily transfer a lieutenant for political reasons from a policymaking position. Bardzik v. County of Orange, #09-55103, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 6242 (9th Cir.).
     In a political affiliation case, the plaintiff alleged that he was fired from his job at the Puerto Rico Dept. of Correction because his superiors disagreed with his political beliefs. A grant of summary judgment for the defendants was affirmed because he failed to show that the defendants knew of his political affiliation. Del Toro-Pacheco v. Pereira, #09-2532, 2011 U.S. App. Lexis 2344 (1st Cir.).
     Management's refusal to reinstate a Tennessee state trooper who had voluntarily left his position to seek election as mayor did not violate the First Amendment. Sain v. Mitchell, #09-5726, 376 Fed. Appx. 582, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 9685, 2010 FED App. 0285N. (6th Cir. 2010).
     Federal appeals court orders a jury trial on liability and damaged for a lieutenant who claimed that he was wrongfully demoted to sergeant because of a political party affiliation. Eckerman v. Tennessee Dept. of Safety, #09-6181, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 25849, 2010 FED App. 0387P (6th Cir.).
     "An employee's past employment record of 38 years of service with no performance problems or disciplinary action is a mitigating factor, but must be weighted against the seriousness of the offenses in assessing whether the presumptive penalty of removal for a Hatch Act violation is not warranted." Termination was appropriate for soliciting a political contribution to a Presidential candidate's political campaign. Special Counsel v. Ware, #CB-1216-09-0025-T-1, 2010 MSPB 105.
     First Circuit affirms a jury award of $19,000 each to seven Ranger cadets who were terminated because of their party affiliations. Cortes-Reyes v. Salas-Quintana, #08-2210, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 12439 (1st Cir.).
     In a First Amendment action, a federal court in Manhattan rejects an unlawful dismissal claim of a terminated fire commissioner. A fire commissioner is expected to perform his job duties in response to partisan politics; it is important that a fire commissioner share the political ideology or affiliation of the mayor; and, a fire commissioner exercises policy-making duties in matters such as hiring, instruction, and discipline of employees. A jury’s verdict on the plaintiff’s First Amendment claim must be set aside; the mayor was entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Cicchetti v. Davis, #07 Civ. 10546, 2009 WL 928618, 2009 U.S. Dist. Lexis 29354 [and 6511] (S.D.N.Y.).
     A public employee’s decision to remain politically neutral in the general election is entitled to the same protection as a choice to support a political opponent of the mayor. Zerante v. DeLuca, #08-1381, 2009 U.S. App. Lexis 2278 (7th Cir.).
     Fifth Circuit rejects the wrongful termination claim of a criminal investigator who was fired immediately after announcing his intent to run for sheriff. The D.A legitimately terminated the plaintiff because he reasonably feared disruptive tension between the sheriff's office and the D.A.'s office. James v. Mellen, #08-60285, #08-60285, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 25311 (5th Cir.).
     Federal court declines to dismiss a suit by a police sergeant who alleged retaliation because her husband ran for public office. Riddell v. Gordon, #04-1201, 2008 U.S. Dist. Lexis 88410 (D. Del.).      Sixth Circuit rejects a First Amendment lawsuit filed by a deputy who was fired immediately after the sheriff learned in a newspaper article that the deputy intended to run against him in the next election. Greenwell v. Parsley, #07-5694, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 18722 (6th Cir.).
     Federal court holds that a terminated Kentucky homeland security civil servant must establish with evidence that her Democratic affiliation was a substantial or motivating factor in the decision to terminate her. And if she meets that burden, to avoid liability, the defendants need to show that they would have fired her anyway, even if she were a Republican. Back v. Hall, #07-5934/07-5935, 2008 U.S. App. Lexis 17057 (6th Cir.).
     Perceived slights and changed duties are not enough to demonstrate that working conditions were inferior; she failed to show that she suffered an adverse employment action. Torres-Martinez v. Puerto Rico Dept. of Corrections, #06-1881, 2007 U.S. App. Lexis 9295 (1st Cir.).
     In a 2-to-1 ruling, the federal Merit Service Protection Board declined to review a lower ruling that a sheriff's dept. was not an executive branch agency and therefore was not covered by the federal Hatch Act, banning certain political activity. Special Counsel v. Jackson Co. Sheriff Dept., #3B-1216-06-0010-T-1, 2007 MSPB 35 (MSPB) 2007, 2007 MSPB Lexis 1520.
     Pennsylvania law banning political endorsements by state workers did not apply to officers of a corrections union who were on official leave for association purposes, even if their state salaries continued while on leave. Pinto v. Civil Serv. Cmsn., #70 MAP 2005, 2006 Pa. Lexis 2519 (Pa. 2006). [N/R]
     Federal court refuses to dismiss a First amendment claim brought by furloughed city workers who claimed that the mayor retaliated against them for their political activities by not rehiring them. Cochran v. City of Huntington, #1:05-CV-249, 2006 U.S. Dist. Lexis 71873, prior ruling at 2006 U.S. Dist. Lexis 39516 (N.D. Ind., 2006). {N/R}
     Merit Systems Personnel Board dismisses a wrongful termination claim by a probationary federal worker who alleged she was discharged for partisan political reasons, because she failed to show her separation was a result of an affiliation with a particular political party or candidate. McCall-Scovens v. Merit Systems Protection Board, # 05-3238, 2006 U.S. App. Lexis 7936 (Fed Cir. 2006), relying on Mastriano v. Fed. Aviation Adm., 714 F.2d 1152 (Fed. Cir. 1993). {N/R}
     A prison warden held a policy-making position and could not challenge his removal for partisan political reasons. Pierson v. Blagojevich, #05-3019, 2005 U.S. App. Lexis 29328 (7th Cir. 2006). {N/R} Federal court declines to dismiss a suit by a police corporal whose rank was eliminated purportedly because he campaigned for the mayor's opponent. Harvey v. City of Bradenton, #8:04-CV-1748, 2005 U.S. Dist. Lexis 38095 (M.D. Fla. 2005). {N/R}
     Sixth Circuit affirms the demotion of a sheriff's dept. lieutenant because of his political support of the previous sheriff. "Where the effective performance of a particular office demands affiliation with a particular party or subscription to a particular policy, the Constitution permits dismissal based on political grounds." Cagle v. Headley, #04-6162, 2005 U.S. App. Lexis 19153 (Unpub. 6th Cir. 2005). {N/R}
     Seventh Circuit finds that assistant wardens of Illinois state prisons are policymaking officials and therefore could be fired by the governor because of their political affiliation. Riley v. Blagojevich, #04-3085, 2005 U.S. App. Lexis 20631 (7th Cir. 2005). {N/R}
     A county attorney in Michigan holds a "policymaking or confidential position" and may be terminated for politically-motivated reasons without violating the First Amendment. Simasko v. County of St. Clair, #04-2292, 417 F.3d 559, 2005 FED App. 0325P, 2005 U.S. App. Lexis 15916 (6th Cir. 2005). {N/R}
     Federal appeals court declines to overturn the decision of a newly elected sheriff to fire a superior ranking officer who supported the defeated incumbent. "... political affiliation is an appropriate requirement for the position of Asst. Deputy Superintendent for Training." Hadfield v. McDonough, #04-2020, 407 F.3d 11, 2005 U.S. App. Lexis 8259 (1st Cir. 2005). {N/R}
     Retitling the position of jail classification director was not a bona fide "reorganization" that eliminated the incumbent's job. A county personnel board did not have to provide written reasons to justify reinstatement of the terminated appellant. Sheriff of Plymouth Co. v. Plymouth Co. Personnel Board, #SJC-09038, 440 Mass. 708, 802 N.E.2d 71, 2004 Mass. Lexis 15 (2004). [2004 FP Jul]
     Third Circuit rejects the suit of a terminated city manager that campaigned against winning council candidates. His interest in free speech did not outweigh the government's interest in efficiency. Curinga v. City of Clairton, #03-1278, 2004 U.S. App. Lexis 1654 (3rd Cir. 2004). {N/R}
     Second Circuit finds that a union informational poster about the positions of presidential candidates could not be posted on government bulletin boards, as it clearly violated the Hatch Act. Burrus v. Vegliante, #02-6257, 2003 U.S. App. Lexis 14125 (2nd Cir. 2003). [2003 FP Oct]
     Ninth Circuit upholds the rights of a newly elected prosecutor to terminate at-will confidential secretaries that were hired by and loyal to his predecessor. Hobler v. Brueher, #00-35589, 2003 U.S. App. Lexis 6596 (9th Cir. 2003). {N/R}
     Sixth Circuit overturns an injunction against a mayor for initiating transfers or demotions or interfering with promotions or compensation of firefighters because of their political beliefs, associations, or a desire to remain neutral in political matters. The injunction was overly broad, was unnecessary to provide the plaintiffs the relief to which they are entitled, and was not based upon a showing of likely future irreparable harm. Sharpe v. Cureton, #00-5805, 2003 U.S. App. Lexis 2643, 2003 FED App. 0050P (6th Cir.). {N/R}
    Tenth Circuit refuses to dismiss the suit of a reserve deputy who was decommissioned after he expressed support for a person who intended to run against the sheriff in the next election. Bass v. Richards, #01-1202, 2002 U.S. App. Lexis 16440 (10th Cir. 2002). {N/R}
     Fourth Circuit holds that a county sheriff was entitled to qualified immunity from a claim that his employees were not reappointed because they supported his opponent in the election, because the law was not clearly established at the time of the alleged First Amendment violations. Pike v. Osborne, #01-2050, 2002 U.S. App. Lexis 15134 (4th Cir. 2002). {N/R}
     The jobs of county sheriff's deputies were protected under the First and Fourteenth Amendments for not supporting the sheriff, as they were not confidential or policy-making employees. Heggen v. Lee, #00-6315, 284 F.3d 675, 18 IER Cases (BNA) 732, 2002 U.S. App. Lexis 4374, 2002 FED App. 0094P (6th Cir. 2002). [N/R]
     The wife of a firefighter had standing to challenge a city charter provision that prohibits city employees from contributing money to a candidate for mayor or city council. IAFF of St. Louis v. City of Ferguson, #01-2277, 283 F.3d 969, 2002 U.S. App. Lexis 4750 (8th Cir. 2002). [N/R]
    Second Circuit upholds a $400,000 award against a sheriff and chief deputy who repeatedly mistreated a deputy who had supported an opposition candidate. Phillips v. Bowen, #00-7525, 278 F.3d 103, 2002 U.S. App. Lexis 980, 18 IER (BNA) 397 (2nd Cir.2002).   [2002 FP Apr]
     Federal jury finds that the City of Chicago Heights, Illinois, fired one city employee and demoted or reassigned three police officers in retaliation for their opposition to the mayor's re-election in 1999. It awarded the four a total $700,000 in damages; punitive damages were assessed against the mayor in the sum of $15,000, against the current police chief for $7,500 and against an ex-chief for $1,500. Kulwin, Murphy, Pilota and Robustelli v. Ciambrone, verdict rptd. in the Chicago Tribune on 11/02/2001, p. 3 (N.D. Ill.). {N/R}
     Federal jury in Chicago awards a suburban police lieutenant $3.5 million in compensatory damages against his city, $8 million in punitive damages against the mayor and $1 million against an ex-chief. They allegedly sought to remove him for backing an opposition mayoral candidate. Comanda v. Vil. of Country Club Hills, verdict rptd. in Daily Southtown 1/19/2001; facts and motion ruling in parallel action, Comanda v. Welch, #00-C-5633, 2001 U.S. Dist. Lexis 8459 (N.D.Ill. 6/19/2001). [2001 FP 43]
     Federal appeals courts are badly split on whether a deputy sheriff is a “policymaker” and can be terminated for political reasons. DiRuzza v. Co. of Tehama, #98-15997, 206 F.3d 1304, 2000 U.S. App. Lexis 430, 16 IER Cases (BNA) 15 (9th Cir.). [2000 FP 121-2]
     A Pennsylvania statute that restricted ability of sheriffs to make personnel decisions, and that prohibited his deputies from engaging in political action violated the equal-protection rights of the sheriff. DeFazio v. Allegheny Co. Civ. Serv. Cmsn., 756 A.2d 1103, 2000 Pa. Lexis 2020, 16 IER Cases (BNA) 1121 (Pa. 2000). {N/R}
     Supreme Court declines to set aside the termination of a bailiff for political reasons. Wagner v. Celebrezze, 1998 U.S. App. Lexis 30136 (6th Cir.); cert. den., #98-1337, 1999 U.S. Lexis 3236 (1999). [1999 FP 105]
     Federal jury awards three Calumet City IL officers $4.75 million. Their terminations for residency violations were found to be subterfuge for not supporting the mayor's reelection campaign. Mora v. Genova, # 97 C 7765, 1998 U.S. Dist. Lexis 2258 and 13216 (N.D. Ill. 1999). [1999 FP 93]
     Federal appeals court bans election signs in residential yards belonging to state troopers, even if their wives placed the signs. No disciplinary action can be taken if home is in joint names or is the sole property of the spouse that erected the sign. Horstkoetter v. Dept. Pub. Sfty., #97-6367, 159 F.3d 1265, 1998 U.S. App. Lexis 27584 (10th Cir.). [1999 FP 42]
     Federal court upholds a police dept. rule prohibiting officers from running for public office. Moses v. Wytheville, 959 F.Supp. 334 (W.D.Va. 1997). [1998 FP 91]
     9th Circuit upholds the firing of an Assistant District Attorney who opposed the DA in the next election. Fazio v. San Francisco, 1997 U.S.App. Lexis 27289, 125 F3d 1328 (9th Cir.). [1997 FP 169]
     7th Circuit upholds a sheriff who had placed a deputy on unpaid leave when the latter filed his candidacy for sheriff. Wilbur v. Mahan, 3 F.3d 214 (7th Cir. 1993). {N/R}
     Decision of deputy sheriffs not to participate in the campaign to re-elect the sheriff was "speech" protected by the First Amendment. Harter v. Vernon, 953 F.Supp. 685 (M.D.N.C. 1996). {N/R}
     The 1st Am. rights of deputies were not infringed by a sheriff who terminated them for supporting the sheriff's opponent in an election. Cutliffe v. Cochran, 117 F.3d 1353, 1997 U.S.App. Lexis 19964, 13 IER Cases (BNA) 132 (11th Cir. 1997), relying on Terry v. Cook, 866 F.2d 373 (11th Cir. 1989). {N/R}
     State agency ordered to remove an employee who sought election as a state representative. Agency receives federal funds; his candidacy violated the Hatch Act. Special Counsel v. Alexander, 71 M.S.P.R. 636, 1996 MSPB Lexis 1029. {N/R}
     County clerk's termination of deputy clerk for running against her in the election was not based on the deputy's protected speech or beliefs, but upon her unprotected political candidacy; the First Amendment was not violated. Carver v. Dennis, #95-5873, 104 F.3d 847, 1997 U.S. App. Lexis 686, 1997 FED App. 0018P (6th Cir. 1997). {N/R}
     Federal Office of Personnel Management (OPM) adopts the final rules relating to federal employee political activities. The "Hatch Act" also applies to federally-supported state and local personnel. Political Activities of Federal Employees, 5 C.F.R. 734.101-504, 61 (130) Federal Register 35088-35102. www.gpo.ucop.edu/search/default.html [1996 FP 171]
     Defendant county sheriff was not entitled to qualified immunity in a suit by a deputy who alleged his commission was not renewed in violation of this First Amendment rights because he cooperated with state law enforcement officials during an investigation of corruption in the sheriff's dept., where the deputy's right to speak with investigators concerning corruption was clearly established under the constitution. Cooper v. Smith, 89 F.3d 761, 11 IER Cases (BNA) 1703 (11th Cir. 1996). {N/R}
     Sheriff could have terminated deputy who announced his candidacy for sheriff, but could not engage in a pattern of harassment. Wallace v. Benware, 67 F.3d 655 (7th Cir. 1995). {N/R}
     Sheriff's lieut.; political support of opposition; sheriff entitled to qualified immunity. Rogers v. Miller, 57 F.3d 986 (11th Cir.1995). {N/R}
     Deputy sheriff - failure of sheriff to reappoint; jury instructions; preemptory strike of black juror; First Amendment allegations. Jones v. Plaster, 57 F.3 417 (4th Cir. 1995). {N/R}
     Jury award sheriff's officer $117,600; her was job was downgraded in retaliation for supporting the sheriff's political opponent. Morris v. Crow, 33 (1625) G.E.R.R. (BNA) 980 (verdict 6-23-95); prior ruling: 825 F.Supp. 296 (M.D.Fla. 1993). [1995 FP 153-4]
     Newly elected sheriff could not consider political activities of employees in making employment decisions, notwithstanding fact the commissions of all deputies expired when the sheriff took office. Baum v. Webb, 863 F.Supp. 918 (E.D.Ark. 1994). {N/R}
     Texas county commissioners had no authority to modify the at-will status of sheriff's deputies by adopting a county personnel manual requiring just cause for discharge. Without any legal effect, the manual did not provide a cognizable property interest in continued employment. Garcia v. Reeves Co., 32 F.3d 200 (5th Cir. 1994). {N/R}
     Newly elected Texas sheriff could replace all employees. No deputies had a property right to continued employment. Williams v. Bagley, 875 S.W.2d 808 (Tex.App. 1994). {N/R}
     Federal appeals court discusses case law pertaining to the termination or demotion of deputy sheriffs for partisan political reasons. See: Mitchell v. Thompson, 18 F.3d 425 (7th Cir. 1994) and cases cited at 426-7. {N/R}
     Corrections officer was lawfully required to resign before running as a candidate for county sheriff. Asher v. Lombardi, 877 S.W.2d 628 (Mo. 1994). {N/R}
     Detective who sued sheriff alleging her transfers were actually demotions in violation of her First Amendment rights for supporting the former sheriff stated a valid cause of action. Morris v. Crow, 825 F.Supp. 295 (M.D.Fla. 1993). {N/R}
     A failure to rehire sheriff's deputies is the same as terminating them. Adkins v. Miller, 421 S.E.2d 682 (W.Va. 1992). {N/R}
     Federal court upholds damage award and reinstatement for a firefighter; his termination was a subterfuge for union activities. Boddie v. City of Columbus, 989 F.2d 745 (5th Cir. 1993). [1993 FP 106]
     Divided federal appeals court upholds termination of deputy who refused to assist the sheriff in his reelection campaign. Dimmig v. Wahl, 983 F.2d 86 (7th Cir. 1993). See also: Terry v. Cook, 866 F.2d 373 (11th Cir. 1989) and Upton v. Thompson, 930 F.2d 1209 (7th Cir. 1991). [1993 FP 138]
     Federal court annuls punishment against state troopers for off duty campaign activities. Damages and attorney's fees awarded. Wicker v. Gordon. 813 F.Supp. 676 (E.D.Ark. 1992). [1993 FP 170]
     Appellate court strikes down rule that prohibited firefighters from identifying themselves as city employees when they canvass voters on issues affecting them. Evanston Firefighters L-742 v. Illinois St. Labor Rel. Bd., 609 N.E.2d 790 (Ill.App. 1993). [1993 FP 171]
     New police chief did not have to reappoint the person who served as secretary to the former chief. Dismissed worker was a "confidential employee." Soderstrum v. Town of Grand Isle, 925 F.2d 135 (5th Cir. 1991). [1992 FP 89-90]
     State police regulation prohibiting officers from running for political office is constitutional. Krisher v. Sharpe, 763 F.Supp. 1313 (E.D.Pa. 1991). [1992 FP 106]
     If true, demotion of fire official for failure to only hire patronage employees is a federal civil rights violation. Shanahan v. City of Chicago, 777 F.Supp. 683 (N.D.Ill. 1991). [1992 FP 170-1]
     Assignment of fire official to unfavorable working hours as retaliation for political activities is a civil rights violation. Walsh v. Ward, 757 F.Supp. 959 (C.D.Ill. 1991). See also: Rutan v. Republican Party, 110 S.Ct. 2729 (1990). [1992 FP 58]
     Federal appeals court rules that a "policymaking" employee (who can be lawfully removed for political reasons) is one who actually exercises policymaking authority, as opposed to a job title arbitrarily classified as a policymaking position. Lohorn v. Michal, 913 F.2d 327 (7th Cir. 1990).
     An elected official may terminate a key subordinate who intends to oppose the official in the next election. Zellner v. Ham, 735 F.Supp. 1052 (M.D. Ga. 1990).
     Federal appeals court upholds suit by Highway Patrol captain who was demoted and transferred because he sought appointment as Superintendent. $400,000 verdict for "other" injuries should be reduced to $50,000. Darnell v. Ford, 903 F.2d 556 (8th Cir. 1990).
     Indiana suit by state trooper who was ordered to resign immediately following his election as sheriff is settled. Anderson v. State of Indiana, Indianapolis Star, Nov. 26, 1990.
     Police officer, promoted to detective for his political support of a new mayor, could not be demoted for his opposition to the successor mayor. Perez v. Cucci, 725 F.Supp. 209 (D.N.J. 1989).
     U.S. Supreme Court enlarges job protection rights for partisan political affiliations. 1976 decision on political firings now extends to hirings, recall of furloughed employees, promotions and transfers. Rutan v. Republican Party of Illinois, 58 L.W. 4872, 110 S.Ct. 2729, (Jun. 21, 1990).
     Sheriff's lieutenant was unlawfully retaliated against because he challenged the sheriff in general election. Appeals court affirms his right to sue to reputational losses and lateral promotional opportunities. Thomas v. Carpenter, 881 F.2d 828 (9th Cir. 1989).
     Bailiffs are confidential employees of the court, and may be replaced or discharged by the judge for political reasons. Balogh v. Charron, 855 F.2d 356 (6th Cir. 1988).
     Deputy sheriff not entitled to leave of absence to run for sheriff. Deeds v. Lindsey, 371 S.E.2d 602 (W. Va. 1988).
     President of federal civil service employees" union did not violate Hatch Act by writing news editorials critical of the Reagan administration. Blalock v. U.S. Merit Sys. Prot. Bd., 851 F.2d 1348 (11th Cir. 1988).
     Court bailiff could be dismissed for political reasons; bailiff was "confidential" at-will employee. Balogh v. Charron, 666 F.Supp. 987 (E.D. Mich. 1987).
     $400,000 compensatory and $200,000 punitive damages awarded two untenured public employees who were terminated in a "change of administration." Wallen v. Riley, Unrptd., U.S. Dist. Ct., summary at 31 ATLA L. Rep. 23, (E.D. Tenn. 1987).
     Newly elected sheriff could not fire wife of ex-sheriff; damage award against sheriff upheld, but not against county. Soderbeck v. Burnett Co., Wis., 752 F.2d 285 and 821 F.2d 446 (7th Cir. 1987).
     Two officers who claimed their demotions were political, were awarded $133,000 in general and $280,000 in punitive damages; appellate court orders new trial on evidentiary dispute. Bennis v. Gable, 823 F.2d 723 (3rd Cir. 1987).
     Deputy who ran against Sheriff awarded $750,000 for unwarranted discipline and unfavorable publicity; federal appeals court affirms. Young v. Langley, 793 F.2d 792 (6th Cir. 1986).
     Deputy, terminated after unsuccessful candidacy to defeat sheriff, awarded $81,466 plus legal fees. Perry v. Larson, 794 F.2d 279 (7th Cir. 1986).
     Employee has a first amendment right to avoid partisan politics; pretextual termination of deputy prompts $114,055 award. Sykes v. McDowell, 786 F.2d 1098 (11th Cir. 1986).
     Lieutenant lawfully suspended for actively seeking nomination for governor without taking a leave of absence. State ex. rel. Harkleroad v. New Mex. State Police Bd., 705 P.2d 676 (N.M. 1985).
     Candidate for city council election cannot block candidacy by a police or fire employee until after the election. Schloer v. Moran, 482 N.E.2d 460 (Ind. 1985).
     Police officer could not serve as city councilman for the same jurisdiction; state statute inapplicable. Schloer v. Moran, 475 N.E.2d 1193 (Ind.App. 1985).
     Missouri appellate court upholds prohibition on electioneering but voids "sponsorship" ban. Ferguson Police Officers Assn. v. City of Ferguson, 670 S.W.2d 921 (Mo.App. 1984).
     Another federal appeals court upholds political contributions by public employees. Reeder v. Kansas City Bd. of Police Cmsnrs., 733 F.2d 543 (8th Cir. 1984); second opinion at 796 F.2d 1050 (8th Cir. 1986).
     City could fire officer who contributed money to a candidate for public office. Pollard v. Board of Police Cmsnrs., 655 S.W.2d 333 (Mo. 1984).
     Federal court orders back pay and $15,000 for "emotional distress" to deputies who ran against sheriff in primary. Grysen v. Dykstra, #G83-61, 591 F.Supp. 282, 1984 U.S. Dist. Lexis 15453 (W.D. Mich. 1984).
     Newly elected city councilman automatically forfeits his city job; cannot take "leave of absence”. Rogers v. Vil. of Tinley Park, 451 N.E.2d 1324 (Ill.App. 1984).
     Federal appeals court upholds ban on political contributions, solicitations, holding campaign offices, public endorsement of candidates and ban on employee donations to council candidates. Wachman v. City of Dallas, 704 F.2d 160, reh. en banc denied, 710 F.2d 837 (5th Cir. 1983).
     Alaska Supreme Court upholds ban on city employees also serving as elected council members. Acevedo v. City of North Pole, 672 P.2d 130 (Alaska 1983).
     Federal court enjoins ban on non-partisan political activity by fire and police personnel. Arden v. Vil. of Oak Lawn, 537 F.Supp. 181 (N.D. Ill. 1982).
     "Resign to run" rule struck down by Minnesota supreme court; unpaid leave of absence proper remedy. Holin v. State of Minn., 1981-82 PBC ¶ 37,380 (Minn. 1981).
     Pennsylvania court prohibits trooper from seeking election as county sheriff. Nicodem v. Commonwealth, Penna. State Police, 439 A.2d 1325 (Pa. Cmwlth. 1982).
     Retaliation against union activities designed to influence city election was impermissible; coerced resignation found. Paul v. Davis, 96 S.Ct. 1155 (1976); Reussow v. Eddington, 483 F.Supp. 739 (D. Colo. 1980).
     Law barring certain public officials from seeking elective officer held unconstitutional by federal court in Texas. Fashing v. Moore, 489 F.Supp. 471 (5th Cir. 1980).
     Police officer must take leave while campaigning for state senate. Otten v. Schicker, 492 F.Supp. 455 (E.D. Mo. 1980) aff'd. 655 F.2d 142 (8th Cir. 1981).
     Deputy who sought election as sheriff could not be terminated for his refusal to take a leave of absence during his campaign. Vincent v. Maeras, 447 F.Supp. 775 (S.D. Ill. 1978).
     $80,000 verdicts against sheriff reversed; deputies, fired for political activities, claimed civil rights violations. McCollum v. Stahl, 579 F.2d 869 (4th Cir. 1978).
     Federal Court in Cleveland modifies political activity rule and upholds "chain of command" regulation. McNea v. Garey, 434 F.Supp. 95 (N.D. Ohio 1976).
     New Jersey Appellate Court rules that police officer cannot also hold office as city councilman. Dunn v. Froehlich, 155 N.J. Super. 249, 382 A.2d 686 (1978).
     Federal court upholds federal civil service commission subpoenas served on city employees; Hatch Act violations under investigation, rights of city employees outlined. In Matter of Alleged Political Activity, Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority, 443 F.Supp. 1194 (E.D. Pa. 1977).
     Candidacy for Office. Boston Police Patrolmen's Assn., Inc. v. City of Boston, 326 N.E.2d 314 (Mass. 1975).
     Federal court enjoins Rhode Island city from enforcing anti-candidacy provision against firefighters. Magill v. Lyncy, 400 F.Supp. 84 (D.R.I. 1975).
     At-will chief could be fired by Mayor; law requiring Mayor to give reasons does not create an expectation of employment. Lee v. Walstad, 368 N.W.2d 542 (N.D. 1985).
     Detectives demoted for alleged political retaliation entitled to pursue a federal rights action. Bennis v. Gable, 604 F.Supp. 244 (E.D. Pa. 1984).
     Federal Court awards damages against sheriff who terminated two deputies who supported the opposition candidate. Grysen v. Dykstra, 591 F.Supp. 282, 1984 U.S. Dist. Lexis 15453 (W.D. Mich. 1984).
     Newly elected sheriff could refuse to rehire deputies of former sheriff, but not cooks, dispatchers or secretaries. Whited v. Fields, 581 F.Supp. 1444 (W.D. Va. 1984).
     Termination of deputies who opposed sheriff upheld. Green v. White, 580 F.Supp. 41 (E.D. Tenn. 1984).
     Sheriff entitled to show deputy would have been fired regardless of party affiliation, but jury disagreed. Jones v. Dodson, 727 F.2d 1329 (4th Cir. 1984).
     "Small department exception" recognized in suit by former employees who claimed their termination was a result of support for opposing candidate; disloyalty a disruptive factor. McBee v. Jim Hogg Co. Texas, 703 F.2d 834 (5th Cir. 1983).
     Small county sheriff could terminate deputies who worked for opposition candidate. Dove v. Fletcher, 574 F.Supp. 600 (W.D. La. 1983).
     County could fire captain who supported a challenger. Court found position was policymaking and confidential. Joyner v. Lancaster, 553 F.Supp. 809 (M.D.N.C. 1982).
     Deputy, fired for wearing shirt promoting the election of sheriff's opponent, entitled to back pay, punitive damages and other relief. Cerjan v. Fasula, 539 F.Supp. 1226 (N.D. Ohio 1982).
     Employees not reappointed by new office-holder due to political support for opponent were entitled to reinstatement, back pay. Hinton v. Vetter, 507 F.Supp. 92 (D.N.H. 1981).
     Republican sheriff wrongly demoted sergeant who had supported democrat; sheriff could discipline him for abusive language to a superior however. Barrett v. Thomas, 649 F.2d 1193 (5th Cir. 1981).
     Federal court affirms dismissal of employees not rehired by sheriff; no proof that political considerations dictated employment decisions. Tanner v. McCall, 625 F.2d 1184 (5th Cir. 1980).
     Supreme court further restricts right to select public employees on basis of party affiliations. Branti v. Finkel, 100 S.Ct. 1287 (1980).
     Patronage employees may not be dismissed for political party affiliations; Supreme Court affirms seventh circuit. Elrod v. Burns, 96 S.Ct. 2673 (1976), affirming 509 F.2d 1133.
     Federal court, in an unreported decision, affirms the termination of a D.C. police officer who, while off duty, stuffed envelopes and performed routine clerical duties as a volunteer in the McGovern for President headquarters. Wren v. Walter Washington, Unrptd. (D.D.C. 1973).
     See also: First Amendment Related; Free Speech; Wrongful Discharge.

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