Tag Archives: free speech

Court Rules FDNY First Amendment Suit Can Proceed

A US District Court judge has refused to dismiss a lawsuit brought by an FDNY deputy assistant chief who was denied a promotion for refusing to renounce letters to the editor he wrote decades ago relative to merit based testing. Even more interestingly, Judge Brian M. Cogan suggested that the proper First Amendment analysis for the case is not the traditional Pickering Balancing Test, but rather one that looks at the ability of government to compel the speech of public employees.

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Suit by FDNY Ops Chief Alleges Promotion Denial Violates First Amendment

An FDNY deputy assistant chief who claims he was passed over for promotion to assistant chief for refusing to renounce letters to the editor he wrote decades ago relative to merit based testing, has filed suit alleging the city violated his First Amendment rights. DAC Michael F. Gala, Jr. filed suit late last year naming the city and Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro as defendants.

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California Fire Chief Terminated Over Comments

The past few weeks have seen unprecedented numbers of firefighters in the headlines over comments posted in social media related to race relations. Sometimes we get so accustomed to speech-related discipline being associated with social media posts, that we forget that non-social-media-related speech can be just as problematic. And so it was with Manhattan Beach Fire Chief Daryn Drum.

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Florida Fire District Sued For Viewpoint Discrimination

A Florida man has filed suit against a fire district claiming that his First and Fourteenth Amendment rights were violated when the department’s public information officer blocked him from the department’s Facebook page. Randy Scott filed against the Lehigh Acres Fire Control And Rescue District and PIO Katie Heck suit this week.

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Palm Beach County Social Media Suit Dismissed

A lawsuit filed last year by two captains with Palm Beach County Fire Rescue after they were disciplined for social media posts, has been dismissed. Captain AJ O’Laughlin and Captain Crystal Little filed suit in Palm Beach County Circuit Court last May. It was later removed to federal court.

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Today’s Burning Question: Should The Loser Pay?

Today’s Burning Question: If someone files suit against a fire department and loses, shouldn’t they have to pay the city’s legal bills? Answer: That is not how our legal system works. Let’s use a recent case out of Sebring, Florida to better understand the issues.

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Suspension of NY Firefighter For Facebook Post Prompts $500k Federal Suit

A volunteer firefighter who was suspended over a Facebook post earlier this year, has filed suit against the city, the fire chief, and others involved in his suspension. James Squicciarini alleges that his Constitutional rights were violated when the Amityville Volunteer Fire Department suspended him over a photo he posted on Facebook.

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NJ Chief Claims Termination Was Political Retaliation

A New Jersey fire chief whose position was eliminated and then refilled by his deputy chief has filed suit in US District Court alleging it was blatant political retaliation. Westampton Township fire chief Jason Carty was fired after the position he held, Fire Chief/Director of Emergency Services, was eliminated through a political slight-of-hand.

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Suspended Hartford Deputy Chief Files Suit

A deputy chief from Hartford, Connecticut who was suspended for 30 days without pay last week, has filed suit against his fire chief, two other ranking officers, and the mayor alleging violations of his right to free speech. Deputy Chief Daniel Nolan filed suit today in Connecticut Superior Court naming Fire Chief Carlos Huertas, Interim Assistant Chief Scott Brady, Fire Marshal Roger Martin, Mayor Pedro Segarra.

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