Congratulations are in order to Spicer Rudstrom member Thomas E. LeQuire and his client, Van Buren County, for a dismissal in a wrongful termination/First Amendment case in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee. In the case, the plaintiff claimed he had been dismissed from his duties as the office assistant to the previous Road Supervisor for campaigning on behalf of that supervisor’s opponent in a recent election. But because his job duties involved access to confidential, political information transmitted to the policymaker, political loyalty was required, which the court concluded fell into a category for which “patronage dismissal” does not violate the First Amendment.

Based on the exception to the First Amendment prohibition of patronage dismissals, the Road Superintendent was entitled to dismiss the employee. The court thus granted Tom’s dismissal on Motion for Summary Judgment.

Tom is a senior member at Spicer Rudstrom, concentrating his practice primarily in local government liability defense, including GTLA claims, federal civil rights claims and general tort liability defense, particularly serious personal injury cases.