United States District Court Judge Mark A. Goldsmith from the Eastern District of Michigan has dismissed a former police officer’s First Amendment lawsuit against the City of Taylor and its mayor. In an opinion issued on June 17, the court granted the defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment and dismissed the case.
The plaintiff claimed that his suspension, and eventual termination, were carried out in violation of the First Amendment – i.e., for negative comments he, allegedly, made about a local towing company. As a result of the alleged violation, he sought damages in excess of $2.5 million.
In a thorough 23-page opinion, Judge Goldsmith concluded that plaintiff’s First Amendment claim was defective because there was no evidence that linked his comments to the suspension and/or termination. The court also emphasized the findings of an investigation by the Michigan Attorney General which, in Judge Goldsmith’s view, gave the City a legitimate reason to terminate plaintiff’s employment. In any event, absent a successful appeal to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, this matter is now closed.
The City and its mayor were represented by John C. Clark and Geoffrey S. Wagner, shareholders at the Troy law firm Giarmarco, Mullins & Horton, P.C.