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Cygan v. Wisconsin Dept. of Corrections.

U.S. Appeals Court

FREE SPEECH

RETALIATION

TERMINATION

Cygan v. Wisconsin Dept. of Corrections, 388 F.3d 1092 (7th Cir. 2004). A former correctional officer at a maximum security prison filed a [section] 1983 action alleging they violated her constitutional rights by terminating her in retaliation for exercising her First Amendment rights. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the defendants and the officer appealed. The appeals court affirmed. The court held that the officer raised a matter of public concern when she expressed disagreement with the decision to start a second-shift meal with fewer than ten officers, because it touched on issues of internal prison security, even though she could accurately be characterized as a disgruntled employee and her speech may have been partly motivated by her dissatisfaction with the prison. But the court found that the potential disruptiveness of the officer's speech during that meal outweighed whatever First Amendment value the speech might have had. The court noted that the officer had complained in a loud, profane and unprofessional manner and in the presence of staff and inmates, endangering both groups by exposing them to opportunistic acts of violence and undermining the authority of her supervising officer in the presence of other officers and inmates. (Green Bay Correctional Institution, Wisconsin)
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:PERSONNEL
Publication:Corrections Caselaw Quarterly
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1U3WI
Date:Feb 1, 2005
Words:214
Previous Article:Ziemba v. Armstrong.
Next Article:Everson v. Michigan Dept. of Corrections.
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