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A former disciplinary counsel in Tennessee says he was fired for the content material of political tweets, quite than his conduct within the job.
In an April 5 lawsuit, Gerald Dean “Jerry” Morgan says he was fired in December 2020 after a suspended lawyer argued that Morgan’s tweets confirmed him to be a “proud anti-Muslim bigot.”
Morgan dealt with ethics appeals on the time, and he had by no means been accused of any favoritism, bias or moral violation, in line with the swimsuit, filed in federal court docket in Nashville, Tennessee.
WTVF has coverage.
“My work for the board was exemplary,” Morgan instructed WTVF.
The suspended lawyer, Brian Manookian of Nashville, sought to disqualify Morgan in his case due to what Manookian considered “avowed anti-Muslim bigotry.” Manookian is married to a Muslim girl.
Manookian had included screenshots of Morgan’s alleged tweets. Morgan had praised former President Donald Trump for “talking big against Muslims,” had mentioned Muslims fail to sentence Muslim terrorists, and had mentioned, “Where’s the evidence that ‘Islam is a religion of peace’? They’ve gone to war against every society they’ve encountered for 1000s of years.”
WTVF additionally listed these tweets:
• Trump was “talking about the #1 issue of our time—stopping Muslims. Everybody better wake up!”
• “When someone kills an abortion provider … he is soundly condemned. By Christians. Muslims don’t do the same.”
• “Siding with Obama in a fight involving Muslims means you’re on the wrong side.”
Morgan mentioned he dealt with ethics appeals and represented the Tennessee Supreme Court’s Board of Professional Responsibility in Manookian’s ethics appeal. He had no involvement on the listening to panel degree.
Manookian had complained about tweets that Morgan posted in the course of the presidential marketing campaign in 2015 and 2016, when Morgan was not employed by the skilled accountability board or every other state company, the swimsuit says. A footnote in Manookian’s disqualification movement additionally referred to Twitter feedback made by Morgan in 2019 and 2020 that criticized the Democratic Party and its candidates.
The posts have been “indisputably political in nature” and a part of the dialog surrounding Trump, the swimsuit says.
Almost 4 months after his wrongful firing, Morgan says, he was notified that the board had opened a disciplinary file in opposition to him. The case has since been dismissed.
Morgan contends that the firing violated his First Amendment proper as a public worker to talk on issues of public significance.
“These are matters of intense public debate,” Morgan instructed WTVF. “And the beauty of the First Amendment is that all sides have the right to express themselves in a public forum on matters of public concern.”
Rather than exhibiting bias in opposition to Muslims, he has labored with Muslims in Romania who have been fleeing the nation of Syria, he instructed WTVF.
“I worked with them, teaching them English, helping them acclimate to Western culture,” he mentioned. “I have no animosity towards Muslims, in general, at all. My position was dealing with Islamic terrorism.”