Officer Has No Right To Publicly Rebut Pending Charges Against Him

Robert Ginter was a police officer in Ashland, Nebraska. Ginter filed a lawsuit against the City alleging that a newly-elected mayor, Ronna Wiig, took office in early 2003, having promised during the election campaign to fire Ginter and the Chief of Police.

Ginter claimed that his later firing violated his First Amendment rights. In particular, Ginter alleged that Riig ordered him and other Ashland police officers to not publicly discuss pending disciplinary charges against Ginter.”

A federal court dismissed Ginter’s lawsuit. The Court observed that “nothing in Ginter’s complaint suggests that he was forbidden from speaking on matters of public concern. It only appears that he was prevented from speaking to fellow officers about the accusations that had been made against him. This is not an actionable First Amendment free speech claim.”

Ginter v. City of Ashland, 2005 WL 2347234 (D.Neb. 2005).

This article appears in the November 2005 issue