How An Indiana Police Officer’s Letters Led To Free Speech Rights For Public Workers

John Lach patrolled the streets of Indiana’s Lake County for 28 years, working his way up to lieutenant. But then he was suspended without pay for 20 days in 1993. 

His sin: Writing letters to two local newspapers in the northwestern Indiana county supporting one candidate for public office and opposing another – the incumbent sheriff who was his nominal boss. 

The police merit board and a local trial court affirmed his suspension.  

But the Indiana Court of Appeals saw the case differently. 

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