Court rules former police lab head's rights not violated

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — In a split decision, the West Virginia Supreme Court has affirmed a 2016 ruling that the free speech rights of the former director of the West Virginia State Police forensic laboratory weren’t violated by the demotion she received for sharing concerns with legislators in 2014.

The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports the court’s Nov. 22 ruling affirmed the decision to dismiss Soraya M. McClung’s lawsuit. According to the ruling, McClung provided information to a state senator about the possibility of removing the crime lab from the organizational structure of State Police.

McClung had argued her First Amendment rights as a private citizen were violated by the demotion. An attorney for the State Police argued acting as an employee when collecting and presenting information to lawmakers limited her First Amendment protection.

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