Thursday, December 16, 2010

DA Gilchrist Sued by Former ADA

The "local paper" is reporting that a former Mecklenburg prosecutor Sean Smith who won a district court judgeship last month is suing outgoing District Attorney Peter Gilchrist, claiming he was improperly fired after giving an on-camera interview.

Sean Smith defeated Mecklenburg District Court Judge Tyywadi Hands in November's general election, and will be sworn in this January.

Smith's six-year career as a Mecklenburg prosecutor ended in July, when Gilchrist fired him just days after he criticized a local defensive driving school in a televised interview.

"Plaintiff's right to free speech was violated because he was terminated for making statements on a matter of public concern and in order to silence and discredit him from speaking further," Smith's lawsuit says.

Gilchrist wouldn't discuss at the time why he fired Smith. On Thursday, Gilchrist said he hadn't yet been served with the lawsuit and couldn't comment. He also declined to discuss Smith's firing.

Cedar Posts has obtained a copy of the filing which is here and copies of plaintiff's exhibits "1" and "2".

The rest of the "local paper" coverage is here.

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