Thomas H. Roberts & Associates, P.C.
Virginia's Civil Rights & Personal Injury Law Firm

(804) 783-2000


News - First Amendment Internet Case Resolved


The County of Spotsylvania has resolved the $1 Million suit filed against it by Spotsylvania Fireman, D. Wayne Usher

A resolution was reached between D. Wayne Usher and the County of Spotsylvania which diverted a three day trial scheduled to begin on July 28, 1999, in the United States District Court in Richmond Virginia. D. Wayne Usher had filed a $1 Million dollar suit after he was disciplined for posting information related to the provision of fire and rescue services in Spotsylvania County.

The County of Spotsylvania and D. Wayne Usher issued a joint statement stating only that :

"The County of Spotsylvania and D. Wayne Usher have resolved their dispute and are joined in their commitment to free speech and to the protections afforded by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and are joined in their commitment to the health and safety of the community. The County of Spotsylvania and D. Wayne Usher hope that the issues raised by the dispute will continue to receive the attention of the public and that together the community will work to meet the demands that continued growth and prosperity place upon the government and the volunteers who serve the citizens of Spotsylvania."

The terms of the confidential settlement are not available.

Civil Right attorney Thomas H. Roberts, who represented Usher, stated "The United States Supreme Court stated in Connick v. Myers that the First Amendment protects the right of public employees to speak out about matters of public concern. The courts balance the employee's interest in expression and the community's interest in hearing that speech with the government's interest in the effective and efficient fulfillment of its responsibilities to the public. No official, high or petty, can prescribe what shall be orthodox in politics, nationalism, religion, or other matters of opinion."

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Thomas H. Roberts, Esq.
Thomas H. Roberts & Associates, P.C.
105 S. 1st Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219
(804) 783-2000
(804) 783-2105

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