Western District of New York confirms summary judgment dismissing free speech claims against Chautauqua County

Heather Dechert, Esq. and Michael McClaren, Esq. represented the County of Chautauqua in a federal case alleging free speech retaliation against the County by a plaintiff who was terminated from his employment with a local not-for-profit.  The plaintiff alleged that he was terminated at the County’s direction for publicly criticizing that County’s response to the ongoing drug epidemic.  The Federal District Court for the Western District of New York granted summary judgment in favor of the County and dismissed plaintiff’s case, finding that plaintiff did not offer any admissible evidence upon which a reasonable jury could find state action with regard to his termination.  Plaintiff moved for reconsideration, but the Court recently confirmed summary judgment in favor of the County.