INTERNET FIRST AMENDMENT 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
"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
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therefore the fact that a law firm has obtained significant verdicts and results
in other cases in no way guarantees that other cases will have similar results.