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Police officer can sue over firing for political beliefs

The Associated Press//May 2, 2018

Police officer can sue over firing for political beliefs

The Associated Press//May 2, 2018

RALEIGH (AP) A North Carolina appeals court is giving a former police officer a new shot at suing local officials over his firing weeks after running for Jackson County sheriff.

The state Court of Appeals on Tuesday ruled a judge shouldn’t have dismissed Curtis Lambert’s lawsuit against the town of Sylva before a jury could start considering the case. The appeals court said Sylva was responsible for firing decisions by the police chief and town manager.

Lambert was fired about two weeks after filing to run for sheriff in 2014 despite no recorded disciplinary action or complaints about his work. Lambert claimed he was fired for his political activity or beliefs.

The Republican lost the 2014 general election to Democrat Chip Hall and is not running this year.

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