On Monday, March 13th, the Federal District Court granted the City of Tallahassee’s motion to dismiss a complaint filed by Taylor Biro. Biro filed the complaint after being removed from Tallahassee’s Citizens Police Review Board.
In response to the Biro’s claims related to freedom of speech, citing case law, Judge Allen Winsor wrote:
At the very least, the City has wide discretion in determining whether Biro’s
speech undermined its mission—and what to do about it. The City’s discretion “includes the prerogative to remove employees whose conduct hinders efficient operation and to do so with dispatch. Prolonged retention of a disruptive or otherwise unsatisfactory employee can adversely affect discipline and morale in the work place, foster disharmony, and ultimately impair the efficiency of an office or agency.”
In an email to appointed officials, City Attorney Cassandra Jackson wrote, “Even though the Court provided the opportunity to amend the complaint, Judge Winsor specifically stated that it appears unlikely that Ms. Biro could succeed in stating a plausible claim. The Court essentially determined that the City’s legitimate interest in having a trusted, unbiased Board member to pursue its interest was of greater weight than Ms. Biro’s interest. The City could remove an appointed board member for speech inconsistent with its interest. Please let me know if you have any questions. The order is attached.”