- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 23, 2015

LAS CRUCES, N.M. (AP) - Two Dona Ana County commissioners are asking that a judge dismiss a federal lawsuit in which they are accused of trying to curtail the sheriff’s right to free speech.

The Las Cruces Sun-News reports (https://bit.ly/1OL1Rih ) that attorneys for Commissioners Billy Garrett and Wayne Hancock filed a motion to dismiss all claims in a lawsuit filed in October by Sheriff Enrique “Kiki” Vigil. The motion was filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Albuquerque.

The complaint suggests that Garrett and Hancock retaliated against Vigil for exercising his right to free speech.

The complaint comes after a long and contentious relationship between the sheriff and commissioners. According to the complaint, tension began shortly after Vigil took office in January.

According to the motion filed Monday, public employees making statements in their official capacity are not protected by the First Amendment.



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Information from: Las Cruces Sun-News, https://www.lcsun-news.com

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