Vermont City Acts Unlawfully & Unconstitutionally, Judge Finds
City of Montpelier deprives city employee of due process rights
One of the wonders of the American legal system is that you can win your case in court, only to have the court's decision extend and magnify the underlying injustice.
This is a story about how easy it is for a city government to run roughshod over an employee's constitutional rights, including free speech under the First Amendment and due process of law under the Fifth Amendment. And it's a story of how hard it is, despite those rights, for that employee to get any kind of justice from the state's judiciary.
This is a story about the Vermont judiciary failing a Vermont citizen who worked as Director of the Dept. of Planning and Community Development for the City of Montpelier, which is also the state capitol.
This is the story of how City officials first vilified City planner Gwen Hallsmith for exercising her First Amendment rights, then fired her for defending herself.
This is the story of how the City deprived Hallsmith of any semblance of reasonable due process of law in what was effectively a bureaucratic lynching, demanded by the mayor and carried out by the city manager and his assistant without out a trace of fair deliberation.