Magazine article The Quill

County Rules May Be Unconstitutional

Magazine article The Quill

County Rules May Be Unconstitutional

Article excerpt

Critics argued that an unconstitutional chilling effect may have been placed on one county's government employees in Wisconsin had a proposed speech policy been approved.

Officials and workers in Price County, Wis., who say something that may "conflict with or undermine the county's interests" could be disciplined under a new media and publicity policy the County Board was considering in February.

The proposed policy argued that "the right to free speech is not an absolute right" and that employees were being "warned that they could be disciplined for comments that affect the day-to-day operations of their department or in the event those comments affect the efficiency of county operations," The Associated Press reported.

The state attorney general's spokesman, Brian Rieselman, said his office received a request from a Wisconsin newspaper to review the proposed policy, which the agency was doing. …

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