DETROIT (AP) — A former top lawyer for the city of Detroit who lost her job for describing a local court as “ghetto” has lost an appeal over her dismissal.
A federal appeals court says Friday that Kathleen Leavey’s comments in 2009 were not protected under the First Amendment because they were made as part of her job.
Leavey, who is white, has said she used the word “ghetto” in a conversation with a court employee to describe Detroit’s 36th District Court as inefficient and poor in serving the public. The chief judge, who is black, heard about the comment and contacted city hall. The angry call to a deputy mayor led to Leavey’s departure.
The appeals court says the Constitution does not shield certain expressions made during official duties.