Lawsuit against Lafayette district reinstated

gavelThe Associated Press

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A lawsuit against the Lafayette County School District has been reinstated by the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Clarion-Ledger reports the case centers on a lawsuit that alleges the district fired assistant principal Lisa Mooney because she campaigned for an opponent of Schools Superintendent Mike Foster in 2007.

Mooney’s attorney, Jim Waide of Tupelo, said the court found there was circumstantial evidence that the district fired Mooney because she campaigned for a special education teacher who ran against Foster.

U.S. District Judge Neal Biggers of Oxford had dismissed Mooney’s lawsuit, ruling it had been too long since the 2007 election to support a finding that Mooney’s campaigning was the reason for her 2010 firing.

Mooney said she was the only administrator fired when the district reduced staffing. The district claimed Money’s performance had deteriorated after the political campaign, according to court records.

“Campaigning for the candidate of one’s choice is one of the most basic rights of a citizen,” Waide said. “Ms. Mooney was an outstanding employee and should not have been fired because she exercised that right.”