(Hammond, IN) - A federal lawsuit alleging wrongful termination has been filed against the new La Porte County Prosecutor. The legal action was taken at U.S. District Court in Hammond by two employees of the former prosecutor, John Lake.
Nancy Hawkins and Anthony McClintock allege they were let go by current prosecutor, Sean Fagan, because they were supporters of the former prosecutor in last year’s campaign.
Fagan, a Republican, defeated Lake, a Democrat, by nearly 1,000 votes in the November election and officially took office on January 1st.
According to the lawsuit, Fagan violated the former employees’ freedom of speech rights under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution by retaliating against them for supporting the candidate of their choice during the campaign. Fagan, during the campaign, filed a police report alleging intimidation against a Michigan City man for his words on Facebook. McClintock, a retired Michigan City Police officer, was an investigator for the prosecutor’s office at the time. McClintock looked into the allegations and ruled there was no intimidation. The lawsuit alleges that was another reason for McClintock being terminated.
The Plaintiffs are seeking no less than $500,000 in damages apiece and a return to their former positions. When contacted, Fagan said he could not respond to the lawsuit since the case is still pending before the court.