A lawsuit against the city of Springfield by Dr. Michael Campion, who screened city police and fire department recruits for 15 years until he
was fired in 2005, was tossed by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh
Circuit this week. Campion believed his contract was terminated because of an Illinois Times article revealing that Campion did not disclose his relationship with the
conservative Illinois Family Institute [See Dusty Rhodes, “Partial disclosure,” Aug. 19, 2004], which Campion argued violated his First Amendment rights.
However, appellate judge Diane Woodwrites in her opinion that Campion failed to prove that a majority of the city council — “the authorized decision maker” on contract matters — retaliated against him because of his speech. In fact, Wood points out, at the time, mayor Tim Davlin and “Most of the rest of Springfield’s 10 aldermen did not recall seeing Rhodes’s column before they were deposed in Campion’s lawsuit.”