City of Tallahassee asks judge to dismiss Taylor Biro’s federal lawsuit
City claims Citizens Police Review Board member not sheltered from “political consequences”
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - The City of Tallahassee has asked a judge to dismiss a federal lawsuit filed by former Citizens Police Review Board member Taylor Biro.
Biro filed the lawsuit last month, claiming her free speech rights were violated when City Commissioners voted to remove her from the board at its December 7th meeting. The controversy surrounds a mug that Biro brought to a board meeting, which court records say featured the message “Abolish Police.”
The City of Tallahassee argues that all board members serve at the “exclusive pleasure of the City Commission and may be removed at any time.”
“The CPRB can be a powerful tool for positive change. But Plaintiff’s anti-police expressions worked to undermine its important but limited role. Under these circumstances, the First Amendment does not shelter Plaintiff from the political consequences of her actions,” attorney Scott Seagle wrote in the motion filed Thursday.
The City argued that Biro’s “political activism” disrupted the Board and distracted it from its mission.
“Plaintiff’s public endorsement of the anti-police rhetoric while attending Board meetings in her capacity as a Board member was fundamentally incompatible with the purpose and mission of the Board,” Seagle wrote.
Biro’s attorney, Marie Mattox, said they have not had an opportunity to review the motion and will be preparing a response by January 19th.
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