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Outspoken Prosecutor Backed

June 1st, 2010 by Mike Vasilinda

Kristen Hall, a prosecutor in Live Oak is appealing her firing. Hall was dismissed for speaking out at Tea Party rallies and other events. She was asked to tone down her remarks and refused. Now the State Attorney General and Lt. Governor are asking the State Attorney to back down and acknowledge Halls right to freedom of speech in her non working hours.

That right to free speech applies, both in the state and federal constitutions, certainly, to a state employee on her own time. She absolutely has a right to free speech,” Lt. Governor Jeff Kottkamp said.

Reporter: The comment I read is that, indeed, this is a situation where she may have crossed the line, may have advocated anti-government sentiments…

Actually, what happened is that she developed an expertise in constitutional law and was invited to come and speak about the constitution and the history of America and thats exactly what she did,” Kottkamp said. “She was completely within her rights as an American citizen and a citizen of the great state of Florida.

Reporter: Certainly, while she was a state employee, she worked for the State Attorney in that circuit. What do you hope happens now, since you really cant force him I dont think, can you?

Well, I hope the State Attorney rethinks his position, stops digging in on this issue and recognize he made a mistake,” Kottkamp said. “This employee, in her own free time, was expressing her views on the constitution and that is protected by our First Amendment.

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