Foote v. Town of Bedford, No. 10-2094 (1st Cir. 2011)Annotate this Case
After the plaintiff publicly criticized town council policies, the council denied him reappointment to an unpaid advisory commission concerned with recreational facilities. The district court rejected his 42 U.S.C. 1983 civil rights suit on summary judgment. The First Circuit affirmed. The court assumed that the council's decision was based on the plaintiff's exercise of First Amendment rights and held that the plaintiff's former position and his comments related to policy. Analogizing to firings based on political party affiliation, the court held that the balance weighs in favor of the town's need to accomplish its policy objectives through loyal, cooperative individuals whom the public will perceive as sharing the administration's goals.