Wrobel v. County of Erie, No. 10-5179 (2d Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Wrobel was a longtime employee of Erie County's highway division. In 1999, a newly elected Republican county executive appointed defendants as Wrobel’s supervisors. Over the next 18 months Wrobel’s run-ins with them resulted in harassment of him and his transfer to a faraway workplace. His direct supervisor, Naylon, repeatedly referred to employees that predated his tenure as being part of the “old regime,” and to the office under his supervision as the “new regime.” Following his transfer, Wrobel made anonymous complaints to public officials and a confidential report to the FBI, for which he claims he was further persecuted. Wrobel’s complaint alleged retaliation in violation of his First Amendment rights. He alleged that he suffered discrimination because he was apolitical, and not politically aligned with the “new regime.” The district court dismissed hi 42 U.S.C. 1983 complaint. The Second Circuit affirmed, holding that no reasonable jury could find that Wrobel’s mistreatment was caused by any political activity or inactivity.