Jury tosses political firing lawsuit, rules in Lake County's favor

2013-02-22T19:00:00Z Jury tosses political firing lawsuit, rules in Lake County's favorTimes Staff nwitimes.com
February 22, 2013 7:00 pm  • 

HAMMOND | A Hammond federal court jury nixed a lawsuit Friday that had been filed against Lake County by a former employee who claimed political firing.

The jury posted its verdict in favor of Lake County Auditor Peggy Katona's office Friday following a four-day civil trial.

Former auditor's employee, Betty Ruth Nelson, of Gary, filed the lawsuit in 2010, claiming she was fired in 2008 "because I openly spoke very proud of and showed support for our President Barack Obama," her civil complaint states.

Nelson claimed her firing came the same week that Obama faced off in the May 2008 presidential primary with other Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Nelson claims the firing came as retribution, because Katona supported Clinton.

The jury saw it differently, ruling in the county's favor.

Attorney Michael Bosch, who represented the county, said Nelson was fired for being "a cancer in the workplace" who regularly disregarded her supervisors' orders.

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