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State worker sues, says she was demoted for Facebook comment

BALTIMORE (AP) — A Maryland Department of Natural Resources spokeswoman is suing the agency, saying she was demoted for a profane Facebook comment about gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous.

News outlets report the complaint filed Tuesday in federal court says Candy Thomson’s First Amendment rights were violated. But DNR’s communications director, Stephen Schatz, says Thomson “has not been declassified, demoted or suspended.”

He says Thomson had submitted her resignation in July, scheduled to take effect in November.

Thomson’s Sept. 17 comment on Daily Record reporter Bryan Sears’ post addressed Jealous’ initial veto of a reporter from a debate panel. Thomson is a former reporter, who spent 25 years with The Baltimore Sun.

She removed the comment when instructed, but says her media duties were taken away.

She’s asking the court for reinstatement, court costs and attorneys’ fees.

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