Fired state worker sues Bevin over free speech

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin is being sued by an ex-state employee who claims she was fired due to her ties to a group that supported teacher sickouts that shut down school districts to protest GOP-backed legislation.

The federal lawsuit filed Wednesday alleges Charissa “Chris” Cooke’s First Amendment rights were violated when she was fired from her paralegal job this month.

The suit says Cooke joined the public education advocacy group KY 120 United last year and became the group’s contact in Carter County, where she lives.

She took compensatory time off to attend the last day of this year’s legislative session with other KY 120 advocates. Her suit says a Capitol security officer asked if she was a state employee.

Bevin’s office didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

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