Tenth Circuit: College Decision to Discharge Chief Information Officer for Criticizing Contractor Not Violation of First Amendment

In Sarkar v. McCallin, the Tenth Circuit affirmed a trial court's decision to dismiss a case that a Chief Information Officer brought against his former employer. The CIO argued, among other things, that he was dismissed for exercising his First Amendment rights in complaining about the contract performance of one of the computer software vendors providing services to his college. The court ruled that all of the statements were made as part of his official duties and that he was not acting in his capacity as a citizen or taxpayer. Thus, the speech was not protected, and the adversarial relationship created by the CIO justified his discharge.