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Maui admits worker has right to express himself on Facebook

By Associated Press

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 11:24 a.m. HST, May 09, 2014


WAILUKU >> Maui County is settling a federal lawsuit that alleged unconstitutional interference with a Facebook page.

Settlement terms include the county paying $25,000 in attorneys' fees and damages and re-writing its anti-harassment policy, the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii said Friday in announcing the settlement.

Neldon Mamuad, a part-time county employee and volunteer member of the county's liquor commission, filed a lawsuit in March claiming that he was pressured to stop working on a Facebook page devoted to posts about traffic and other Maui news. Mamuad claims the county violated his free speech rights by trying to censor the popular "MAUIWatch" page, which he worked on during his personal time.

The county will also expunge any record of disciplinary action related to Mamuad's free speech activities, the ACLU said.

"Hopefully the county has learned its lesson and realized that the government cannot use its power to quiet opinions it doesn't like," Mamuad said in a statement.

According to court records, the settlement was reached Thursday.

Maui County spokesman Rod Antone said a news release on the settlement would be issued later on Friday.

ACLU attorney Daniel Gluck said the settlement reaffirms that government employees and volunteers can express themselves without fear of retaliation.






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den wrote:
great news!
on May 9,2014 | 11:48AM
hawaiikone wrote:
It would be interesting to follow the future career of Mr. Mamaud.
on May 9,2014 | 12:46PM
HealthyandHappy wrote:
Do you think he has a future in the Democrat Party?
on May 9,2014 | 03:12PM
hawaiikone wrote:
Absolutely. They have an excellent "reeducation" program...
on May 10,2014 | 10:22AM
TheFarm wrote:
Why does Maui seem to always dig in its heels when it is wrong about free speech? Itʻs getting super costly to the taxpayers. They spent $50K on a fancy outside labor attorney to fight this (apparently pretty clear) case, add to that the $25K they now have to pay for Mamuadʻs lawyers to fight back - what a lolo waste! Too much government ego over there...itʻs not highschool anymore, folks.
on May 9,2014 | 01:05PM
Ronin006 wrote:
The story says Mamuad worked on "MAUIWatch" during his personal time, but it does not say where and on whose computer he did the work. Personal time could be a lunch break at work where he might have used a Maui County computer. The reporter should have clarified these points.
on May 9,2014 | 05:18PM
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