University disputes employee was fired for supporting Trump travel ban
A University of Wisconsin-La Crosse police dispatcher says she was fired for supporting President Donald Trump’s travel ban.
University human resources director Madeline Holzem sent a letter sent to Kimberly Dearman this week asking her to resign or be terminated, the La Crosse Tribune reported.
The letter says Dearman was investigated after a complaint from a colleague and was found to have violated university employee policies against unbecoming conduct and abusive or threatening language.
Dearman’s lawyer, Lee Fehr, said Dearman told a colleague the travel ban would prevent terrorists from entering the United States. She said those immigrants should go back where they came from.
“It is a very tragic situation that an employee in casual conversation would end up losing her job because another employee is somewhat offended,” Fehr said.
Fehr told the UW System Board of Regents that his client’s comments were spurred by an email from the university’s chancellor, Joe Gow. The email sent to faculty, students and staff rebuked the president’s move.
Gow said Dearman wasn’t fired for her political opinions.
“I want to be very clear,” Gow said. “We would never let someone go based on their political beliefs. We always follow due process and policy if anyone is let go.”
Fehr said his firm hasn’t taken any legal action, but that he asked the university to reinstate Dearman to her position.
Holzem said there was more to the story but declined to elaborate, citing possible legal action.