On The Job
When Richard Ceballos, a deputy district attorney in Los Angeles County, expressed concern about the validity of a search warrant in 2000, he discovered the fuzzy line between free speech rights and the need for government entities to maintain workplace discipline. His case brought to light the question of whether the government can terminate its employees based on their words as well as why acting as a citizen versus an employee is an important distinction.
In this episode, host Ken White explores the Garcetti v. Ceballos case, the results of which saddle government employees with a tough decision. Either they can report misconduct to their superiors and potentially face discipline, or report to media or other sources on the outside and face different discipline.
The episode features recordings and documents from the Ceballos’ case as well as an interview with Richard Ceballos himself. It also includes details from other relevant cases, including the 1968 Supreme Court case Pickering v. Board of Education and the 1983 case Connick v. Myers which resulted in the Pickering-Myers test used in Ceballos’ case.