Rep. Charlene Fite complained about a constituent, which resulted in him losing his job. The courts stepped in and gave it back. Brian Chilson

Prairie Grove lawyer and state contractor Casey Copeland won an injunction in federal court this week, meaning that at least for now, the state can’t fire him for speaking his mind to his legislator.

After working for the state on dependency-neglect cases since 2012, Copeland said he was fired on April 1 after emailing his state representative, Charlene Fite (R-Alma), on March 30 to criticize her uniquely cruel bill stripping gender-affirming care for transgender youth. Fite tattled about the critical email to Copeland’s bosses, and Copeland was promptly dismissed.


Fite has said she objected not to the message itself, but to Copeland sending the message with an email signature indicating he’s an ad litem attorney for the state.

The ACLU announces a preliminary victory for a state contractor fired after he sent a critical message to Rep. Charlene Fite.