Media Contact

ACLU of Florida Media Office,
Luke Lirot, Esq.: 

December 7, 2020

TAMPA, FLA. -- The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Florida and Offices of Lirot Law settled their lawsuit on behalf of community activist Dayna Lazarus against the Hillsborough County Board of Commissioners. 

On June 26, 2017, Ms. Lazarus attended a “South County Transportation Town Hall” in Hillsborough County. In her public comment, she urged the Commissioners in attendance at the meeting to consider future transportation planning’s impact on racial justice. Commissioner Stacy White chided Ms. Lazarus and told her concerns regarding racial justice were “off-topic.” Ms. Lazarus was then removed and escorted out of the meeting which was a violation of her First Amendment rights.

Subsequent to the basic settlement, Ms. Lazarus will avail herself of the opportunity to present her testimony at a full Hillsborough County Board of Commissioners hearing and Mr. Lirot will address the important First Amendment principles he will urge the Commissioners to embrace going forward.

“Ms. Lazarus’ First Amendment rights never should have been violated,” said Luke Lirot, Esq., and president of the Offices of Lirot Law. “This case, and others like it, serve as an important reminder to governmental officials that they are constitutionally obligated to listen to differing viewpoints, even those viewpoints inconsistent with their own personal philosophies.”