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Court says crime lab scientist’s lawsuit properly dismissed

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A state appeals court says a judge properly dismissed a former state Justice Department crime lab analyst’s retaliation lawsuit.

The case began in 2006 when analyst Eric Soderlund failed a footwear identification proficiency test. Soderlund began alleging the DOJ had deviated from lab quality standards and made multiple demands for an investigation.

Soderlund resigned in 2012 and filed a lawsuit against Dave Zibolski, then DOJ’s Law Enforcement Division’s deputy director. Soderlund alleged Zibolski had violated his free speech rights by launching disciplinary proceedings against him.

A judge dismissed the suit last year. The 3rd District Court of Appeals upheld that decision Tuesday, finding Soderlund was speaking as an aggrieved employee rather than a citizen.

Soderlund’s attorney didn’t immediately return a message.

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