Appeal heard on rights claim by ex-PHA employee

Posted: June 26, 2012

A three-judge federal appeals panel heard oral arguments Tuesday on a claim by a former employee of the Philadelphia Housing Authority that his First Amendment rights were denied when he was demoted after complaining about wrongful acts he witnessed.

A U.S. district judge had dismissed the claim of Vincent Morris, a former assistant to ex-PHA chief Carl R. Greene.

Michael Bowman, a PHA attorney, held to the court's decision that Morris' actions fell within the scope of his job.

Michael Pileggi, an attorney for Morris, argued that some of the tasks his client was being asked to perform - such as lobbying and running a political action committee - were illegal for a housing authority.    - Jennifer Lin

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