Share story

WAUKEE, Iowa (AP) — An attorney fired by the Iowa Association of School Boards for writing a partisan newspaper column defending Gov. Kim Reynolds has filed a wrongful termination lawsuit.

Anna Bergman, a Republican running for the Iowa House, is suing the association and executive director Lisa Bartusek, claiming her free speech rights were violated.

The 26-year-old was the association’s director of policy and legal services until last month, when she wrote a column for the Des Moines Register headlined, “Iowans are not buying Democrats’ hyperbole.” She suggested that Iowa is “in great shape” and defended Reynolds against criticism of her record on education. A disclaimer in the print version noted Bergman’s views “do not necessarily reflect those of” the association.

The association dismissed Bergman, saying her statements conflicted with its duty to remain nonpartisan.

Bergman’s lawsuit claims other association employees made pro-Democratic and anti-Trump statements on social media without consequence.