Christian doctor fired after city officials learn of his membership with pro-family organization

Psychologist’s affiliation with Illinois Family Institute causes Minneapolis to cancel his contract, ADF files civil rights lawsuit on his behalf
Tuesday, September 11, 2007

MINNEAPOLIS — Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund filed a lawsuit Tuesday in federal court on behalf of an Illinois clinical psychologist who lost his contract with the city of Minneapolis because of his membership with a politically conservative, pro-family organization.

“Pro-family, Christian conservatives cannot be treated as second-class citizens,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Brian Raum.  “Government officials do not have the right to end someone’s contract on the basis of religion or political viewpoint.  The city of Minneapolis is engaging in viewpoint discrimination, and that is clearly unconstitutional.”

Dr. Michael Campion, a Christian, is a licensed clinical psychologist who taught at the College of Medicine at the University of Illinois for 18 years and whose expertise the U.S. Department of Justice sought for three of its research projects.  In early 2005, the city of Minneapolis hired him as an independent contractor, and Campion enjoyed a successful professional relationship with the city, providing for them pre-employment testing, fitness for duty testing, and other services.

After an Illinois Times author wrote an article in May 2005 criticizing Campion’s affiliation with the pro-family organization Illinois Family Institute, the city “suspended” him.  The city then hired an independent psychological testing company to evaluate Campion and see if his process for reviewing applicants for employment with the city was inherently flawed or biased.  In July 2006, the testing company submitted its conclusions to the city, having found no evidence of bias and having found Campion’s processes to be consistent with or beyond expectations for good psychological and statistical practice, adding that Campion is “clearly an expert in this line of work.”

Despite those findings, the city rescinded its agreement with Campion to conduct 62 pre-hire screening tests in October.  Instead, the city, using taxpayer money, hired a consulting company, which was significantly more expensive and less qualified to conduct such tests.

Later, the city received bids for the psychological testing that Campion had performed in the past.  Campion submitted a bid but was rejected in favor of another firm.

“City officials in Minneapolis should base their contract decisions on experience and qualifications,” said Raum.  “Dr. Campion is a highly qualified, experienced professional, and the city was absolutely wrong to fire him.”

A copy of the complaint filed with the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota in the case Campion v. City of Minneapolis can be read here.

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ADF is a legal alliance of Christian attorneys and like-minded organizations defending the right of people to freely live out their faith. Launched in 1994, ADF employs a unique combination of strategy, training, funding, and litigation to protect and preserve religious liberty, the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.