Ex-magistrate counters dismissal request in discrimination lawsuit

Former Butler County Magistrate Kimberly Edelstein claims she was fired for asking off work for eight religious holidays. STAFF FILE/2007

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Former Butler County Magistrate Kimberly Edelstein claims she was fired for asking off work for eight religious holidays. STAFF FILE/2007

The former Butler County magistrate who claims she was fired for being Jewish has asked the federal court to preserve her case against Judge Greg Stephens and Prosecutor Michael Gmoser.

Kimberly Edelstein filed a $1 million lawsuit against Stephens, Gmoser and Assistant Prosecutor Dan Ferguson in May, claiming Stephens fired her for wanting to take off eight high holy days and that all three men bad-mouthed her, preventing her from securing another job.

RELATED: Former magistrate sues judge and prosecutors

Stephens, Gmoser and Ferguson asked the court to toss the case on numerous grounds but primarily because anything they may have said is protected opinion.

Edelstein disagrees.

“Even if their statements were considered opinion, if the statements implied facts or the speakers presented themselves as having a certain position which qualified them to give references regarding plaintiff, the listener would naturally believe these public officials and their ‘opinions’ are as damaging as an assertion of fact,” she wrote. “The protection defendants claim is lost.”

MORE: Butler County officials want federal lawsuit dismissed

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