City Worker Admonished For Churchill Support

April 5 2005, 5:44 PM
Long time activist Glenn Spagnuolo works for the city of Longmont in the recreation department. On his own time, he went on Dan Caplis and Craig Silverman's radio show and defended CU Ethnic Studies professor Ward Churchill. After his appearance, in which he criticized the police, he was treated to a visit from Longmont supervisors at his office, escorted out in front of the other employees, and told he might be fired.
Spagnuolo said he was escorted from his office and told the city would be investigating the comments he made on the show, and the investigation could lead to his being fired. He said he was told the investigation would determine what effect his appearance on the talk show, in defense University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill, had on the city of Longmont.
What did Spagnuolo say that was so terrible?
While he's not sure what comments may have caused the investigation, he has an idea. When asked by one of the radio hosts whether he agreed with Churchill that the Denver police were criminals. Spagnuolo said he responded: "The police ... have been functioning as a paramilitary force.� He then reportedly drew comparisons between the Denver police and Chicago and Miami police in response to political activities. He said his comments were taken by the radio hosts to mean he advocated killing police officers.
Unless there's far more to the comments than included in this article, even conservatives like Caplis and Silverman can't be that bone-headed. Maybe they were just temporarily blinded by their zeal to remove Professor Churchill from his faculty position. Spagnuolo has lawyered up. He's represented in the the matter by civil liberties expert David Lane, who also happens to represent Ward Churchill. Longmont better make sure it dots it's "i"s and crosses its "t"s on this one.