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Appeals Court Reinstates Part of Okla. ME Lawsuit (Jun 17, 2011)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - A federal appeals court has reinstated part of a lawsuit filed by Oklahoma's former chief medical examiner after the board that administers the agency fired him after less than nine months on the job.

The 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver handed down the ruling in a lawsuit filed by Dr. Collie Trant. Trant sued the Board of Medicolegal Investigations after he was fired in February 2010.

Trant says the board has not told him why he was fired. He alleges he was dismissed in retaliation for trying to report wrongdoing and claims his firing violated his First Amendment rights.

The allegation was rejected by a federal judge in Oklahoma City. But the appeals court reinstated the claim and sent the case back for more work.

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