Ex State Rep. Terri Proud files $800,000 claim over state job termination

2013-10-19T00:00:00Z Ex State Rep. Terri Proud files $800,000 claim over state job terminationBy Joe Ferguson Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

Former state lawmaker Terri Proud wants $800,000 from the state for a job she held for a few days last year.

Proud submitted the claim — a precursor to a formal lawsuit — seeking damages related to her termination last year from a relatively low-level job at the state’s Department of Veterans Services.

Her firing, which occurred in April, made national headlines when she said in an Arizona Daily Star news story that menstrual cycles might be too problematic for women to serve in combat.

Those statements cost her the job as an administrative assistant with the Department of Veterans Services. The position paid $40,000 a year.

The then-director of the department, Joey Strickland, resigned immediately after the comments became public. He previously had been told by Gov. Jan Brewer not to hire Proud.

Proud, who had served one term in the state House, alleges the firing was politically motivated in retaliation for her actions while she was a lawmaker, and places the blame directly on Brewer.

“When I do a job in compliance with those who elected me, it is not OK for a governor to play political payback for doing that job,” she said in a written statement.

Proud alleges in her complaint the governor’s staff told other agencies and groups not to hire her.

“The governor’s office publicly sent out a warning to the entire state of Arizona by stating, ‘Do Not Hire Proud’ and created public fear within agencies when the governor terminated the high-profile director for doing so,” Proud wrote.

Proud, acting as her own attorney, claims Brewer’s actions went not only after her personally but her entire family.

Andrew Wilder, the director of communications for Brewer, would not comment. A spokesperson for the Arizona Department of Veterans Services also had no comment on the filing.

Proud’s claim seeks damages for retaliation, defamation, misuse of power and influence, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

“The notice of claim was filed to protect my right to sue should I decide to do so within a year,” Proud said.

Earlier this summer, Proud announced she would be a Republican candidate for one of the two seats available for the Arizona State House of Representatives in Legislative District 11.

Contact reporter Joe Ferguson at jferguson@azstarnet.com or 573-4346. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFerguson

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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