WILKES-BARRE — For the second time in less than a week, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit filed against the city of Wilkes-Barre and the mayor, but allowed Tyler Hammond “one last opportunity” to amend his complaint and proceed with the case. .
The latest order came Tuesday regarding the case of Hammond, a city paramedic, who alleged his First Amendment right to free speech was violated as a result of retaliation by the Mayor Tom Leighton over a Facebook page parodying him.
Hammond has denied creating the page and claimed the city administration fabricated a disciplinary hearing and launched a police investigation into the creation of the page. Hammond claimed the retaliation was because of an ongoing suit over the sale of the former Old River Road Bakery site located next to his property.
Last Thursday U.S. Judge Malachy Mannion dismissed the first suit on the grounds that Hammond and his wife Antonia had insufficient evidence to proceed with their claims that the city was responsible for destroying their property while the former bakery site was being cleaned up.
Mannion’s order from Tuesday allowed Hammond’s attorney Cynthia Pollick of Pittston to amend the complaint by June 20. Pollick said she will meet that deadline. She added that she also will appeal the first dismissal.