By LISA BERRYMAN and ROBERT F. KELLY, Associated PressAUSTIN (AP) — A young photographer who was fired by a major American newspaper for a photo shoot in a Texas jail has sued the newspaper for wrongful termination, saying he was treated like an expendable tool.
The Associated Press has learned that Matthew Stoklasa was fired in December after the newspaper published a story that he had taken a photo of a man being dragged from his cell by his arms and legs.
The photo was published in the newspaper’s Sunday edition.
The lawsuit filed Thursday by Stokstas attorney, Joshua Cohen, said the photo was taken at a time when there was a lot of publicity about the case and there was concern that the newspaper was going to pursue the case further.
“The article contained an allegation that Matthew had used force to extract the photo, which Stoksta said was untrue, and that the photo had been published before the alleged incident.
The suit was filed in federal court in Austin, Texas.
A judge has scheduled a hearing for April 11.
A spokesperson for the Dallas Morning News said it had no comment on the lawsuit.
In a letter to the AP, the Morning News wrote: “We do not comment on pending litigation.”