The Director of the Emergency Management Services in Chowan County was demoted from her position for speaking directly to the County Commissioners at a public meeting her concerning the ability of the County to provide emergency services if proposed budget cuts were put in place. This was in direct opposition to statements made by the County Manager, which the Director of EMS believed failed to accurately portray her concerns. Attorneys Clif Smith and Lloyd Smith filed a lawsuit against Chowan County for unlawful demotion in violation of the First Amendment. This action was filed in the Federal Court in 2009. This matter resolved itself in favor of the Director at mediation, for an undisclosed monetary sum.