A former national FFA officer who was removed because of his social-media posts is suing the organization in New Mexico district court.
Lyle Logemann, who had been the western region vice president, says he was wrongly removed from his office, which harmed his reputation and cost him an FFA scholarship.
He seeks damages, including punitive damages, and court costs.
According to the complaint, on May 31 Logemann wrote, and then deleted, negative comments on a social media post made by former national officer Jordan Stowe supporting Black Lives Matter.
A former Illinois FFA officer, Xavier Morgan, forwarded Logemann’s post to the national organization, and Logemann posted a public apology, the complaint says.
National FFA initially said it would mentor Logemann through the experience, but after Morgan found memes Logemann had shared between 2013 and 2016, he was removed from office without an opportunity to defend himself, according to the complaint.
National FFA announced Logemann’s removal as an officer on June 4, when outrage over the police killings of George Floyd and other Black people was at a fever pitch.
One of Logemann’s attorneys is Jared Vander Dussen, a Republican who is running for Congress.
Vander Dussen said his firm was already representing Logemann when he began working there. Vander Dussen has not commented on the case through his campaign’s social media accounts.
A National FFA spokeswoman did not immediately return a request for comment.