Supreme Court case on retaliation against prosecutor
The Supremes just handed down Garcetti v. Ceballos, which gives some insight into prosecution decisionmaking. Plaintiff was a supervisory prosecutor with the LA County Attorney's office. A defense attorney raised a question about statements in a search warrant affidavit. Plaintiff checked it out and found serious problem with veracity (e.g., the affidavit claimed to have followed defendant's tire tracks down a road, and the road surface was one on which no tire tracks would be left).
Plaintiff called up the officer who gave the affidavit and got no satisfactory explanation. The county attorney went ahead with the case anyway. Plaintiff alleged that as a result of his reporting the problems with the affidavit, he was harrassed, transfered, and denied a promotion. He sued for invasion of his civil rights, specifically freedom of speech.
The majority of the Court held that he can't sue, because in raising the issues he was acting as a government employee rather than as a citizen exercising freedom of speech, and when acting as an employee a person is subject to standard employment discipline. (The majority notes that with academics there may be a different case, but no need to decide that here).