John Foddrill

Chris Eudaily / TPR

* This is an update on an episode of "The Source" that aired in early January, Banned From City Hall. In order to provide some background on this latest development we are airing the original episode for the March 27 edition of "The Source."

(Update: March 27, 2:16 p.m.) The City of San Antonio lost in federal court today in its effort to permanently ban a former city employee from going to City Hall and attending city council meetings.

Chris Eudaily / TPR

The City of San Antonio’s banning of two residents from city hall and the city council chambers are going to be challenged in court.

The Texas Civil Rights Project has decided to take the case of Michael Cuellar, who was banned from City Hall and city council meetings by SAPD and City Attorney Michael Bernard.

Cuellar and John Foddrill, who was also banned from city buildings, are at the center of a debate about first amendment rights to petition the government.

Office of the City Attorney

San Antonio City Attorney Michael Bernard is standing by the ban he’s placed on John Foddrill and Michael Cuellar. The two are not allowed to go to City Hall or attend city council meetings. 

Foddrill and Cuellar are two former San Antonio city employees who were both fired from their posts; both men claim they have found evidence of waste in the city government.

Chris Eudaily / TPR

The public square is the cornerstone of democracy. The concept is that anyone can hop on a metaphorical soapbox and air their grievances about the government.

But what does it take to be banned from the public square in San Antonio?

It’s happening to two local residents who are being shunned by their elected representatives. John Foddrill and Michael Cuellar are two separate cases but with some suspicious common factors. Both men are former city employees who say that while on the job they found evidence of fraud or waste in city government.