LAPEER, Mich. (AP) — A federal court has reinstated a lawsuit by a Michigan prison employee who says she was illegally reassigned after telling lawmakers that officials were coddling inmates, partly by allowing rap contests.

Ruth Mosholder says her free-speech rights were violated. The appeals court has sent the lawsuit back to a Detroit federal judge, saying the letter raised concerns “about matters of public importance.”

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In 2008, Mosholder was a school officer at the state prison in Lapeer. She wrote a letter to lawmakers, complaining about prison-sponsored rap contests. Mosholder said there were gang signs, sagging pants and other dress code violations. She said the prison lacked overall discipline.

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Mosholder sued after she was turned into a general prison officer and required to work weekends and holidays. She says it was retaliation.

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