Trial begins in Kansas on bias claim against Kobach’s office

A former employee of Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach’s office has testified in federal court that she was confused and embarrassed by her 2013 firing after being told that her lack of church attendance was a key reason.

Jurors began hearing ex-employee Courtney Canfield’s lawsuit against the office and chief Kobach deputy Eric Rucker on Monday in Topeka.

Canfield alleges that her firing in November 2013 after 9 1/2 months at the secretary of state’s office represents illegal religious discrimination. Attorneys for Kobach’s office say she was fired over performance issues.

Canfield testified she was told of her firing by her grandmother, who was friends with Rucker. Canfield said her grandmother told her that Rucker emphasized that Canfield did not go to church.

Rucker strongly disputes the grandmother’s account.