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Radio host, former columnist takes legal action against Kern High School District

FILE -- DJ Danny Morrison sits in the studio at 103.9 The Beat in Bakersfield, Calif., on May 17, 2017, preparing for the debut of his show the B-Town Mix Down. (KBAK/KBFX photo)

Danny Morrison, a radio host and a former columnist for The Bakersfield Californian, is pursuing legal action against the Kern High School District and one of its board members, according to attorney Daniel Rodriguez.

Rodriguez, who is Morrison's attorney, said Trustee Mike Williams is named in the claim, accusing Williams of "urging someone to economically punish someone."

Morrison received backlash for a newspaper column in which he called President Donald Trump a racist.

Williams, a conservative member of the KHSD board, took to Facebook in August to oppose the opinion piece. He publicly called for the district to bar the newspaper from coverage over Morrison's column but ultimately backed off that stance.

He wrote, "I will bring to the board of the KHSD a motion to stop all relations with (The Bakersfield Californian) .... advertising, sports, and requests for comments by staff. TBC printed these insults and lies so they own it."

"What kind of message is he sending to our kids? That if you disagree with my political views you are going to get punished," Rodriguez said Tuesday. "The message he sent is if you don't agree with me, you're out of here."

Morrison and the Californian parted ways a few weeks after the controversial column.

The Californian claims that had nothing to do with the column and has previously told Eyewitness News it stands by the decision to run it.

In an article called, "Why the Californian said goodbye to columnist Danny Morrison," the paper said he is no longer a columnist because he made up sources and hypothetical characters in his stories without making it clear to the readers.

The paper said this happened several times, and it warned Morrison that was not up to "journalistic ethics."

Rodriguez said at this time he does not know if Morrison was wrongfully let go. He said he is looking into it.

Morrison and his attorney said they want Williams to resign as a KHSD trustee. If Williams doesn't step down, Rodriguez said they'll move forward with a lawsuit seeking money.

"What's the alternative? Give him a free pass?" Rodriguez said.

"The district made their choice in attempting to slander me and drag my name through the gutter," Morrison said.

The KHSD website shows that Williams has been a board member since 2010. His current term ends in 2018.

Williams declined to comment on Morrison's legal action, as did the Californian. As of Tuesday, the KHSD has not responded to our request for comment.

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