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Before MURPHY, BALDOCK, and HARTZ, Circuit Judges.

I. Introduction

Plaintiff Patricia Chavez-Rodriguez filed this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 action alleging, in part, that Defendants David Coss, Karen Heldmeyer, and John Hiatt (collectively “Defendants”) retaliated against her in violation of her First Amendment rights while she was employed by the City of Santa Fe, New Mexico.*fn1 Chavez-Rodriguez’s First Amendment claim was based on a variety of statements she made to city, state, and federal officials, as well as a conversation she had with Ben Lujan, Speaker of the New Mexico House of Representatives. After removing the case to federal district court, the Defendants moved for judgment on the pleadings as to Chavez-Rodriguez’s First Amendment claim, arguing none of the speech in question was constitutionally protected. The district court granted the motion in part and denied it in part, concluding that while most of Chavez-Rodriguez’s speech was not protected, her discussion with Lujan was. Defendants then sought summary judgment on qualified immunity grounds as to the remaining component of Chavez-Rodriguez’s First Amendment claim. The district court denied this motion.

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