MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- A judge has upheld a jury's $60,000 verdict against a north Minneapolis blogger for a posting that got a man fired from the University of Minnesota.

Hennepin County Judge Denise Reilly issued her ruling against John Hoff, who blogs as "Johnny Northside." Hoff sought to overturn the verdict or get a new trial. Reilly denied both efforts.

The judge wrote that former community leader Jerry Moore provided "direct and circumstantial evidence" to support the jury's verdict that a blog post by Hoff led to his firing by the university.

The case has drawn attention from free-speech advocates. The Society of Professional Journalists filed a brief in support of Hoff.

Hoff tells the Star Tribune it's "a dark day for the First Amendment." His attorney says an appeal is planned.