NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - Jessica Camarillo is the Norfolk 911 dispatcher suspended without pay for a post on Facebook. Wednesday, Camarillo walked into an investigative hearing with the City of Norfolk without the representation she wanted to fight to keep her job.
Camarillo was suspended after posting a comment on Facebook concerning the police-involved shooting of Omar Johnson, who was gunned down at a Wells Fargo. Her comment was posted as follows:
"I think the officers should sue the family (Johnson's family) for putting the officers lives in danger, making detectives work past the time they were suppose to get off, the gas it took for them to get to the scene, the bullets used, the hospital bills, the equipment needed for forensics, and making me work the channel instead of reading my hot sexy book. LOL"
Union Representative Michael McKenna showed up Wednesday to assist her in the hearing.
"I got in there...this woman met me outside, and said 'you can't come in', and I said 'why not?' She said 'you have to be an attorney', and I said 'since when is that the rule? I've sat in on several of these panels.' She said 'we re-read the policy, and it says you can't come in'."
McKenna works with the National Association of Government Employees and the International Brotherhood of Police Officers.
"I said 'every American citizen deserves someone to represent them at a hearing...they will let an attorney come in', but the employee was not notified she could have an attorney with her."
McKenna thinks at that point Camarillo should have walked out, but she did not. Camarillo claims to have been "brow beaten" during the meeting, and cried during the hearing. WAVY.com asked McKenna if Camarillo wanted his help.
"Yes, I met with her last night...she said it today...she was left in there all alone...by herself," he said.
WAVY.com called Norfolk City Spokesperson Lori Crouch about the hearing, a hearing that the City thought official enough to hire a reporter to transcribe the proceedings.
"An employee is not required to have representation," said Crouch.
In the City's Disciplinary Rules, there is no mention of representation during such a hearing. However, the rules don't state that a person can't have representation if they wish.
Camarillo wanted the free representation of a union. She needed it to try and keep her job. A request was denied. McKenna says Camarillo never stood a chance.
Human resources has 10 days to make a recommendation to City Manager Marcus Jones regarding Camarillo, who is currently suspended without pay with the recommendation for termination. Jones will have 10 days after the recommendation is made to him to decide Camarillo's employment status with the City.
Drivers traveling between Hatteras Island and the mainland were forced to use an emergency ferry Wednesday, following the sudden closure of the Bonner Bridge Tuesday.
Hampton Fire units arrived at the scene of a residential fire in the 3800 block of Shell Road just after 6 p.m.
One person was able to get out of a Newport News house safely after police say a man fired a gun.