VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – A former Virginia Beach employee who was fired for comments she made days after the mass shooting last year is now suing the city for wrongful termination.
“I don’t think I’ve ever had a case before where the employee was fired and then arrested within a week after that for the same conduct,” said attorney Barry Montgomery.
Montgomery is representing Beth Mann. Mann spent 16 years with the city; the last 13 in family services.
She like everyone else, watched in horror as the mass shooting unfolded on May 31, 2019. That Monday, the first day back to work after the shooting, family services held a staff meeting to talk about the tragedy. Mann voiced her opinion.
“At some point during the conversation Elizabeth had told the manager you are the exact type of manager that pushes people like this,” Montgomery added.
Mann was fired from her job. A couple days later she was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. According to court records, her manager perceived Mann’s statements as a threat.
“This was scary and embarrassing for her personally to be charged with a crime and go to court,” Montgomery said.
A Virginia Beach judge later dismissed the case against Mann. She will soon be back in a courtroom; this time suing her former employer.
“I think I’m just trying to vindicate Elizabeth’s rights,” Montgomery added. “She was arrested inappropriately, she lost her career and none of it should have happened.”
Mann filed her complaint on June 17 and is asking for $350,000. It’s money her attorney says she lost after her job was taken and it’s what he believes the city owes her.
“To her it is worth going after, because of how she was treated and the loss of her career,” Montgomery said.
10 On Your Side reached out the the city for comment on the lawsuit. We were told no one had seen it yet.
Stay with WAVY News 10 for updates.
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