VB employee cleared of disturbing the peace charges, but still won’t get her job back

Virginia Beach

Employee made comments after the May 31 mass shooting at the Virginia Beach Municipal Center

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – A former Virginia Beach employee who was fired for her comments in the days after the May 31 mass shooting won’t get her job back.

“I feel it was absolutely wrong what they did,” said Beth Mann, the employee.

The problems for Mann began at her City of Virginia Beach office along Witchduck Road.  It was couple days after the mass shooting in Building 2, and Mann was upset.  She told her boss she was unhappy with how the office was run.

“I also told her she is like the supervisor that probably pushed to the guy to do what he did,” Mann added. That employee killed 12 people in Building 2 before he was shot and killed by police.

Mann’s supervisors felt threatened by her comments and took out charges for disturbing the peace. She was also fired from her job.

“This whole experience has been extremely stressful on both me and my family,” Mann said.

Mann went to court in July and a judge dismissed the charges against her.  She assumed that would mean she’d be going back to work.

“I did believe I should get my job back,” Mann added.

But when Mann went for a grievance hearing, the five-member panel upheld her termination.

“At that point, they had made their minds up,” said attorney Kristin Paulding.

Paulding is Mann’s attorney.  She says the conversation between Mann and her supervisors was recorded, and it showed Beth was not a threat.

“It showed she was emotional,” Paulding added. “She was reacting and, while her words may have been inconsiderate, she wasn’t a threat to anyone.”

City officials tell 10 On Your Side they can’t comment on personnel matters. Paulding says what the city did sends a bad message to its employees. 

“If you are a Virginia Beach city employee and you are unhappy with what’s going on in your department, do not speak up, because depending on what you say is going to depend on what the city does with you,” Paulding said. 

Mann says she is considering her next move, which could include suing the city for wrongful termination.

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