VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – A judge dropped charges Wednesday against a Virginia Beach city employee who was fired after telling a supervisor that the mass shooter probably snapped because of supervisors like her.
48-year-old Elizabeth Mann was charged with disturbing the peace and had four protective orders taken out against her by her boss and other employees.
The incident happened during a meeting at the Human Services Department on the first day back to work after the May 31 mass shooting that killed 12 people.
Mann did not want to speak after court, but her attorney, Kristin Paulding told WAVY.com, “Because clearly what got her in trouble in the first place and what brought this warrant was her trying to be able to speak her mind.”
The judge said Mann was very close to stepping over the line, but he said the comments did not meet the threshold to uphold the charge of disturbing the peace.
He also dismissed four protective orders taken out against Mann by her supervisor and co-workers.
“It’s a huge weight off her shoulders to know that she’s not facing a criminal offense,” Paulding said, “So now we’re really going to focus on the city and a grievance process and see if we can get her job back.”
Delegate Kelly Fowler stood with Mann in support. She vowed to help her and other employees who need an advocate.
“Holding the city accountable, making sure that we have some oversight to know from the state we kind of need to look at our localities and make sure that they are doing right by the employees and the citizens that are in our district,” Fowler said.
Another Virginia Beach employee was also charged with disturbing the peace last month. Jon McIvor did not want to return to Building 2 and became angry when he was told to return to work. Those charged were also dropped.