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A Virginia Beach city employee was fired and charged with disturbing the peace after telling a manager that supervisors like her were likely what prompted a gunman to open fire in a municipal building in May.
Elizabeth Mann, 48, was let go from her Human Resources Department job a week after a June 3 staff meeting. The gathering happened just days after DeWayne Craddock, 40, an engineer with the city’s Public Utilities division, killed 12 people and wounded several others.
He submitted his resignation the same day.
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In this Saturday, June 1, 2019, file photo, American flags that are part of a makeshift memorial stand at the edge of a police cordon in front of a municipal building that was the scene of a shooting in Virginia Beach, Va. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)
During the meeting to address the May 31 shooting, Mann asked to speak freely and directed a comment toward Wendy Swallow, a supervisor. “I’m going to be honest with you, I don’t detect any sincerity from you at all, Wendy,” Mann said, according to a partial recording she provided to The Virginian-Pilot. “You are exactly the same type of supervisor that probably pushed this guy to do that.”
Mann told the newspaper that she never cursed, and that she sat throughout the encounter. She said she left after Swallow asked her to do so.
Mann was arrested three days later on suspicion of disturbing the peace.
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“Wendy Swallow reported to me that Elizabeth Mann threatened her during a meeting at work,” an officer wrote on the criminal complaint, according to the newspaper. “Ms. Swallow states that she is in fear for her safety. The threat stated your (sic) the kind of supervisor that would cause somebody to shoot people.”
Virginia Beach spokeswoman Julie Hill confirmed Mann’s termination with Fox News.
“The city initiated an investigation pursuant to the applicable Violence Prevention Policy following allegations regarding what occurred in the workplace,” Hill said in a statement.
Swallow and four city employees have taken out protection orders against Mann, who faces up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine.
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Mann is the second Virginia Beach city employee to face a disturbing-the-peace charge following the mass shooting. Jonathan McIvor allegedly raised his voice when asked why he wouldn’t return to work in the same building where the massacre had occurred.
His supervisors said he stood up aggressively and stormed out. His information technology job required he access the server and equipment in the building.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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