Woman sues Girl Scout Council for wrongful termination

By Kyla Asbury | Jul 21, 2016

PARKERSBURG – A former employee is suing Girl Scouts of Black Diamond Council Inc. after she claims she was wrongfully terminated for reporting theft.

Denise Davis, Beth Casey and Roberta Richmond were also named as defendants in the suit.

Marijo Tedesco was a membership services manager for Black Diamond and was responsible for leadership paperwork, including performing audits on checking accounts, maintaining records of troop spending and creating annual financial summaries, according to a complaint filed July 14 in Wood Circuit Court.

Tedesco claims during her five-year tenure, she was never subjected to any disciplinary actions, adverse performance reviews or other negative employment-related actions of any kind until her final review on Nov. 21, 2012.

On March 26, 2012, Tedesco reported to Casey that money was missing from the Outreach Program’s budget and informed her that she believed management was stealing funds from the program, according to the suit. Tedesco also reported the use of inflated roster numbers on grant applications and she requested that Casey supervise her in fear of retaliation from Davis.

Tedesco claims on Nov. 21, 2012, Casey and Richmond summoned her to Charleston for her performance review and repeatedly asked her questions about a newspaper reporter acquiring information about concerns brought to Black Diamond Council management.

The plaintiff denied giving information to the reporter and told the defendants she had informed the parents of her troops about the missing funds, according to the suit.

Tedesco claims following the meeting, she was informed she would be given a negative report due to her “inability to meet goals,” and, over the next few days, Casey and Richmond made several attempts to pressure her into signing her performance review without seeing the entire document.

After Tedesco refused to sign it without seeing the document in its entirely, she had to wait approximately one month before receiving it and looked over it, according to the suit.

Tedesco claims the review had a list of goals for the coming year that were considered unrealistic and were created with the use of the fake, inflated roster sizes and she attempted to bring the skewed numbers to the attention of management with Black Diamond and was told to “keep her mouth shut and to do her work.”

The plaintiffs concerns were ignored and she was placed on probation in February 2013 and, upon learning of her probationary status, Tedesco asked for a description of the probationary period and guidance on how she could work her way off of probation and the request was ignored, according to the suit.

Tedesco claims she was repeatedly asked to “develop a story, even if fake, to share with United Way in order to fulfill an obligation of a grant,” to which she refused.

On Sept. 23, 2014, Tedesco was told to report to the Parkersburg office of the Girl Scouts of America to have her computer updated and, upon arriving, Casey and Richmond informed her that her employment was terminated, according to the suit.

Tedesco claims the defendants violated public policy and wrongfully terminated her employment.

Tedesco is seeking compensatory and punitive damages. She is being represented by Walt Auvil of the Employment Law Center PLLC.

Wood Circuit Court case number: 16-C-284

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