Newport News, Va. (WAVY) — A woman who filed a discrimination claim in June against the Newport News Circuit Court Clerk has been fired.
In a letter from interim Circuit Court Clerk Gary Anderson, Nicole Allmondjoy learned she was fired because she is running to be Circuit Court clerk. She filed those papers a week ago, but when her boss found out about it Wednesday, she was fired.
“I didn’t expect them to come out blatantly like this. I didn’t anticipate it,” said Allmondjoy, the former deputy clerk for Newport News Circuit Court.
Getting the letter and being escorted out of her workplace was not how Allmondjoy expected to start her Thursday. “He hands me a letter, and in the letter it states that I violated a code section because I announced that I’m running for clerk,” she said.
Anderson wouldn’t go on camera, but he admitted to 10 On Your Side over the phone that he consulted his attorney, Jeff Rosen, and decided to fire Allondjoy because she was running against him for the clerk’s job.
“Not that I did anything else. My performance, you can’t complain about my performance. I’m on time. I do my job,” Allmondjoy said.
Based on Virginia Code 15.2-1603, what happened was legal. Allmondjoy’s termination comes just a day after she and Anderson met with an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) mediator trying to resolve discrimination claims. Allmondjoy said the meeting was tense and it ended without a resolution.
“After mediation, how weird and crazy this is. Regardless of what right you have, it was right after mediation. This is retaliation,” she said.
Back in June, Allmondjoy and two other employees at the clerk’s office filed EEOC complaints, saying they were passed over for promotions because of their race. The other employees — Barry Harmon and Dottie Hampton — still have their jobs, as the EEOC investigates their claims.
“It solidifies what I’ve been saying,” Allmondjoy said. “There are things going on in that clerk’s office that aren’t fair.”
There are three people in the race for Newport News Circuit Court Clerk: Gary Anderson filed in May, Newport News Councilwoman Sharon Scott joined the race in June, and Allmondjoy made her candidacy official this week.
“This office needs someone whose been there who knows the ropes,” Allmondjoy said.
Until the November 3 election, Allmondjoy said she will be focused on her campaign.
According to the Newport News Registrar’s Office, the deadline to file for the race is this Friday.
10 On Your Side tried talking to the Virginia Court Clerk’s Association about this story, but no one would talk to us on camera.