Former employee files lawsuit against Norfolk, City Manager Marcus Jones

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A former employee has filed a lawsuit against the City of Norfolk and City Manager Marcus Jones.

Norfolk City Manager Marcus D. Jones
Norfolk City Manager Marcus D. Jones

The lawsuit alleges that John Andrews was fired by the city and Jones in 2014 because he raised concerns about a possible conflict of interest related to a veterans program. The suit claims wrongful dismissal and retaliation.

Andrews was a Special Assistant to the City Manager for Veteran and Military Affairs. He previously worked as a Naval officer for 29 years, the lawsuit says.

According to the suit, Andrews’ primary job as special assistant was to develop a program that would help vets transition from military service to employment in the private sector.

Andrews says he was fired after raising questions about a possible conflict of interest.

Document: Andrews vs. City of Norfolk and Marcus Jones

Andrews states in the suit that a woman appointed as Senior Adviser for Veteran Employment within the Department of Veterans Affairs is married to a man who was selling software to cities that would help place veterans into new jobs.

According to the suit, Andrews believed that could be a conflict of interest.

“Upon information and belief, he entered this narrow field of software development shortly after his wife’s involvement began with the development of what ultimately became the VEC,” Andrews states in the suit.

He claims that when he brought that concern up to City Manager Marcus Jones, he was fired.

Andrews has requested a jury trial to address the issues.

The city responded Monday with a statement from Communications Director Lori Crouch, which says in full:

Mr. Andrews’ departure from his employment with the City is a personnel matter.  We will not discuss this personnel matter or pending litigation related to any of Mr. Andrews’ allegations against the City, City personnel, or anyone else.”

10 On Your Side also spoke with the attorney representing the businessman Andrews mentions in the suit. He called the case “a matter between a disgruntled former employee and the City of Norfolk,” and calls the statements “false” and “defamatory.”