Five former Girl Scouts of Suffolk County employees are suing the nonprofit organization for their firings, alleging that they were terminated for calling out corruption in the higher ranks.
Attorneys Frederick K. Brewington and Albert D. Manuel III joined the five defendants for a news conference announcing the lawsuit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, at Brewington’s office in Hempstead on Wednesday.
“It is the responsibility of all directors, officers, and employees to report violations or suspected violations of high business and personal ethical standards … in accordance with [the Girl Scouts of Suffolk County’s] whistle blower policy,” officials with the Law Office of Frederick K. Brewington said in a statement. “The Girl Scout Five did exactly what they were obligated to do. Instead of being rewarded, they were retaliated against.”
Christine Flanagan, Thomas Flanagan, Kyle Grant, Sarah Moffatt, and Russell Thompson, dubbed “the Girl Scout Five” by their attorneys, claim they reported the county Girl Scout chapter’s chief executive officer for violations and abuses, and were subsequently mistreated and eventually terminated under the alleged false claim that they willingly resigned.
The five longtime employees, who combined have worked for more than 100 years for the organization, say they were fired without warning on June 22. They have now brought the multi-million dollar, federal whistleblower lawsuit to “set the record straight and to prevent future acts of retaliation for workers who point out wrong doing,” attorneys said.
The lawsuit names the Girl Scouts of Suffolk County, Inc., Pamela Mastrota, Emily Brown, Tammy Severino, Donna Smeland, Jacqueline Gordon, Dawn Lott, Sarah McCandless, Brandy Scott, and Jennifer Friedman, according to the law firm.
In a statement, a representative for the Girl Scout Council of Suffolk County said the organization will not comment on pending litigation.
“The Girl Scout Council of Suffolk County has worked tirelessly to develop leadership skills, confidence and character, serving more than 10,000 young women across a diverse Suffolk County, and to promote equality and respect for all,” the statement says. “While we will not comment on pending litigation, which will be addressed in court, our Board and Executive Leadership team are dedicated to ensuring a respectful, diverse and collaborative working environment for all so that we continue to meet our mission.”