UPDATE: Ex-Point Beach Worker Sues Town, Claims 'Falsified' Water Meter Readings
Sandra Petersen claims she was subjected to punitive actions and ridicule after she reported the alleged incident, and felt uncomfortable listening to employees allegedly make offensive and derogatory remarks about Yom Kippur and African-Americans
The lawsuit, filed May 15, claims the borough knew of the "fraudulent activity" and failed to remedy the situation.
The plaintiff, Sandra Petersen of Brick, claims she reported the activity to her supervisors in Point Pleasant Beach.
"Plaintiff was subjected to a severe and pervasive pattern of adverse employment actions and or/retaliation" by the borough that led to her termination, according to the lawsuit.
Mayor Vincent Barrella declined to comment on the case, saying he hadn't read the lawsuit.
The lawsuit was provided to Patch by Rosemarie Arnold, a Fort Lee attorney who is representing Petersen.
In the lawsuit:
- Petersen, who is suing for damages, claims Gary McRae, a Point Beach water/sewer utility laborer, falsified and entered the fictitious meter readings in January 2012.
- Petersen claims she reported the alleged acts to Borough Administrator Christine Riehl and Kathy Beno, deputy finance officer of the Water and Sewer Department.
- Petersen claims that Beno laughed in her face and said: "Oh he's been doing that for years."
- Petersen claims she was ridiculed, and that Tax Clerk Jennifer Coyne and other employees spread rumors of her having an extramarital affair. Coyne, Beno and Riehl were also named as defendants in the suit.
- Petersen said she had job duties stripped from her after McRae was "forced" to resign in April 2012.
- Petersen claims she continued to be subjected to punitive actions and ridicule until she , and also heard employees make offensive and derogatory remarks about Yom Kippur and African Americans.
- After Petersen was fired on May 31, 2013, she said, she sustained severe pain, suffering and permanent physical and psychological injuries, including emotional distress and psychological harm.