Vester Lee Flanagan, who allegedly shot down two former colleagues, filed a lawsuit following his 2012 dismissal from Roanoke, Virginia news station, WDBJ. The lawsuit claimed that Flanagan was wrongfully terminated and was subjected to racial discrimination as well as sexual orientation discrimination for identifying as gay. These allegations were vehemently denied by the news station, and the suit was eventually dismissed with prejudice in 2014.
Flanagan’s supervisors at the time of his employment in 2012 had well documented Flanagan’s apparent hostile behavior towards other co-workers. There were a number of occasions in which Flanagan reportedly “resulted in one or more of [his] co-workers feeling threatened or uncomfortable” according to a memo from a station executive.
Executives mandated that Flanagan seek professional help for his behavioral issues if he wanted to keep his job, but no improvement was allegedly made, which resulted in the firing. Police were called and had to escort him out of the building after he made a number of threats.
The lawsuit later filed by Flanagan alleged that a number of racist comments and actions were made by his co-workers, such as strategically placing a watermelon within view of his desk. The suit called for WDBJ to pay him damages for the wrongful termination and workplace discrimination. Flanagan also made some odd requests during the legal proceedings, including asking that the records of WDBJ employees be subpoenaed, including the records of both of the victims.
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