A former employee of a small city in Maryland says she was fired the day after announcing a run for mayor.
“Yesterday I decided to go on Facebook Live and announce my candidacy for the mayor of Seat Pleasant,” Jaquita Riley said.
Riley worked for the city for two years until Wednesday morning.
“I was humiliated and treated like a criminal, being escorted to my car,” she said. “I’m a resident here.”
She said an email was sent to all city employees telling them she was not allowed in government buildings, including the city's police department, where she was an assistant.
“I already knew that I was going to receive backlash for my announcement,” Riley said.
The city responded to Riley's allegations with a statement saying she's been under investigation for the past few days.
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"An administrative investigation was initiated by The City of Seat Pleasant Government for an employee that was temporarily assigned to the police department,” the statement says in part. “The emphasis of the investigation focused on alleged acts of misconduct of a serious nature committed by the employee."
Mayor Eugene Grant has been in office since 2004 and is serving his fourth term. He said Riley’s termination is a personnel matter but was not about her announcement to run for mayor. He said there have been other things going on that played out Wednesday morning.
Grant said he does plan to run for a fifth term next year.
Riley said she's not sure if she wants to try to get her job back, but she’s not deterred from running for mayor.