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Tuesday, June 18, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Chaplain Blames Jilted Lover for Firing

RICHMOND, Va. (CN) - A former state hospital chaplain claims in court that his ex-girlfriend cost him his job by making vengeful, unfounded accusations about missing funds.

In a complaint filed in the Richmond City Circuit Court, Jeffrey Trimble says that after he broke off his romance with Cynthia Taylor in January 2015, she contacted his friends and family and threatened "to destroy him."

Trimble goes on to explain that a few weeks before he told Taylor they were through, he'd been involved in a traffic accident while traveling with Christmas gifts purchased for patients at Eastern State Hospital, where he worked.

Three days after the accident, Trimble says, he went to retrieve his car, only to discover the gifts had been stolen from the trunk. He says he immediately reported the theft, but the presents were never recovered.

According to the complaint, Trimble replaced the gifts, buying "various tennis shoes, dress shirts, dress shoes, baseball jerseys and pants for the thirty-six men and one woman at the facility over the holidays."

"Taylor contacted Mr. Trimble's sister and informed her that she was going to call Eastern State Hospital and inform them that Mr. Trimble stole money from the facility and had not purchased any gifts for the facility," the complaint says.

With that, the former hospital chaplain says, Taylor engaged in a three-month campaign to have her former boyfriend fired.

This effort culminated on March 12, 2015, with Taylor telling hospital officials that Trimble created a bogus invoice to steal the money he claimed to have spent on the gifts, the complaint says.

Trimble says she then went on to claim he had created a bank account specifically so that he could move stolen funds into it.

As a result of these accusations, Trimble says he was summarily fired.

Trimble seeks $1 million in damages on claims of defamation and tortious interference with a contract.

He is represented by Barbara Queen of Lawrence & Associates in Richmond, Va.

Courthouse News attempted to contact through co-defendant American Meats Depot, but the phone number for the business has been disconnected.

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