Former VA worker stalked then fired, files lawsuit
LEE COUNTY, Fla.- A Southwest Florida woman says a homeless veteran stalked her and she was fired because of it.
Ann Spackman, the victim listed in the Federal lawsuit, is suing the Department of Veteran Affairs.
Spackman was working at the former Fort Myers VA Clinic when she was stalked; it has since shut its doors and moved to Cape Coral. The lawsuit states Spackman was working as a social worker and would make calls to veterans in a housing program.
Court documents obtained by WINK News say this is where she met homeless veteran Donald Gray four years ago. The lawsuit suggests it only took a few interactions until Gray became obsessed with Spackman.
The lawsuit states Gray would get jealous if she spoke to other veterans, show up unannounced at her other house calls, and call up to 20 times a day. It also says he sexually harassed her and threatened her life saying “I will shoot you and then myself.”
Court documents show Spackman went to her VA supervisors numerous times. The lawsuit states her safety was not only over looked but her employers began to suggest she was the problem.
Court documents state Gray was arrested and convicted of stalking Spackman in 2011. But the lawsuit says the arrest didn’t end the threats. After Gray was released from jail, he was admitted back into the VA housing program even after a probation officer and Spackman’s colleagues advised against it.
The court filing suggests the VA’s decision to allow Gray back into the program violated the VA’s “behavioral contract.” It says he signed the document when he was admitted into the program.
Documents show Spackman’s supervisors gave numerous reasons for allowing the veteran back in. She was told it was to “put out the fire” then another told her the VA had to let Gray back in because “they cannot deny a veteran services.”
According to the documents, the VA offered to reassign Spackman to different offices but in the lawsuit Spackman says the transfers were either demotions, loss of pay or long commutes. There were also other issues with the offers.
The lawsuit also claims says Spackman was diagnosed with PTSD while all of this was going on. Spackman is suing the VA for numerous reasons including emotional distress and loss of employment.
WINK News reached out to the VA for comment but has not yet heard back.