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Former UVM employee says she brought gun to student party

Monica+Devino+leaves+the+courthouse+April+19.+Devino+is+testifying+in+a+gender+discrimination+lawsuit+against+the+University.
Monica Devino leaves the courthouse April 19. Devino is testifying in a gender discrimination lawsuit against the University.

Monica Devino leaves the courthouse April 19. Devino is testifying in a gender discrimination lawsuit against the University.

ALEK FLEURY/The Vermont Cynic

ALEK FLEURY/The Vermont Cynic

Monica Devino leaves the courthouse April 19. Devino is testifying in a gender discrimination lawsuit against the University.

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A former UVM employee walked up to the home of UVM students hosting a party, gun behind her back, with the intent to ask them to quiet down.  

The former employee, Monica Devino, said in court Wednesday that she went to her neighbors’ house to break up the student party in September 2016.

It was 1 a.m. and she didn’t want the noise of the party to wake her children. Devino said she had a gun that night, and that it was unloaded.

“I didn’t threaten them,” she said in court. “I had a pistol.”

Devino is serving as a witness in a trial against UVM. The University is being sued by one of Devino’s former colleagues, Cindy Ruescher, for gender discrimination, creating a hostile work environment, retaliation and defamation.

The University lawyer in the Ruescher v. UVM trial said that Devino was arrested for the incident in 2016 and read the initial police report in court. The police report said Devino went to her neighbors’ home with the gun and shouted, “shut the fuck up.”

Devino said that the incident didn’t happen as UVM’s defense described. According to court documents, the charges against her were dismissed in January 2017.

“[The pistol] was holstered behind my back,” Devino said in court.

Devino’s charges, later dismissed, were for reckless endangerment and trespassing Sept. 3, 2016, according to court documents.

“My children got to see me arrested, which was lovely,” Devino said in court.

Devino said the only reason she brought the gun with her was for self defense. She said the gun was unloaded at the time of the incident.

Devino, whose home was surrounded on three sides by student homes asked for assistance from the Office of Student and Community Relations and the UVM police multiple times in the past, but had received none, she said.

Following her release, Devino went to check her work email to discover she was unable to access it and did not know why, she said.

She said she waited the entire weekend to hear why she could not access her email account. Her supervisor then told her she was suspended with pay, she said.

In court, Devino said she was suspended with pay for three months, placed on a probation period and had to sign a “last chance” letter to say she understood she could have been fired for the incident.

Devino’s employment was terminated in 2017. She was told it was because of sarcastic remarks she made to a colleague, throwing her phone on a desk when angry and missing an 8 a.m. meeting while her daughter had her braces adjusted, she said in court.

Devino’s September 2016 incident is being compared to current UVM employee Martin McLaughlin’s November 2016 DUI by Ruescher’s lawyer.

Ruescher’s lawyer said while Devino was suspended by the University, McLaughlin was not punished. McCloskey said this proves gender discrimination within Ruescher’s former department.

The trial is ongoing each day this week from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Chittenden County Superior Courthouse.  

3 Comments

3 Responses to “Former UVM employee says she brought gun to student party”

  1. Steve Michael rose on April 20th, 2018 11:13 am

    Sawyer Loftus, what part of “dismissed” dont you understand? How does a person get charged with reckless endangerment and trespassing, and have the charges dismissed in a court of law? Maybe because the charges were baseless and unproven? When UVM attorney Karen McAndrew in her opening statement brought up this salacious incident, you swallowed hook, line and sinker. In fact, Ms McAndrew said Ms Devino was drunk at the time and you were going to print that as well, unti it was brought to your attention that it was never mentioned in any arrest report and in fact was added as hype by Ms McAndrew to discredit a female witness to UVM’s gender bias tactics. And again, remember that the charges were dismissed.
    If you were a real reporter, you would tell your readers about the fact that Ms Devino was punished with a three year probation at UVM over a charge that had been dismissed within four months of the incident by the courts. That she was a “stellar employee” and a “mentor to many” her entire career until this incident.The court found no cause for further punishment or harassment, but UVM did.
    You would report on the case which is being heard and has yet to be judged. The fact that the CIT department has done no evaluations of any employee since at least ’96. That a study of raises to employees showed that most of higher salaried employees received above average annual pay increases compared to lower salaried employees. That most of the higher salaried employees were men. That raises for equity and merit were discontinued after this finding, unless formal evaluations were performed. Evaluations are still not being performed in CIT.
    You would report on the Ex-director who stated he had a position in his dept “best suited for a stay at home mom”. That the same person stated “not one woman on the CIT staff had superior technical skills” and “women are better suited for analysis”.
    That a Male employee can get a DUI at 6pm on the way home from work and not be reprimanded in any way by UVM. That several Male employees of CIT lied on their resumes about their education and degrees and after being exposed and reported to UVM, no action was taken against them. In fact, they were not even contacted by HR and questioned.
    All this and I have only attended half of the court sessions. Before reporting anything I’ve stated here, you might want to contact me and the people involved in the incidents above to make sure you have your facts straight.
    From what I’ve witnessed in this hearing, I can’t even begin to imagine what happens to a woman in a sexual assault, or rape case.
    Sawyer, what you have done here is to tell any woman who wants to testify for a fellow woman who has been discriminated against, that she better think twice about helping out her friend because she will be drug through the mud. She and her past, even if innocent, will be brought back and even exaggerated if necessary to win over a jury or give an overzealous, lazy reporter something to write about. You helped the defense. Nice job “MAN”.

    [Reply]

  2. Steve rose on April 22nd, 2018 4:47 pm

    Sawyer Loftus, what part of “dismissed” dont you understand? How does a person get charged with reckless endangerment and trespassing, and have the charges dismissed in a court of law? Maybe because the charges were baseless and unproven? When UVM attorney Karen McAndrew in her opening statement brought up this salacious incident, you swallowed hook, line and sinker. In fact, Ms McAndrew said Ms Devino was drunk at the time and you were going to print that as well, unti it was brought to your attention that it was never mentioned in any arrest report and in fact was added as hype by Ms McAndrew to discredit a female witness to UVM’s gender bias tactics. And again, remember that the charges were dismissed.
    If you were a real reporter, you would tell your readers about the fact that Ms Devino was punished with a three year probation at UVM over a charge that had been dismissed within four months of the incident by the courts. That she was a “stellar employee” and a “mentor to many” her entire career until this incident.The court found no cause for further punishment or harassment, but UVM did.
    You would report on the case which is being heard and has yet to be judged. The fact that the CIT department has done no evaluations of any employee since at least ’96. That a study of raises to employees showed that most of higher salaried employees received above average annual pay increases compared to lower salaried employees. That most of the higher salaried employees were men. That raises for equity and merit were discontinued after this finding, unless formal evaluations were performed. Evaluations are still not being performed in CIT.
    You would report on the Ex-director who stated he had a position in his dept “best suited for a stay at home mom”. That the same person stated “not one woman on the CIT staff had superior technical skills” and “women are better suited for analysis”.
    That a Male employee can get a DUI at 6pm on the way home from work and not be reprimanded in any way by UVM. That several Male employees of CIT lied on their resumes about their education and degrees and after being exposed and reported to UVM, no action was taken against them. In fact, they were not even contacted by HR and questioned.
    All this and I have only attended half of the court sessions. Before reporting anything I’ve stated here, you might want to contact me and the people involved in the incidents above to make sure you have your facts straight.
    From what I’ve witnessed in this hearing, I can’t even begin to imagine what happens to a woman in a sexual assault, or rape case.
    Sawyer, what you have done here is to tell any woman who wants to testify for a fellow woman who has been discriminated against, that she better think twice about helping out her friend because she will be drug through the mud. She and her past, even if innocent, will be brought back and even exaggerated if necessary to win over a jury or give an overzealous, lazy reporter something to write about. You helped the defense. Nice job “MAN”.

    [Reply]

  3. Steve Michael rose on April 24th, 2018 1:17 pm

    I reposted because it took at least four days to review my comment. Now it’s old news. Here’s hoping you do your job and investigate why a guy can lie on his application that he has two BS degrees instead of one and get paid more than a woman with a BS degree and a Masters degree in her application without lying.
    And after being alerted of this, the liar is not even questioned or punished.

    [Reply]

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Former UVM employee says she brought gun to student party