A Target spokesperson tells us the company doesn't think there's any merit to claims made by a loss prevention specialist who says he was fired for reporting shoplifting.
"We have conducted a full investigation and don't believe there is any merit to this individual's claims," spokeswoman Molly Snyder says with regard to allegations made by Dallas Northington, a former employee at the company's Leesburg, Virginia, store.
In a Washington Post report, Northington, a married 29-year-old father of two with a third child on the way, says he was canned after he called police to report shoplifting he later learned might have been perpetrated by a Fairfax County sheriff's deputy.
Bypassing his corporate higher-ups and directly reporting shoplifting to police was standard practice for Northington, the eight-year Target veteran says. But just days after reporting a man he and his supervisors identified as a deputy for shoplifting, he was fired for "gross misconduct."
"He said he was told he had violated a policy on confidentiality by contacting police without approval, providing the surveillance video to police and not filling out internal paperwork before doing so," the Post reports.
Adding to the intrigue, around the same time Northington was fired, the deputy who allegedly shoplifted retired from the sheriff's office. He hasn't yet been charged with any crimes in connection with the alleged shoplifting, which took place on May 27.
Northington has a lawyer and a lawsuit against Target is being considered, the Post reports.
Reached for comment yesterday, Snyder, the Target spokesperson, confirmed that the company stands by its decision to terminate Northington. An email she forwarded to us later in the day suggests there's more to the story than the Post is reporting.
(For more, click to page two.)
Here's the entirely of Snyder's note:
Broadly speaking, at Target, we have well-established security procedures in place to help ensure the safety of guests, team members and property.Northington tells the Post he kept his nose clean while employed by Target, and had nothing on his record that would've contributed to his termination other than the way he handled the shoplifting incident.
To protect the privacy of both current and former team members, we don't provide details such as employment status or reasons for departure. As it relates to this specific inquiry, we have conducted a full investigation and don't believe there is any merit to this individual's claims.
In addition, I can share that out of respect for those involved, we aren't going to get in to the specifics of this incident. Any crime committed at Target is a crime against our guests, our team members and our shareholders. We take that very seriously. Target's comprehensive security program is designed to treat our guests and team members fairly while keeping them safe.
We don't believe there is merit to the claims this individual is making about the reasons for his departure. Our comments about merit do not reflect on the details of the criminal investigation. As this is an active investigation, we don't have additional details at this time.