March 29, 2011

Witch fired for hexing a colleague’s car

by Jan Harris

A practicing witch, Carole Smith, is claiming that she was unfairly dismissed from her job as a Transportation Security Administration officer at New York’s Albany International Airport, after a colleague accused her of witchcraft.

Smith’s co-worker, Mary Bagnoli, claims that in December 2008 Ms Smith followed her onto the highway after work and cast a spell which caused her car’s heater to malfunction.

Ms Bagnoli reported the incident to her supervisor at the airport, Matthew W. Lloyd, who suggested the two women should attend mediation sessions, but Ms Smith refused.

Mr Lloyd said he realised there was no real threat and that the incident was a personality conflict exacerbated by Ms Bagnoli’s fear of the Wiccan religion.

Ms Smith said that she is proud to be a witch and explained that practitioners of Wicca do not cast spells.

After the incident Ms Smith said she was shunned and harassed by colleagues over her beliefs and fired in June 2009, after which she filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Immediately after Ms Bagnoli’s complaint, a catalogue of disciplinary actions were taken against Ms Smith for having a negative attitude, not checking a boarding pass, and for being late for work.

A hearing in November 2010 ruled against her and she has now filed an appeal.

The Department of Homeland Security, which includes the TSA, claims that Ms Smith was dismissed purely because of her conduct and performance, and not because of her religion.

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