From left: Russell Thompson, Kyle Grant and attorney Frederick Brewington at Brewington's...

From left: Russell Thompson, Kyle Grant and attorney Frederick Brewington at Brewington's Hempstead office on Wednesday. Credit: Danielle Silverman

Five former Suffolk County Girl Scouts employees filed a $35 million whistleblower lawsuit against the Girl Scouts of Suffolk County, claiming retaliation, wrongful termination and human rights violations by the organization's board of directors and the former chief executive.

The five former employees, Russell Thompson, Sarah Moffatt, Kyle Grant, Thomas Flanagan and Christine Flanagan, filed the federal lawsuit Tuesday in the Eastern District of New York in Central Islip against the Girl Scouts and nine employees, including former CEO Pamela Mastrota.

The employees allege Mastrota targeted and cut by 40% the salary of Kyle Grant, the only African American director at the Girl Scouts, according to their Hempstead attorney, Fred Brewington, and that their salaries were reduced for defending Grant before they were all fired June 22.

The former employees gathered at Brewington's Hempstead office Wednesday morning to announce the lawsuit.

"All is not cookies and green at the Girl Scouts of Suffolk County," Brewington said. "The way they were abused, the Girl Scouts should be ashamed of themselves. They tout themselves as an organization that teaches character and treating people fairly with equity and justice. There was nothing just or fair the way these individuals were treated when they were terminated summarily."

The whistleblower complaint filed with the Girl Scouts Board in July 2020 lists a series of allegations including discrimination, intimidation and retaliation by management.

Mastrota, who served as CEO for about six months, did not return telephone and email messages seeking comment Wednesday.

The Commack-based Girl Scouts issued a statement in response to the lawsuit.

"The Girl Scout Council of Suffolk County has worked tirelessly to develop leadership skills, confidence and character, serving more than 10,000 young women across a diverse Suffolk County, and to promote equality and respect for all," the statement said. "While we will not comment on pending litigation, which will be addressed in court, our Board and Executive Leadership team are dedicated to ensuring a respectful, diverse and collaborative working environment for all so that we continue to meet our mission."

The complaint centers around Mastrota after she took over as CEO in April 2020 following the retirement of former CEO Yvonne Grant.

The lawsuit alleges that a week after joining the Girl Scouts, Mastrota targeted Kyle Grant, who is Yvonne Grant's son. He worked for the Girl Scouts for 17 years, most recently as director of technology.

"I feel betrayed and now I'm ashamed of the organization I grew up and came to love," Kyle Grant said at Brewington's office.

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