Chipotle is scrambling to contain the fallout after they fired a St. Paul, Minnesota manager named Dominique for refusing to serve a 21-year-old black man she suspected had previously stolen food – only to reverse course and offer to rehire her after the internet sleuths discovered that the man had a lengthy Twitter history admitting to dining-and dashing.
What’s worse, Chipotle admitted that they knew of the man’s history of theft before firing her, but did so because they had “no choice” but to believe the word of the man who was convicted in January of theft and had previously pleaded guilty to another theft charge, according to the Daily Caller‘s Luke Rosiak.
St. Paul, Minnesota, resident Masud Ali posted a video on Twitter of Chipotle employees refusing to serve him and a group of black men after asking for proof that they would pay, saying that Ali had left without paying previously.
“Can a group of young well established African American get a bite to eat after a long workout session. @ChipotleTweets ??” Ali wrote in the tweet, which had received more than 70,600 retweets and nearly 31,500 likes at the time of publication.
— Masud Ali 🍑 (@Masudaliii) November 16, 2018
Dominique was fired when she could not say with “100 percent certainty” that Ali was the same food thief from earlier in the week, while Ali denied being at the restaurant the day in question.
The story of the fired “racist” manager made national headlines – with Good Morning America and the Minneapolis Star Tribune among others covering the inident.
“It sounded really racist — the way she said it was racist,” Ali told Minnesota’s Star Tribune newspaper on Friday, according to Fox News. “She asked for proof of income as if I’m getting a loan.” On Twitter, Ali asked Chipotle: “Can a group of young well-established African-American get a bite to eat after a long workout session?”
Then – internet sleuths went through Ali’s twitter feed and uncovered a long history of dining-and-dashing (via informationliberation).
Meanwhile, an “Masud Omar Ali” of St. Paul, Minnesota was booked for felony theft in 2015, per Information Liberation.
Ali was sentenced to two years of probation in January for theft over $1,000, according to Minnesota court records. All but two days of a one-year jail term was suspended.
He also pleaded guilty to theft in November 2015 and received a year of probation, court records show. –Daily Caller
On Sunday, Chipotle tweeted “Our actions were based on the facts known to us immediately after the incident. We now have additional information which needs to be investigated further. We want to do the right thing, so after further investigation, we’ll re-train and re-hire if the facts warrant it.”
The company was immediately called out for lying, after New York Times bestselling author Matt Plaumbo tweeted: “This is an absolute lie. I emailed your media relations dept. and she claims you were aware of the tweets (where the dude admitted to dine and dashing) at the time of the firing.“
This is an absolute lie. I emailed your media relations dept. and she claims you were aware of the tweets (where the dude admitted to dine and dashing) at the time of the firing. pic.twitter.com/mZPIDTC9wn
— Matt Palumbo (@MattPalumbo12) November 19, 2018
Chipotle spokeswoman Laurie Schalow also told the Daily Caller “We did discover [Ali’s] previous twitter posts from a few years back as part of our investigation. We spoke with him and directly asked him if he had been in that restaurant on Tuesday night and he said he had not been there in weeks.”
And on Sunday night, in a now-deleted tweet, the manager said that Chipotle had offered her job back to her:
Rosiak suggested that she think twice before accepting their offer:
Not suggesting a money grab. But theres also just the matter of what happens next time it becomes convenient for the CEO to throw his hard working employee under the bus for trying to prevent he and shareholders from losing money to fraud? How do you go back to normal after this?
— Luke Rosiak (@lukerosiak) November 19, 2018
And while Dominique said in the now-deleted tweet that she was offered her job back, Fox News reports that Chipotle has yet to make a decision, as they are still “investigating.”
The restaurant chain Chipotle announced Saturday that it had terminated one of its managers for suggesting in a viral video that five black customers were planning to order food without paying — but on Sunday, the company acknowledged to Fox News that it was considering re-hiring the manager because her suspicions may have been well-founded.
[…]”Our actions were based on the facts known to us immediately after the incident, including video footage, social media posts and conversations with the customer, manager, and our employees,” Chipotle Chief Communications Officer Laurie Schalow told Fox News on Sunday. “We now have additional information which needs to be investigated further. We want to do the right thing, so after further investigation we will re-train and re-hire if the facts warrant it.“
Despite reports on Twitter late Sunday that the manager had received her job back, Chipotle confirmed to Fox News that “nothing has changed from this morning. We are still investigating a few things.” –Fox News
Except – Chipotle apparently knew all of this before they fired her.