Former broker wins $1.8 million arbitration award against PNC Investments for wrongful firing, defamation

Finra panel determined that the allegations against her had nothing to do with the securities business

Apr 19, 2017 @ 5:14 pm

By Mark Schoeff Jr.

A former broker won an $1.8 million arbitration award against PNC Investments in a dispute over her termination from the firm.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. arbitration panel in an April 18 decision gave Adrienne M. Mennemeyer $1.5 million in punitive damages and $300,000 in compensatory damages stemming from her December 2013 termination.

In a notice posted in her BrokerCheck profile, PNC said that Ms. Mennemeyer was "terminated for dishonesty and a violation of PNC Bank policy" after she closed a pending checking account application and resubmitted it to "avoid further internal risk review of the application." It said that no securities or securities customers were involved in the matter.

In her response on BrokerCheck, Ms. Mennemeyer countered that she did not act dishonestly.

The arbitration panel agreed and held that the termination explanation would be edited to read: "PNC Investments failed to produce any evidence whatsoever that Adrienne M. Mennemeyer had violated any PNC Investments policy. [Her] discharge was pre-textual, arbitrary and unreasonable. [She], at all times, acted in a manner public policy would encourage."

Marcey Zwiebel, director of corporate public relations at PNC Bank, said that the firm does not comment on legal or arbitration matters. The arbitration award indicates that PNC Investments denied Ms. Mennemeyer's allegations.

A lawyer for Ms. Mennemeyer did not return a call.

Ms. Mennemeyer, who is no longer registered with Finra, filed the case on Dec. 3, 2015. There were 12 hearing sessions between Feb. 10 and April 7 of this year.

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