BERKELEY COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – A defamation and negligence lawsuit has been filed against a Lowcountry principal.
A Berkeley County School District employee said the principal at Howe Hall Elementary School wrongfully accused her of using school facilities to feed other students.
The lawsuit alleges comments made by the school’s principal caused personal injury and damage to the employee’s good name in the community, damage to her professional reputation, anxiety, embarrassment, and emotional distress.
It also states the principal acted either with the knowledge that his statements were false or with reckless disregard for whether his statements were false or not – and that the comments were communicated to nearly 50 teachers during a school meeting.
It was during that meeting the principal publicly accused the employee of embezzlement and illegal activities and compared her actions in preparing and providing meals to students to former Berkeley County School District CFO Brantley Thomas’ admitted embezzlement from the district.
In 2017, Thomas was indicted on 20 counts by a federal grand jury and 15 counts by a state grand jury for fraud, embezzlement, money laundering, receiving kickbacks and forgery. He later pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $800,000 from the district.
That district employee is now asking for a jury trial and wants the district to pay legal expenses along with damages.