School District Sued By Ostracized Board Member
MIDLANDS TAXPAYER HERO WANTS HER SEAT BACK …
One of the few local elected officials in South Carolina who’s worth a damn is suing the government entity that cast her out of her office on a trumped-up residency issue.
Kim Murphy – honored with this website’s “Taxpayer Hero” award a few years back – filed a lawsuit this week against the Lexington-Richland School District Five board of trustees (and its former chairman Robert Gantt) alleging defamation of character. Murphy also filed a civil conspiracy charge against Gantt and Bobby Bowers, an employee of the S.C. Budget and Control Board. (SCBCB).
An outspoken critic of secretive, wasteful and self-serving government, Murphy was removed from her elected post as a member of the Midlands-area school board in May 2013. The reason? According to her fellow board members, she was ineligible to represent her constituents because her house was located in the wrong county.
Murphy not only disputes this claim, she alleges in her suit that Gantt and Bowers fabricated the residency issue for the sole purpose of removing her from office.
Furthermore, Murphy maintains that a proper survey enabling the district to determine her residency status once and for all has yet to be conducted.
A school official declined to discuss the specifics of the case with a reporter from The (Columbia, S.C.) State newspaper, saying only that the board “acted properly” in stripping Murphy of her post.
During her time on the Lexington-Richland school board, Murphy has gone against the grain by opposing new building programs and questioning specific appropriations made by the board. She’s also relentlessly exposed the multi-million dollar unspent fund balances the district carries over every year – part of a broader problem this website has exposed at the state level.
People may not like her, but she’s doing the job she was elected to do … and her resolve to question every expense and insist that there be a valid reason for the use of taxpayer resources is commendable.
Every school board member in the state should be like Kim Murphy.
“Kim Murphy has championed for honest and transparent board actions only to have her name ruined and her board position stripped simply because she is outspoken about board policies and procedures,” Murphy’s attorney Ashley Story said in a statement.
Murphy isn’t the only local school board official in South Carolina facing residency problems as a result of doing the right thing.
In rural Colleton County, S.C., corrupt State Sen. Clementa Pinckney arbitrarily redrew district lines in an effort to remove school board members who voted to terminate the contract of an incompetent superintendent.
To view Murphy’s lawsuit, click on the link below …
MURPHY LAWSUIT (.pdf)