Carpenter suit depositions begin

COVINGTON -- The attorney representing the Alcovy High School principal's lawsuit against web commenters on the Newton Citizen website began taking depositions this week.

On Thursday, attorney Stephanie Lindsey questioned Conyers resident Shannon Black, who has claimed three identities on the website named in the defamation suit brought forth by Principal LaQuanda Carpenter.

Present at the deposition were Lindsey; Black; attorney Jeff Foster, who represents Newton County Board of Education member Jeff Meadors, who also was named in the suit; a court reporter; a staff member from the Newton Citizen; and two staff members from the Covington News newspaper.

Lindsey questioned Black, who attended the deposition without attorney representation, about her background, threats made to her regarding the lawsuit and her daughter's time in the Newton County School System one and two years ago when she attended West Newton Elementary School and later Veterans Memorial Middle School, where she was bullied.

Lindsey also asked Black if she knew or had communication with Meadors; his co-worker at Georgia Perimeter College; an employee at the NCSS central office; former Alcovy High School teacher Kevin Dockery, to whom Lindsey sent a cease and desist letter but hasn't been named in the suit; and another person.

Black denied all except for talking to Meadors when she had the bullying problem with her daughter; she said she hasn't communicated with him since. When asked by Lindsey, Black also denied being friends with Meadors on Facebook and supplying him letters to the editor to provide to the Citizen.

Black admitted, as she has in the past, to posting comments on the website under the names shannonblack, kbeet and msloy. Lindsey asked Black how she knew or obtained the information she posted, including copies of e-mails and allegations of criminal activities.

Black admitted that for many of her comments, a person she knew who used to be a substitute teacher at Alcovy High School e-mailed her the information and she, in turn, posted them on the site. When asked by Lindsey, Black admitted to not verifying if the information was valid or correct.

She denied receiving any information from other individuals.

Black said she doesn't know why she posted her comments.

"I know what I did was wrong," she said about posting the comments. "That's why I came out. ... I'm at fault."

"All of this has caused a blemish on the school system," Lindsey told Black, adding that it also caused harm to Carpenter's reputation.

Black said she didn't consider what kind of effect posting comments would have.

She denied knowing the identities of other posters who have made comments on the website.

When asked by Lindsey, Black said she won't post anymore comments on site.

Before the deposition, Lindsey had requested that Black produce audio recordings of a person purporting to be Carpenter and copies of e-mails that she has posted on the Newton Citizen and Covington News websites. Black didn't bring the audio with her, and she said she didn't have the e-mails because she deleted them.

Lindsey asked Black to see if she has them in a deleted folder on her computer and said she plans to amend her request to include e-mails from the substitute teacher who sent Black the information to post.

After the deposition, Lindsey said she was arranging a deposition with Meadors.

Originally, Lindsey had subpoenaed the Citizen in April to supply identifying information about 11 web posters, but in July, Newton County Superior Court Judge Eugene Benton granted a motion to stop the subpoena. The judge said the newspaper could be re-subpoenaed in the future if Lindsey cannot identify web posters by other means.


ShannonBlack 3 years, 1 month ago

I did not agree not to post I only agreed not post about the principal . However I never agreed not to post about the husband this is america.


KBeet 3 years, 1 month ago

I never agreed not to post I only agreed not to post about the principal. I never agreed not to post about the husband it's America.


Satan69 3 years, 1 month ago

This is the United States of America NOT the United Communist Party of Stephanie Lindsey.  Shannon Black can post whatever she wants.  


MamaTurd 3 years, 1 month ago

I do  not think Miss Black put a blemish anywhere.  Low grad rates and unsafe climate and reading teacher emails put a blemish on the system.


Littlemissmuffett 3 years, 1 month ago

Seriously?  seriously serious?  This is what the school leader is focused on in August? 


dennistay53 3 years, 1 month ago

You can look at things in many ways. I like to always go back to the beginning. I see a lady trying to get help for a child who was getting bullied. She asked for help from school officials but it was swept under the rug- from all indications- There is much evidence of bullying in school systems - i think everyone can agree. Could all of this have been stopped at the outset if proper attention had been given to her problem? I don't have children in school anymore, but if i did i would not want them in a system where bullying complaints were not followed up on. There are many accounts where this leads to violence and death in school systems across America. There needs to be more effort in this school system of following up and solving problems than going after and ignoring the ones pointing out such problems.If it was me i would be finding out why she, and many others have gone to the added expense of feeling they have to move their children out of this system into others or private schools. I stand by my belief that the Carpenters should not and should never have been allowed to work in the same school system and that Mrs Black and all others have the right of free speech. I am proud of her for continuing to exercise it.


OnToday 3 years, 1 month ago

This fishing expedition should have ended long ago. We are so lucky to have such a wonderful superintendent in this county who takes charge and shows true leadership. Of course I am being sarcastic. He'll probably sue me next.


Billy 3 years, 1 month ago

I'd counter sue Lindsey and Carpenter; free speech is free speech. Some people should not be school teachers or admins of same. They'll reap what they've sown, no doubt about that whatsoever...


momofone 3 years, 1 month ago

I have to say that it sounds as though Ms Lindsey was trying to tell Ms Black what she could and could not do. That would not be right as she is an attorney and not a Judge (she lost that election) and there is no law that says that you cannot post what you believe to be true. If Ms Black believed that the information that she received was correct, why would she bother to verify it? Ms Black is not a reporter for a newspaper trying to vet her source, nor is she law enforcement trying to verify the veracity of an informant, she is an every day citizen. Also, last time I looked, there was still a First Amendment to the US Constitution.


tomgahunter 3 years, 1 month ago

I would guess that Ms Carpenter's Lawyer has run up about 80 hours at $250.00 per hour, that's $20,000.00. I would hope that Mr Meadows intends to sue the Carpenters that probably would be another $250,000.00, a very expensive lesson due to the lack of common sense.

Let's all hope that Mr Carpenter finds an out of the county job soon.


FishyFishy 3 years, 1 month ago

While it is obvious that there is a problem with the school system, Miss Black has been on here saying how she has all this evidence and the lawyers have all this evidence and then can't provide said evidence and doesn't even bring an attorney to the deposition. Why in the world did she admit she was wrong when all along she's been saying she's done nothing wrong just getting the "truth" out. She also admitted she didn't think about how the comments would damage the Carpenter's reputations. I'm sorry, but I view this as a win for the plaintiffs. Whether or not it will further their case in the court remains to be seen. I'm concerned this mess is going to get bigger for Miss Black and I hope that everything she says is the truth, up to and including the visitors, the note, the alleged threats.


ShannonBlack 3 years, 1 month ago

Dear Fishy Fishy, I know a lot.  When you are being stared down by bulls you just give in on some things.  The problem you are right is the schools.  There was a fight at this same high school yesterday so there are problems there.  Ask about the fight the teachers told me all about it.  Verify that.


Kodaanddylansmom 3 years, 1 month ago

Why does the Georgia BAR allow an attorney to keep her law license if she sues people using a fake plaintiff? 


Frustrated 3 years, 1 month ago

Why were three reporters allowed to sit in on this depostion and who invited them? Did Lindsey do this to get more publicity? This sounds and looks like Lindseys attempt to embarrass Shannon Black. I have never heard of allowing reporters to sit in on depositions.


Kodaanddylansmom 3 years, 1 month ago

Yes Dennistay you are right they do not want him there - he is the ONLY one to question very bad behavior and to take aim at corruption  and they would love to get him removed if you notice every educator on the BOE has left early it is tough to work with dummies.  


Covingtonian 3 years, 1 month ago

Incredible, that all most of you who have commented can say is how the attorney is wrong in pursuing this issue. Ms.Black has finally come clean and all but admitted to being a liar. If she will lie about small things it sheds a large light on whether she will tell the truth on larger issues. Instead of denouncing her for her deception and treachery some of you are still trying to defend her. I stated some time back that her story was suspect at least. She "may have had" reasons to get upset with a principal or even members of the school board but this lady posted daily under one name or another with all of this so called insider information that was to come out later. There are ways to go about resolving situations without getting in the papers and letting everybody know how backwards this county and some of its citizens are. I said on an earlier blog that I doubted her story about the so called threatening calls and being approached by threatening black males. She should be prosecuted, she has done nothing but stir up hatred toward the board and the Carpenters. As far as to why reporters were present, I thought this was suppose to be a first amendment issue, you mean you don't want to know the real truth? The reporters ensure that the real story is told. Simply disgusting! Finally, I will say again that I too feel that a nepotism policy is needed and enforced but I'm not about to lie and make up stories to get my way.


UGAFan 3 years, 1 month ago

SOO......If you have come out and claimed mutlple screen names, why must you still post under the various names? why not just stick with ShannonBlack??? I was, and still am, on your side, but this dual posting makes you look a little dubious IMO.


BrentLuNae 3 years, 1 month ago

Let's not beat up Ms. Black. She was probably being a "Mama Bear" to her cub and that is how a lot of moms would respond when it comes to their child being bullied. Walk in her shoes first and then comment. She was probably venting through social media because she felt her back against the wall and was receiving no help from the school. It was probably her way of reaching out and hoping someone would come forth and help her.


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