COVINGTON -- Kevin Dockery, a former teacher at Alcovy High School, said he received an email on his personal email account Monday from attorney Stephanie Lindsey's email address informing him that he could be named in the defamation lawsuit of LaQuanda Carpenter v. Jeff Meadors, unless he settles beforehand.
"Based upon information we have obtained thus far, we anticipate naming you in this lawsuit," the email to Dockery reads. "As a courtesy, I would like to extend to you an opportunity to discuss a confidential settlement of this matter."
If Dockery or his attorney did not contact her office by noon Tuesday, the email said Lindsey would schedule a deposition for him at 2 p.m. Aug. 28 in her office in Covington.
Dockery, who taught at Alcovy for four years and now lives five hours away in Tennessee, said he didn't respond by the deadline because of the short notice and his business with the new school year beginning for him.
"I don't yet know how I will respond to all of this. I am disappointed that they waited until school started to begin pulling people away from their jobs as educators to address this nonsense, when they had all summer to deal with it," Dockery said. "I don't exactly have time to be dealing with something that, quite frankly, is an unfortunate annoyance."
He would be deposed for the suit, which involves Alcovy High School LaQuanda Carpenter claiming defamation against Newton County Board of Education Vice Chair Jeff Meadors. Carpenter claims that Meadors has made false statements about her on the Newton Citizen website under pseudonyms or gave information obtained through his capacity as a board member to others who made the comments.
Meadors, who previously was sent a cease and desist letter, has denied these claims and has yet to be deposed.
In June, Lindsey also sent Dockery a cease and desist letter via his email to stop posting defamatory and slanderous comments referencing Carpenter and her husband Dennis, who is deputy superintendent of Operations at NCSS.
"I remain adamant that I did nothing wrong and would ask that Mrs. Lindsey send me evidence of wrongdoing, clear evidence of any libel and subsequent damages that she claims has resulted from it, and how or why she believes I am involved," Dockery said. "I would rather not deal with hearsay and emailed threats of litigation and would instead prefer to deal with facts."
In the suit, Carpenter is seeking to recover punitive damages, court costs and attorney fees, as well as "special damages" suffered as a result of "malicious injuries" to her profession and general damages she has incurred as a result of the defendants' "malicious acts and omissions," both in an amount to be determined by a jury, according to the suit.
Originally, 11 "John Does" were named in the suit,, alleging that they made defamatory statements on the Citizen website, and on Thursday, Lindsey filed a motion to dismiss all "John Does," leaving Meadors in the suit.
Lindsey did not return an email inquiry seeking comment as of presstime Tuesday.