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Lawsuit an ongoing story in Newton

COVINGTON — An unusual lawsuit filed by a principal in the Newton County School System served as a focus for many readers for about half of 2012.

Alcovy High School Principal LaQuanda Carpenter, whose husband is NCSS Deputy Superintendent for Operations Dennis Carpenter, filed a suit in Newton County in April naming 11 “John Does” who commented about Carpenter on the Newton Citizen website. The lawsuit claimed that Carpenter had “experienced enormous suffering and damage to her reputation in the community and to her trade or profession” as a result of the website postings.

Carpenter, through Newton County attorney Stephanie Lindsey, was seeking court costs and monetary damages to be determined by a jury.

Three of the defendants were dismissed from the suit in late April, and in June, the complaint was amended to add Newton County Board of Education Vice Chair Jeff Meadors to the list of defendants. Carpenter claimed that Meadors was slanderous and malicious in making false statements about her profession to expose her to public hatred, contempt or ridicule.

She alleged that Meadors made comments on the Newton Citizen website under pseudonyms or gave information obtained through his capacity as a board member to others who made the comments. He denied the allegations.

Also in June, Newton County Superior Court Judge Eugene Benton granted the Newton Citizen’s motion to quash a subpoena seeking information from the newspaper that would identify the anonymous posters named in the lawsuit.

The subpoena requested from the Citizen all information and documents sufficient to identify the names, addresses and telephone numbers associated with those named in the lawsuit, as well as documents reproducing the texts of the comments from Jan. 1, 2011, to present and all server logs, IP address logs, account information, account access records and application or registration forms related to those named.

In August, all of the remaining eight “John Does” were dropped from the lawsuit, leaving Meadors as the only defendant.

In October, after several depositions, Carpenter withdrew the lawsuit, which she said was an effort to end divisiveness in the community.

Dennis Carpenter recently was named superintendent of a school district in near Kansas City, Mo.

Comments

NoSPLOST 1 year, 11 months ago

I never saw a single fact to prove anyone did anything to anyone. If she wanted to end divisiveness in the county then why the hell did she file a lawsuit without even consulting Gary Mathews - a man with many years of leadership experience who could have likely told her that disrupting peoples' lives over high school drama when skeletons are stacked in your closet - is not only a bad idea but won't go away fast. She deserves all of the lingering chaos of this she gets.

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Thishonky 1 year, 11 months ago

There was zero basis for this suit. Zero. Nothing there. Just a wimpy attitude of some school leaders up to their eyeballs in documents they were afraid to have exposed. Keep the heat on both of them until June 30th.

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eyewitness 1 year, 11 months ago

Interesting. The husband who was probably behind this leaves town after making budget oversights - leaves town July 1. The principal who filed this is on leave and who knows if she will come back - could be a tough haul to the end of the school year and she is moving with him - nepotism travels to MO huh? And the supt who failed to take the lead and fire one of these two is leaving town after saying in the past he planned to be here 5 and likely 7 years. Bloggers are still blogging. The attorney who thought her judgeship would be built on some butthurt frivolous case lost her election and her signs stand to this day on the side of the road with Vote for me July 31st on them. A sad town. And yes, Baxter is not sending their kids to schools like this anytime soon. It takes a while to clean this mess up.

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Shart15 1 year, 11 months ago

This whole ordeal was a lose lose for Carpenter, Lindsey and the Covington News. Wow. A win win for free speech and commenters.

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Lucy30016 1 year, 11 months ago

Big mistake to have a married couple in this situation especially the way this one was handled whoa! I keep hearing about the involvement in this case of the covington news and a reporter there. Can the Citizen paper put out an editorial on this? Inquiring minds want to know.

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RV30015 1 year, 11 months ago

i have no idea why these transient carpenters tried to take him own - didn't they know Meadors would kick their butts. What evidence is there? I never have heard a word of defamation or seen a sentence of libel anywhere here or elsewhere to warrant the Carpenters' suit. I hope he is not finished with this ilk. The genius was retaining a former Newton DA to kick them into Kansas City - hey LaQuanda where are your records from 2009 to 2012 on money at Alcovy High your email on October 9th said you welcomed that investigation - well let's have it.

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Thishonky 1 year, 11 months ago

Jeff Foster is a bulldog in the courtroom. Lindsey knew she had no chance because no one successfully sues anyone over some hurt feelings in news columns. I imagine this is just the start of the Carpenters' troubles as they strive for these high positions but can't take the heat that goes with them. Good riddance to bad rubbish.

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ThePublicGood 1 year, 11 months ago

We still have a great board member who writes informative pieces. We lost a candidate for judge who we never wanted. We are losing two divisive employees who have been disasters to NCSS IMO since they came here. We are losing a Super who had no chance - what a mess like herding cats but I do think he should have disciplined these Carpenters there is enough there. We saw the true colors of our Chamber President and the colors ran out of the room from what I saw after he acting like an adolescent boy. Hey Baxter, try us back in 10 years for education.

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MamaTurd 1 year, 11 months ago

If you are a high school principal and some web comments cause you "enormous suffering" then you need to get lost. This woman better never run for public office or try for a higher job in a school system she will end up in the ER with "enormous suffering" and "damage to her trade." If anyone ruined her in the community it was her stupidity in filling a lawsuit like this. This ain't no leader.

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OnToday 1 year, 11 months ago

The suit was dropped after several depositions, and soon after they bolt for a struggling district all the way out in Kansas City. You do the math.

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KimberlyD 1 year, 11 months ago

Goodbye and good riddance, they are now someone else's problem. The entire situation look fishy anyways. She appeared to be more about her & what she could stir up than the children.

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pebbles 1 year, 11 months ago

Thnigs like this in the school system is why my husband and I have our children in private schools. Education is more important than petty stuff like this.

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Billy 1 year, 11 months ago

Yes, pebbles, the most important point, now that the Public School drama queen has ended her reign, ala Barney Fife. Public schools are a joke. Do everything you can to get your kids into another place to be educated; either private or legitimate home schooling. If that is completely impossible, pray for them every single day they're at the PS...

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Grandcanyon 1 year, 11 months ago

Thank u Public Good you are so right on. Amen to that. and it more like herding cattle. hahaha

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ShannonBlack 1 year, 11 months ago

Yes all of this is not important, the lawsuit petty, the Education important. Kimberly your right the whole thing was really a big joke and it has just gotten worse as it has gone on. I hope the next school system can handle them.

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Henrycounselor 1 year, 11 months ago

The thing is pebbles is the NCSS didnt have to let this keep going. It got completly out of hand. However it just goes to show where the power is and isn't but I think now they all see through all of this.

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Satan69 1 year, 11 months ago

@ Nosplost your right and then some. I mean with all of this chaos comes consequence and I think the back fire of all of this was to much for them.

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suerprincipal 1 year, 11 months ago

I wonder if quan will try for a principal position in Kansas? Lord help them if she does.

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