COVINGTON -- Newton County Board of Education Vice Chair Jeff Meadors said he has not been informed if he has to follow any special protocol while on the board since being named in a school system employee's lawsuit.
On Friday, Alcovy High School Principal LaQuanda Carpenter added Meadors to her lawsuit against eight other "John Does" who commented negatively about her on the Newton Citizen website.
She claims that Meadors was slanderous and malicious in making false statements about her profession to expose her to public hatred, alleging that he made comments on the Citizen website under pseudonyms or gave information obtained through his capacity as a board member to others who made the comments.
Meadors has denied the claims.
Newton County School System Superintendent Gary Mathews said Tuesday that he is not aware of any necessity for Meadors to recuse himself regarding matters related to Carpenter or Alcovy High School at this time, but has deferred the matter to school board attorney Kent Campbell for further guidance. Meadors said Tuesday that he has had no correspondence from Campbell since the May 15 school board meeting, and Campbell did not respond to the Citizen as of press time Tuesday.
Mathews said any recommendations related to Carpenter's husband, Dr. Dennis Carpenter, who is deputy superintendent of operations at NCSS, have come from Mathews during his tenure.
"I have insisted on this separation as the result of the marital relationship," Mathews said Tuesday.
Additionally, Mathews said he now makes all personnel recommendations to the board, and Carpenter has not been involved at executive sessions for personnel for the past several weeks at the request of Mathews.
"I believe such is in everyone's best interest for now," Mathews said.
Meadors said he plans to continue to conduct himself in a professional manner and represent the voters who elected him and continue to support him.
"I will fight to the finish and if the electorate of District 1 is fed up with me after the next two years or sends me packing, then I will go my way," he said. "But until that time, I will fight like a dog for student achievement and will not lie down and roll over for anyone tossing lies about me into litigation."
Meadors said Tuesday that he has contacted an attorney.