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Meadors' attorney: Lawsuit dismissal is vindication

COVINGTON -- School board Vice Chair Jeff Meadors and his attorney said they have yet to see a dismissal to be filed by the Alcovy High School principal on her pending lawsuit, but they feel it will be vindication for him.

In a response to the Citizen on Friday, Meadors' attorney Jeff Foster said that he and his client, who won't comment on pending litigation, have been advised that the dismissal will be filed. On Tuesday, Alcovy High School Principal LaQuanda Carpenter said she decided to withdraw her civil defamation suit against Meadors, which was originally filed in April naming 11 "John Does" who commented about Carpenter on the Newton Citizen website. She later dismissed the 11 and alleged that Meadors 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.

"While we evaluate our future options with respect to this case, Jeff Meadors is excited to see an end to this litigation, so that once again the focus of the Newton County Board of Education, and the staff and administrators of the Newton County School System, can be squarely aimed at replicating our successes and overcoming our failures," Foster wrote in a statement. "Throughout the process Jeff Meadors has endeavored to rise above, has appropriately refrained from public comment on pending litigation, has continued to represent his constituents and all students, has been willing to confront problems and shortcomings, and has refused to participate in the circus others have created. This will continue to be his course of action."

He said with the dismissal of the suit, the legal proceedings are finished, and the burdens placed by the plaintiff upon both the school system and Meadors personally will come to an end. Any legal obligation on the part of the Newton County Board of Education to respond to discovery requests submitted as part of this action is also ended. Last week, Foster requested that the BOE provide several documents, including proposed amendments dealing with employees having supervisory roles over their family, investigations of financial mismanagement and consumption of alcohol on school trips and personnel files for Carpenter and her husband Dennis, who also is the deputy superintendent of Operations at NCSS.

Foster remains adamant that Meadors has not blogged about LaQuanda Carpenter, her family or her personal life, as she alleged in her suit.

"Mr. Meadors has never had a need to hide behind anonymity, as he has always been willing to express praise or criticism, whichever is due, publicly and in his own name. Mr. Meadors' hope and prayer for the future is the same as always, the best interest of the students of Newton County," Foster wrote. "Reconciliation and moving forward are important goals that Mr. Meadors hopes are shared by all board members, the superintendent and all employees of the school system; however, the paramount goals of all must be the safety of our children, the academic progress of our children and the preparation of our children for a successful lifetime."

Foster said that Meadors will continue to "vigorously and professionally represent" Newton County students and his constituents.

"No situation is ever improved by ignoring the realities, good or bad," Foster wrote. "Mr. Meadors will continue to address the positives and the negatives brought to him by parents and the public and present those matters to the superintendent and the Board of Education. In other words, Mr. Meadors will continue to do the job he was elected to do."

Foster said, on behalf of himself and Meadors, that "good and reasonable" people should disagree.

"Public discourse on such disagreements is healthy.The job performance of public figures, especially those entrusted with taxpayer funds and the well-being of children, is always a legitimate topic for debate," Foster wrote. "Any effort to dampen or dissuade such vigorous debate should be vehemently opposed by anyone who loves liberty and freedom, regardless of your opinion on the underlying issues. While it may be perfectly legal, and most often an exercise of constitutionally protected rights, the practical reality is that personal attacks are of no value and only serve to take the focus off the issues. Instead of confronting legitimate issues, such an approach creates martyrs and masks the underlying problems. This is true of personal attacks against both of the parties in this case, and of their legal representatives."

Comments

RV30015 2 years, 2 months ago

Fine her and sue her and fire LaQuanda Carpenter.

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Lucy30016 2 years, 2 months ago

Jeff Foster rip Carpenter to shreds in court do NOT let her get away with this there never was a case and the real plintiff was Dennis Carpenter.

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OnToday 2 years, 2 months ago

Vindication is absolutely right. She and her attorney can argue all day that she dropped it because it was right for the community but that is 100% FALSE. She dropped it (or should I say her husband dropped it since he is the real plaintiff) because she knew the documents he was requesting would prove to be a bombshell and make her look worse than she already does. And that is the truth. I would love to see a counter suit, not only for Mr. Meadors to recoup legal fees but also to show the community that there are many, many problems in the school system that need to see the light of day. And it will also show that the people who have spoken out against the Carpenters are 100% right. Remember, the best defense against a libel claim is the truth and by dropping this silly lawsuit they prove that the truth was on the verge of being revealed.

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tomgahunter 2 years, 2 months ago

Good for School board Vice Chair Jeff Meadors . How when are we going to get rid of the Carpenters?

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CadyJackson 2 years, 2 months ago

This is the proper response to the demise of the lawsuit.

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Tatersalad 2 years, 2 months ago

Give her a taste of what she put everyone through. Drag her through the mud.

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Billy 2 years, 2 months ago

Excellent news for Meadors; hopefully, this will result in a new principal for AHS...

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OnToday 2 years, 2 months ago

"While we evaluate our future options with respect to this case, Jeff Meadors is excited to see an end to this litigation,..."

"Future options" tells me they are looking at potentially counter suing. I'm sure his attorney will be able to show that this was a frivolous case that cost people and the court system time and money. Her attorney should have known better than to file this case since there was never any libel. She should be sanctioned by the Bar Association and the Carpenters should be punished too.

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tomgahunter 2 years, 2 months ago

I have just spent 20 minutes saving links to this frivolous suit than I will send to any school system or search firm that is stupid enough to consider either of the Carpenters.

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FedUpJane 1 year, 10 months ago

Please don't..let them become someone else's problem :) Our students deserve a break!

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TheUpside 2 years, 2 months ago

Good for you Tom. I want the paper to show every dollar NCSS spent on this and Meadors and Dockery and Hallman and any others and I want to know.

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tomgahunter 2 years, 2 months ago

Upside good point, My guess is that Meadors has spent about $10,000 on this & the taxpayers have spent over $15,000 on Kent Cambell's bills not to mention how many man days have been wasted by the school board and administration. On the good side while the Carpenters have been fooling around with their frivolus suit they have had less time to screw up other things in NCSS.

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LOVINGLIFE 2 years, 2 months ago

We (as taxpayers) need to be paid back. The county needs this money back , and it needs to be gotten back quickly. Mr. Foster , please do all that you can do to make these people pay back every penny that has been wasted. Our kids and community deserve better than this LAQUANDA .....Please resign...... You're a joke

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ShannonBlack 2 years, 2 months ago

I want the paper to do open records on the RPD items.

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Kodaanddylansmom 2 years, 2 months ago

I will take the LaQuanda carpenter files for 500 Alex.

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Calisweetheart 2 years, 2 months ago

What was Foster sniffing out? How can we know. Citizen ask for a sit down interview with Foster.

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Calisweetheart 2 years, 2 months ago

Fire LaQuanda Carpenter. Man up Mathews!

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Fetacheese 2 years, 2 months ago

I think the citizen needs to have Foster come in and do an interview about what he knows about the school trips and missing money. Lay it all out on the table. This needs to be done exploit their little game of deception.

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tomgahunter 2 years, 1 month ago

When will THE COVINGTON NEWS publish an apoligy to Jeff Meadows??

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TheUpside 2 years, 1 month ago

Don't think too many people read the Covington News much more and the ones who do buy it for a secondary purpose and don't pay much attention but I'd like to see them thrown in a lawsuit as a defendant soon they trash people left and right who taught that in journalism class.

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1_player 2 years, 1 month ago

It's funny that the same people that have been saying "End the lawsuit!" are the same people that are trying to drag this whole thing out.

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