GAFFNEY, S.C. (WSPA) – A Gaffney city councilmember has filed a lawsuit against the City’s mayor and a restraining order against the mayor’s wife.
“There’s no doubt that our city endured a tumultuous election last year, but, as far as I’m concerned–and many others are concerned–that ended in August of last year,” City Councilwoman Steph Smith said.
Steph Smith serves as the City Council Representative for District Two in Gaffney.
Last year, she ran against Randy Moss for Mayor. It was close, there was a run-off election, and Moss won. Smith said that was that.
But, nearly a year later, Smith told 7 News the rivalry has intensified between the new mayor’s family and herself–so much so that she’s filed a lawsuit against Moss, his campaign committee, and the mayor’s wife, Ana Moss, accusing them of slander.
“In the recent months, it seems to have just escalated,” Smith said. “The rants and the posts that she has made, conversations and remarks, are becoming more geared towards inciting anger and violent behavior.”
Smith has filed three police reports for harassment, and she’s also filed for a restraining order against Ana Moss.
These all stem, she said, from posts made on Facebook.
“Unfortunately, whenever people use that as a tool to hurt others, or to spread misinformation, or to spread things that are simply not true, that’s whenever social media can become a weapon,” Smith said. “A lot of people feel that anyone can type or say anything on social media and not have any real repercussions for it; but it’s really unfair and it’s really unjust if you’re the victim of that.”
According to a police report, Smith claims Moss had been harassing her on social media since April of 2020 and that it had gotten worse recently.
“She is saying that we need to be removed from the lives of the citizens of Gaffney,” Smith said. “That, to me, is crossing the line, and that, to me, brings in safety and wellbeing issues, not only just for me, but, most importantly, my family.”
Records show deputies attempted to serve Moss with a notice of the restraining order seven different times, but were unable to make contact with her.
Instead, the sheriff served her at the new police chief’s swearing-in ceremony on Friday.
Moss posted about Smith again on Facebook on Saturday.
We reached out to Ana Moss. She told us she had no comment.
We also reached out to her husband, the mayor, but we’re still waiting to hear back.
“I hate that it’s come to this point, I really do; but we felt that it was time to let the legal and judicial system do what it is intended to do, and that is to protect citizens,” Smith said.
Steph Smith and Ana Moss will be in court over the restraining order next Tuesday, July 13th, at 9:30 a.m.