GAFFNEY, S.C. (WSPA) – After a heated mayoral race last year in Gaffney, tensions between the current Mayor’s wife, Ana Moss, and a city council member have landed them both in court battling restraining orders against each other.
On Friday morning, Stephanie Smith, Gaffney city council member for District 2, and her attorney presented more than 35 pages of evidence consisting of Facebook posts and comments in an attempt to prove that Gaffney City Mayor’s wife, Ana Moss, has been harassing her on and off social media.
After a more than five hour long hearing, filled with tears and a deep dive into the details of the alleged harassment, the judge ruled against both requests for a restraining order— stating Smith and Moss’ claims described defamation more than harassment.
“Lawyers disagree all the time and they can disagree with the judges. We disagree we thought we met our burden, we thought we proved our case,” Smith’s Attorney, said.
Smith claimed for the past year she’s been threatened and harassed through Facebook posts written by Ana Moss.
It all started during the mayoral race in 2020, when Randy Moss and Steph Smith went head to head in a nasty political battle for the mayor’s seat.
In Smith’s testimony on Friday, she referenced Facebook posts and comments posted by Ana Moss and alleged Moss said “She needs to be removed from the lives of the citizens of Gaffney” and made statements about her “soul burning in hell.”
Smith said these types of comments have made her fear for not only her safety, but also the safety of her family.
“I’d have to be dead for my soul to burn in hell,” Smith said in court, “I signed up to serve our city, I didn’t sign up to be threatened.”
Some residents have witnessed the posts first hand.
“She was heckled, but that’s Facebook. You need to have thick skin to live in Gaffney. It’s drama, that’s why live out in the country,” David Elmore, a Gaffney resident, said.
To Smith, it’s deeper than Facebook. She’s filed three police reports relating to the alleged harassment and said her mental health has taken a hit over the past year.
However, Ana Moss claims she’s the one that’s being harassed. She said her Facebook page usually consists of posts that empower women or express concerns about the community.
She filed a petition requesting her own restraining order against Smith. In her testimony, Moss accused Smith of using her ‘political power’ as a city council member to publicly attack and humiliate her and her family.
To prove her case, Moss testified about an incident that happened at a meeting in city hall in May, an unfounded and unproven claim that Smith called DSS causing a social worker to visit her home and posts on Steph Smith’s Facebook page.
Several witnesses were called in to testify including Former Assistant Chief of Gaffney Police, Ronald Ramsey, a Randy Moss voter and City Council member Melissa Norris.
Moss’ attorney said it’s believed that Smith filed the restraining order because she’s upset about losing the race for mayor and wants to help her chances if she plans to run for re-election next year— which Smith vehemently denied.
Long time residents said they’re just tired of the drama.
“They need to just keep all their drama at home. Don’t drag it into the office with you. Leave it at home,” William Bristol, 73-year resident of Gaffney, said.
Both parties were denied for their requests for restraining orders. Smith filed a lawsuit against Moss for defamation in June.