Simpsonville taxpayers spend more than $39K in defense against dismissed lawsuit


SIMPSONVILLE, S.C. (WSPA)- A lawsuit brought against the City of Simpsonville has been dismissed. The lawsuit also named the city’s mayor, its police department, and a police officer.

Former city council member Sylvia Lockaby said her first and fourth amendment rights were violated when she was thrown out of a council meeting in 2016.

“I think it was improper of her to have me removed, because it did violate some of my rights,” Lockaby told 7 News in 2016.

Lockaby brought the suit in February of 2018 and was asking for damages.

“It was just completely out of the realm of believeability as far as waiting two years to actually file a lawsuit,” said Simpsonville Mayor Janice Curtis.

7 News obtained documents from the city showing taxpayers have paid nearly $40,000 in legal fees because of the suit. According to the city’s community relations specialist Justin Campbell, the city is still expecting one more legal bill.

“We have several needs here in the community that may not be met simply because we have such a huge legal bill pay because of this,” Curtis said.

According to the suit, the conflict arose at the council meeting after Lockaby was asking about replacing a curb. Before she could ask a follow up question, the mayor interrupted her and said her questions were beyond the scope of the discussion, according to the suit. Meeting minutes show Lockaby refused to stop talking after the mayor called for order.

In court documents filed Monday, a judge said, “The place to resolve these disputes is in the Council Chambers, not years later in a courtroom.”

Lockaby declined to comment on the cost of the defense for the lawsuit. Her attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


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