21 Mar Councilwoman kicked out of Simpsonville meeting sues city
Simpsonville City Council meeting (file/FOX Carolina)
SIMPSONVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) –
A woman who was kicked out of a Simpsonville City Council meeting in 2016 has filed a lawsuit against the city, the mayor and the Simpsonville Police Department.
In February 2016, councilwoman Sylvia Lockaby was in a city council meeting where officials were discussing a curb replacement on Aster Drive.
During the discussion, Lockaby was recognized and had the floor where she asked the city administrator about the issue saying, "I’m stating a fact that we have storm water issues all over the city. Is this opening up a can of worms?"
According to the lawsuit, Mayor Janice Curtis tried to interrupt the discussion before calling for order.
Lockaby was eventually ejected from the meeting after Curtis told an officer with the Simpsonville Police Department, "I need her out," the lawsuit states.
Following the incident, Curtis issued the following statement:
“I am saddened that Mrs. Lockaby has not been able to accept me as Mayor and the fact that she lost.
She has demonstrated lack of respect for the entire community with the choice she made last night to not be called into order.
My community has been through such a sad, uncontrollable, unprofessional experience over the past few years.
I was voted in office to bring order back and that began last night.”
Lockaby filed a lawsuit on Feb. 9 against Curtis, the city, the Simpsonville Police Department and the officer who escorted her out of the meeting, suing for Constitutional rights violation, gross negligence and false seizure.
According to the lawsuit, Lockaby was restrained and confined without legal justification and in violation of her right to free speech. She is suing for damages and has requested a jury trial.
In regards to the lawsuit, city officials said they cannot comment on pending litigation.
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