Kim Murphy, former Lexington-Richland 5 board member, files suit - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Kim Murphy, former Lexington-Richland 5 board member, files suit against district

Kim Murphy was eventually removed from the Lexington-Richland 5 board following a 6-1 vote. Kim Murphy was eventually removed from the Lexington-Richland 5 board following a 6-1 vote.
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

A former member of the Lexington-Richland District 5 school board of trustees has filed a complaint against the district alleging she was defamed by several fellow board members while she was on the board.

Kim Murphy, the former Richland County delegate, filed the suit over a week ago in Richland County.

In the suit, Murphy alleges board members conspired to have her removed from the board after questions arose over her residency.

The board eventually voted 6-1 to remove her after a report by the Budget and Control Board said Murphy did not live in the county she represented on the board. Murphy, however, has said she pays taxes, files to run for office, and votes in Richland County.

The former board member also accuses a Budget and Control Board member, Bobby Bowers, of being part of the "scheme" to have her removed.

Murphy also says board members allowed public speakers to berate and attack her during public comment periods.

"Such speakers were supported and even encouraged by [Board Chairman Robert] Gantt, other Board members, and those attending the meeting," said the suit. "These attacks far exceeded the threshold of typical or acceptable criticism of public figures."

Murphy, who was elected to the board in 2010, has long been at odds with many of the decisions made by the district. She was also well-known as a leader of an effort to kill a $244 million referendum aimed at upgrading Chapin High and other district schools.

Murphy eventually filed a legal challenge against the district alleging the expansion at Chapin High would damage a nearby creek. Critics, however, accused her of using the argument as a delay tactic.

The suit ended up in the state Supreme Court, where judges ruled in favor of the district.

The district has declined to comment on the lawsuit.

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