By Al Dozier
A legal battle between the Lexington-Richland District 5 School Board and former school board member Kim Murphy that has been going on for years appears to have come to an end.
While there has been no settlement, the case has been removed from the court docket, according to the school district’s attorney.
“The dismissal of the Kim Murphy litigation was a procedural stipulation by both parties to remove the case from the trial docket,” according to a statement from the district’s attorney. John Reagle. “Potentially, the case could be reinstated pursuant to Court Rules. Because of that, it is not appropriate to further discuss the case, and there is no settlement agreement.”
The school board was seeking $10 million in compensation from Murphy, contending that her legal actions resulted in costly delays in construction projects. Her opposition was based on environmental issues the building plan would have in the Chapin area.
Asked for comment, Murphy’s attorney Paul Porter issued this statement.
“The filing on the docket was a procedural stipulation by both parties to remove the case from the docket. The parties could reinstate the case pursuant to Court Rules. Because of that, it would not be appropriate for me to delve further into the case right now.”
Last year the school board sought to settle the long, contentious legal battle by agreeing to drop the claims if she agreed to not file any further legal actions against the district. Murphy did not agree to that settlement.
As the litigation continued, both parties finally came to an agreement as a June trial date was approaching.
The legal dispute began when she filed an appeal in 2013 after the school board voted to remove her from office. The board sought the removal after determining she lived in Lexington County and was not eligible to serve in the district’s Richland County seat.
Murphy fought that finding, contending that she is a legal resident of Richland County, where she is registered voter. But the courts later upheld her removal.
As the legal battles proceeded, Murphy has continued to attend school board meetings, often raising questions during the public comment period about the district’s spending practices.