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Former Zebulon school headmaster sues accusers

Posted April 20, 2012

— The former headmaster of a Zebulon charter school is suing the school and two female school employees for defamation, civil conspiracy and emotional distress after the women claimed that he inappropriately touched them.

Brandon Smith filed the complaint Friday in Wake County Superior Court, more than three weeks after he was dismissed from East Wake Academy, where he was headmaster for a decade.

Smith has not been charged with any crime, but Zebulon police have said the women filed sexual battery complaints against him.

"It is regrettable that, after 10 years of dedicated service to the students and families of the East Wake Academy community, Brandon Smith has been forced to engage in civil litigation in order to clear his name," Smith's attorney James Hairston said Friday. "He continues to hope for the best for all of the students of East Wake Academy.

Smith claims that two members of East Wake Academy's Board of Directors – Aubrey Edwards and Robin Hicks – and the two teachers concocted accusations that he inappropriately touched and talked to them.

One of the employees, according to the lawsuit, claims that Smith commented on how good she looked in her pants and then followed her into a lounge and "pulled the back of my pants out and down and stated, 'You don't mind if I look at your tattoo, do you?'"

The other employee accused Smith of making comments on several occasions about her sleeping (delete space) with him, according to court documents.

"The allegations are of a sexual nature and are per se libelous and slanderous and to such an extent that they have effectively destroyed the reputation of the plaintiff in his profession as an educator and have permanently ruined any opportunity for plaintiff to work in his established profession in the future," the lawsuit states.

Calls to Edward Williams, the attorney for East Wake Academy's Board of Directors, weren't immediately returned Friday afternoon.


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  • ashwednesday36 Apr 26, 2012

    April 12th around this time apparent people "in the know" has suggested that this "whole thing will be over within a week due to lack of evidence." It is almost exactly two weeks later and the computers are still being investigated. 2penny suggested that people who were treated poorly get together and that has happened.....contrary to the suggestion that I am somehow schizo. Discrediting me is not working. Nothing I have said here (so far) has been proven incorrect. There have just been rude people advancing threats. 2penny.....keep searching and you will connect with someone that will get you in touch with us. Sooner or later the investigation will end.

  • ashwednesday36 Apr 24, 2012

    You know....2penny, that might be a good idea. There are many on here that are phishing to try and find out who is whom, but they have ulerior motives. If RL is who they purport to be then maybe some of us can get named in the lawsuit and start sending out subpoenas to those who have been victimized. Note, however, that subpoenas would be necessary to avoid any conflict with the FERPA laws.

  • lemonlime Apr 24, 2012

    But 2penny... How to get together without revealing identities on here publicly?

  • 2penny Apr 24, 2012

    Is there an organization of persons who feel they were discriminated against by the EWA board or Mr. Smith? Has anyone contacted or retained an attorney to collect information which might substantiate the claims against Mr. Smith? I know that people who felt victimized at EWA are gun-shy about coming forward. Perhaps an organized effort of all those with grievances might put the issue to rest more quickly. I would be interested in communicating with a group such as this.

  • ashwednesday36 Apr 24, 2012

    As I said, once aain there is the avoidance of addresing the pertinant issues. The case quoted has nothing to do with the case at hand. Feel free to throw threats around all you like. I'd be happy to ask/subpoena the math teacher who was yelled at by several members of the administrative staff in an effort to make him "jump." I'll be happy to ask Joe to vist NC again to tell the story of how he was told he could finish the school year, but was let go the last day of school prior to spring break. And the list goes on and on. This investigation will end soon and Brandon will be quite busy when it's all over.....or should I say just beginning. You can keep your threats! I will continue to act civil regardless, in the face of the rude comments and the threats here.

  • raleighlaw1996 Apr 24, 2012

    ashwednesday when you hire your attorney the following may be benificial to your case - the defendent pled schizophrenia

    ADDINGTON v. TEXAS, 441 U.S. 418 (1979)
    441 U.S. 418
    No. 77-5992.
    Argued November 28, 1978
    Decided April 30, 1979

  • ashwednesday36 Apr 24, 2012

    In reading back through these strands I have to correct soemthing so that people (some people) here can avoid getting caught up in this mind set. Some here are operating on an incorrect assumption. They are assuming that I am one person!!!!

  • ashwednesday36 Apr 24, 2012

    For the record I went back and read as many of my posts as I could find. I have never said that “Brandon did it.” I have always used “allegations” “accusers” and “alleged actions” in some way shape or form. I have simply provided some details of which I am familiar about this man’s character as well as board members. For example……why would the accuser’s emails get turned off? Why would Brandon be informed of these accusations prior to the board itself? The proper etiquette in such an instance would have been to lock down Brandon’s computers and conduct the investigation IN HOUSE. Had that SIMPLE task been done this would have probably never become public and Brandon may have ended up with a reprimand and required to attend sensitivity training IF he had been found guilty. SO why did the women go to the police? Because the board would never do those things! An HR department would have.

  • ashwednesday36 Apr 24, 2012

    continued from cut off post......and you are not advancing a good view of you.

  • ashwednesday36 Apr 24, 2012

    So why would the police be holding information?........Brandon is making their case for them. An accused person would be better served to sit quietly and await the investigation (just as many here have suggested that we all do). However, he has been quoted: “I have not harmed anyone.” He has filed a $30,000 (that figure quoted from the N&O) lawsuit against the accusers AND THE SCHOOL before the investigation against him is even completed. Just curious…..does he really think that, at 57, 30K will take care of him for the rest of his life? Just wondering. As long as Brandon is giving them more and more by his words and actions they will allow him to keep going. It will make him look worse IF they have found anything to let him dig that hole.