Local News

Former Zebulon school headmaster sues accusers

Posted April 20, 2012 3:34 p.m. EDT
Updated April 20, 2012 5:07 p.m. EDT

— 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.