Judge rules on motions in Stokes v. Oconee et al

The case of a former building department head against his former employer Oconee County and others will remain in the pre-trial stage, as the result of rulings made today by a Common Pleas judge. It’s the case that David Stokes filed in 2017 against the county and two council members alleging slander and wrongful termination. Judge McIntosh made nine rulings on motions argued during a May 28 hearing at Walhalla. Some he granted, some he denied, and it appears all parties won some and lost some. At the heart of Stokes’ case is his claim that council members Cammick and McCall made slanderous comments about him during a meeting of the council’s budget committee. About that, McIntosh made this ruling: “The plaintiff is a public official and he would have to establish malice under New York Times v. Sullivan (1964). Defendants’ motion for summary judgment is granted in that the complaint expressly alleges that individual defendants’ purported conduct was in their official capacity. Plaintiff failed to present a scintilla of evidence that individual defendants acted outside of their official capacity.”