By Paul Gable
A lawsuit, with former SCGOP chairman Chad Connelly, the SCGOP executive committee and the SCGOP as defendants, will have a mediation hearing next week in an attempt to settle the case before trial.
The lawsuit was filed by Republican Party member Brian Frank on April 25, 2013 in Cherokee County court. Frank’s complaint alleges Connelly both slandered and libeled him with a series of verbal bombs in a speech to the Cherokee County GOP and in an e-mail to a wide group of party members.
In those two diatribes, Connelly compared Frank to the recent ‘Boston bombers’, accused him of “rant(ing) endlessly hateful stuff” and said Frank “has threatened me and my family.” Speaking about Frank, Connelly said, “I’m going to crush him.”
Connelly’s lawyers were unsuccessful in obtaining a summary dismissal of the case. In a motion for summary dismissal, the SCGOP attorneys basically argued both Frank and Connelly are public figures and that Connelly’s comments were in a public, political venue, thereby exempting him from the laws governing libel and slander.
The argument did not work.
Shortly before the motion for dismissal was heard, Connelly moved from the SCGOP to a national position as Director of Faith Engagement for GOP Faith, a new Republican outreach campaign to conservative Christians.
Frank said he is perfectly willing to have the case go to trial if an equitable arrangement cannot be reached at next week’s mediation hearing.
“I am willing to let this go to a public jury trial for all the humiliation I was put through,” Frank said recently.