In 2003, Ray McBerry quit his high school teaching job in Henry County after a mother accused him of having an improper relationship with her 16-year-old daughter, a student at a neighboring school.
A state licensing board later sanctioned the teacher, who admitted to lying to school officials about meeting the girl.
On Monday, McBerry, a former Republican candidate for governor, sued the mother of the young woman and the operators of a southwest Georgia political blog for accusing him of “child molestation” during his unsuccessful political campaign.
The suit was filed in Henry County Superior Court. It alleges that Linda Pittman, mother of Rachel Gandee, “stated falsely, with actual malice, that [McBerry] had committed the crime of child molestation” on a Facebook page.
Also named in the suit were Jeff Sexton and Thomas Knighton, operators of SWGA Politics, an Albany-based blog.
McBerry’s relationship with the young girl was an issue in the campaign — former secretary of state Karen Handel, the only female candidate for governor, refused to appear on stage with him.
McBerry, who ran on a states’ rights platform and received 2.5 percent of the vote in the July primary, alleges that Pittman, Sexton and Knighton engaged in a “civil conspiracy” against him and “acted tortuously, intentionally, and maliciously with the specific intent to cause harm.”
Pittman, a breast cancer patient, confirmed service of the suit.
Read the background here. We’ll post a link to the lawsuit as soon as we get near a scanner.
- By Jim Galloway, Political Insider