Former Swansea head football coach files lawsuit against Lexington School District 4
Hopes of Gregory Wright getting reinstated as head football coach and athletics director at Swansea High School were dashed following Thursday’s inaction by Lexington School District 4.
He and his attorney Lewis Cromer now seek a “new playing field” to gain a positive resolution in their case. During a Friday press conference at Cromer’s office, it was announced a lawsuit was filed with the 11th circuit court in Lexington County.
“To the district, I would say that you had your opportunity to resolve this case without spending any more money other than what had already been budgeted for the remainder of the coach’s contract year,” said Cromer, who was the only person to speak at the press conference attended by Wright. You did not do so and now the district must pay a heavy price.”
The 10-page lawsuit, which seeks $300,000 plus punitive damages, makes the following allegations:
Defamation on the part of the District. Cromer stated through their employees, negative comments, both verbal and in writing, were made against Wright which were used to dismiss him as head football coach and demote him last February from the AD position.
Defamation on the part of Superintendent Linda Lavender, Associate Superintendent Justin Nutter, Swansea High assistant principal Gib Lackey, Swansea Middle School principal Craig Baker and school nurse Laura and her husband Larry Sebok. Wright alleged in the lawsuit the parties “falsely accused” him of “incompetence, negligence, violations of laws and policies on numerous occasions” to people outside the district.
Civil Conspiracy on the part of the defendants. Wright alleged Nutter, Baker, Lavender and Laura Sebok took actions outside the course and scope of their employment to make him “appear complicit in wrongs he did not commit.” The defendants are also alleged to have “met and schemed with district officials and others to disparage and defame” Wright.
Interference with contractual relations on the part of the defendants. The lawsuit claims Nutter, Baker, Lavender, Lackey and the Seboks “unjustifiably interfered with” the contractual relationship between Wright and the district in violation of state law. They would inform Wright’s supervisors that he was not performing his duties as a coach and athletics director.
Through Cromer, Wright thanked his supporters and encouraged his former players not to be “disheartened and downcast” by the recent events. While Wright will be on the stand or even the stands, Cromer said “his heart and soul will be” with all of them.
There are no future plans for interviews and press conferences by Wright until the conclusion of the lawsuit. Regardless of the outcome, Cromer is confident his client will overcome this setback and move on with his “successful” career in athletics.
The school district office was closed Friday. Attempts to reach their attorney, Ashley White of White and Story LLC, were unsuccessful at this time.
Wright had coached two seasons at Swansea and amassed a 7-15 record with two playoff appearances.