Marjorie Ball has been injured by the rumors and innuendo circling the community about her husband, former Lander University President Dan Ball, according to the latest filing in a lawsuit filed last year.
In an amended complaint, she has been added as a plaintiff to the lawsuit her husband filed against his former employer, its board of trustees, current University President Richard Cosentino and the Lander Foundation. The document also adds Greg Lovins, who retired two years ago as Lander vice president for business and administration.
The filing, which claims defamation, takes issue with his treatment and the actions of defending parties in relation to the state Office of Inspector General’s investigation into allegations of misconduct and misspending, including that no release or statement was issued telling the public the probe had closed without criminal charges.
The defendants have denied any wrongdoing.
Ball filed the lawsuit March 15, 2019, initially naming The Index-Journal Co. as one of the plaintiffs. Ball contended the newspaper, which was working on a larger project about the Lander Foundation investigations, had erred in not reporting that the investigations had ended without criminal charges.
The newspaper was dropped from the lawsuit after it published a front-page story reporting that no criminal charges resulted from an OIG investigation and subsequent State Law Enforcement Division investigation into how money was spent at the Lander Foundation. An amended complaint was filed March 27, 2019.
A second amended complaint was added Oct. 1. In arguing for the new filing, the plaintiffs pointed to new information that came to light during the case.
“During the May 29, 2020 deposition of CPA Charles Schulze, Plaintiff learned the identity of Greg Lovins as the person whose name had been redacted by the Office of Inspector General and whose actions/inactions were central to the damage done to Plaintiff and Mrs. Ball,” according to a motion to amend complaint.
According to the amended filing, Schulze told Cosentino and Lovins that he saw no evidence of wrongdoing and warned the pair not to publicly repeat allegations of potential criminal wrongdoing during an investigation a warning the Balls allege Cosentino did not follow.
“As the Balls have tried to live their lives in Greenwood post-retirement, instead of enjoying a relaxing atmosphere where they could enjoy time in the community and visit the campus they spent 15 years nurturing with love and loyalty, they have been excluded from events and gatherings that they would have been invited to had the defendants not perpetuated the untruths and salacious comments,” the filing said.
The defendants have 30 days to respond to the new complaint after being served.