Folly Beach Mayor Pro Tem files lawsuit as council speaks of 'threats'

Eddie Ellis' lawyer: proposed censure is 'highly unprecedented'

FOLLY BEACH, SC (WCSC) - Folly Beach Mayor Pro Tempore Eddie Ellis has filed a lawsuit against five city council members as council prepares to take up a resolution to censure him. In a lawsuit filed on Friday, Ellis seeks to stop council from attempting to remove him from his position as Mayor Pro Tem.

The lawsuit filed on Ellis' behalf states the city is retaliating against him for his opinions on controversial matters, and his possible candidacy for mayor.

The suit names council members Pennel Clamp, Sandra Hickman, Paul Hume, Tom Scruggs, Dale Stuckey and the City of Folly Beach as defendants.

According to the suit, the five council members agreed to co-sponsor two resolutions seeking to remove Ellis from office, and did so in a secret session out of the "public's opportunity to observe the process."

Folly Beach City Council is expected to take up a resolution on Tuesday to censure Ellis because of bad behavior and threats, according to council members.

City Council Member Pennell Clamp claimed in an affidavit that Ellis called him on June 25 and called Clamp "every dirty word in the book," and used the "n-word." According to Clamp, Ellis said he hoped to see his name in the newspaper the next day in the obituaries.

In another affidavit, City Council Member Tom Scruggs reported that four years ago, Ellis came to his home and pounded on the front door while screaming that he "had better open the door."

Scruggs said before the incident, Ellis had left messages on his voice mail "directing profanity" at Scruggs due to a stance Scruggs had on an issue. According to Scruggs, Ellis later apologized for the incident.

City Council Member Dale Stuckey said in an affidavit that Ellis let a message on her voice mail on June 27 at 1:44 a.m. in which Ellis wished Stuckey "would go back to where it is that [she] came from."

According to Stuckey, the message was two minutes long with Ellis ending the message by saying,"I'll see you around." Stuckey said she found the message "not only frightening but also disturbing and non-professional."

Former Folly Beach Mayor LaVern James also said in an affidavit that last summer as he was cutting his grass, Ellis came over to him and said,"I hope your cancer kills you soon so you can die and go to hell."

An affidavit states Ellis said a number of things about James' personal life and religion, which James said was "extremely rude and demeaning."

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