A recreational kickball league umpire in Moncks Corner, South Carolina has filed a lawsuit against the town’s mayor alleging he had him fired after a confrontation during a game, the Post and Courier reported Friday.
Umpire Graylnn Moran called Mayor Michael Locklier’s adult son out at the plate during a game in August. In the bottom of the eighth inning, the mayor’s son was running past third base toward home when a player from the opposite team tagged the mayor’s son with the ball, according to the Post and Courier.
The mayor, who also plays on the team, then came out of the dugout and berated the umpire. He is accused of “slander, inflicting emotional distress, interfering with a contract and conspiring with town officials to get the umpire reassigned,” over the incident.
“He was past the plate. Are you stupid?” the mayor said, according to the suit. “That’s ridiculous. You don’t need to be getting $25. You should be paying us $25!”
“You’re a player for The Town of Moncks Corner,” Moran allegedly replied. “Calm down. You’re representing the town.”
The mayor responded: “I own this town! You won’t have to worry about representing this town anymore because you won’t be back out here,” the lawsuit states.
In an interview with the Post and Courier, Locklier admitted to the confrontation.
“I’m very competitive, and I would have argued that call even if it wasn’t my son,” Lockliear said in late August. “In my position, I probably should have let it go. But I wanted to win the game.”
Moran was making $25 per game to officiate and earned $3,600 in total from the profession. The lawsuit also names Town Recreation Director Becky Ellison, Charleston Officials SC CEO William Hamm and the Town of Moncks Corner, according to the Post and Courier.
Ellison called Charleston Officials SC and asked that Moran be assigned to games other than the town’s after the dispute occurred. Shortly thereafter, Moran received a text from Hamm saying the town “needed a break from his officiating,” effectively firing him.
Moran’s attorney has also sent a letter to Henry McMaster, the governor of South Carolina, and Attorney General Alan Wilson asking for an investigation into the mayor for “misconduct in office.”
“I didn’t think it would go this far,” Moran said. “I haven’t heard anything from the mayor, not an apology or anything. If he can’t be a man and approach me and talk about it, then he doesn’t deserve to be mayor.”
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