Former Councilwoman Pam Murray has filed suit against District 5 Councilman Jamie Hollin and 11 of her former constituents, alleging they defamed her character leading up to her eventual ouster during November’s special recall election.
The suit, filed in Davidson County Circuit Court on Monday, calls for $500,000 in compensatory damages and $500,000 in punitive damages from each defendant. In total, Murray is seeking $12 million in damages.
Throughout the 13-page suit, Hollin, who represents parts of East Nashville on the council, is incorrectly referred to as “Hollins.”
Other defendants listed in the suit were part of a group that called itself “We the People of District 5,” an organization led by Hollin that collected signatures to recall Murray. Opponents accused Murray, who at the time, worked in Detroit, of being unresponsive to the concerns of constituents.
“It’s deeply troubling that a former member of the Metro Council would sue her constituents when those individuals supported her political opposition,” Hollin told The City Paper.
In November, Hollin defeated Murray in a special election by a mere two votes, capping off months of bitter campaigning that began when Hollin started collecting signatures for the recall. Murray had held the council seat since 2003.
The suit contends Hollin and defendants, among others things, began to draft false and defamatory statements “impugning the character, veracity and integrity” of Murray.
Statements allegedly made by Hollin and others that Murray objects to include claims that she “lives and works in Detroit,” “supports out-of-town landlords,” “misused nearly $40,000 of your taxdollars,” and “is under investigation for lying about working in Detroit since 2003.”
“It’s a real showing of desperation, but I have full faith and confidence in the legal system,” Hollin said.