Pam Murray sues councilman, former constituents

Wednesday, August 11, 2010 at 1:14am

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.


13 Comments on this post:

By: Lischey_Ave on 8/11/10 at 4:20

Our former councilwoman doesn't need to blame others for "defaming" her character...she manages to do it all on her own.

By: house_of_pain on 8/11/10 at 5:43

Don't go away mad, just go away.

By: wayitis on 8/11/10 at 6:41

Will the Nashville metro Black Caucus come to her aide? The Black Caucus deals with a variety of issues and is the voice of minority and women's issues in the state legislative halls.

By: girliegirl on 8/11/10 at 6:54

@watitis You'd think they would. Unless there was legitimate "proof" that could be upheld in a court of law, those salacious comments in that ad would most certainly qualify her claim. Defamation? Duh.

By: budlight on 8/11/10 at 7:35

Well she needs to include me in her law suit and countless others who think she was not a good councilperson. And when is being a bad govment official racial? Her "peps" spoke with their vote and SHE LOST. She's just a sore loozer! Hope the courts can figure that one out.

She lives in music city and worked out of state? Boring!

By: trtay2004 on 8/11/10 at 8:30

She needs to be concerned about her own business and move on. Why did TBI have a search warrant for your house Pam? Why did a U-Haul come last week and move a bunch of stuff out? What's going on?

By: Thetaxgod on 8/11/10 at 9:49

This has little to do with whether or not you appreciated her as a council woman. Its about defamation. Year after year we are seeing candidates running for office say and do anything in a campaign to discredit their opponent. There are clear distinctions regarding opinions and facts. When an opponent lies regarding the facts, that can be defaming. If someone can prove that lies were utilized to gain office, then Hollins should be accountable. As a constituent, i can tell you, it is sickening listening to the type of lies and mistruths that are the basis of most campaigns. I hope there are more of these law suits in the future, regardless of the election results. Candidates need to be responsible for what information they are purporting to the public.

The Tax God

By: JohnGalt on 8/11/10 at 11:53

Not sure I would want to retain a law firm that can't even spell the defendant's name correctly.

By: rbull on 8/11/10 at 11:58

I am sure District 5 is much better represented with Jamie Hollin and because she was never availale to her constituents. The Council is much better off without her and I don't know of anything she did constructive for her District while in office. As a matter of fact she should have been removed from her seat long before she was beaten and now she is acting like a sore loser. She needs to get on with her life and forget about serving the people of District 5 as she had a chance and did a very poor job.

By: Lischey_Ave on 8/11/10 at 2:51

Murray has to prove that statements were made maliciously, and that's going to be a tough one. It doesn't help that, according to Metro's own records, money given to her so-called non-profit was indeed squandered. And she cared more about being out of town and out-of-area interests (the latter being contributors to her campaign fund) than her own constituents. Let's not forget her publicly accusing Hollin (not "Hollins") of having a drug problem, etc...and he wasn't even in the public eye. I'm sorry, but she needs to channel her energies into something more positive, like keeping the FYI from raiding her house for a second time. Sheesh.

By: R U Nuts on 8/11/10 at 4:43

Not content to just take tax payer money and do nothing during her term in office, she is now filing a money grabbing law suit against what has been the best thing to happen to District 5.
During the floods, I volunteered in the 4 districts of East Nashville. (Districts 5,6,7 and 8) In the 3 weeks proceeding the floods I did not come into contact with one district council member who was involved hands-on with their constituents on a street level basis. Jamie was different.
I had the pleasure of working alongside Jamie Hollin in house to house cleanup and salvage of District 5. His service to the individuals and families of that district was incredible to be a part of.
As a team leader in the salvage effort, I had literally HUNDREDS of constituents comment that they would NEVER have seen Pam Murray out there being a part of it. In fact, they had never even seen her at all during her term.
Jamie Hollin is a rare 'Real Deal' councilman. I have seen first hand his care for his constituents. He is still dealing with individuals and families with helping them through the flood crisis. We are still in contact when he needs help in specific areas. This law suit is a defamation on the people of District 5 and the City of Nashville. Pam Murray needs to withdraw this frivolous money grabbing stunt and keep her mouth quiet. The people have spoken and they found her unsuitable to represent them. Deal with it Pam.

Go Team Hollin!

R U Nutts (aka: one of 'Jamies Heros')

By: Ingleweird on 8/11/10 at 5:29

Isn't Councilman Hollin a lawyer? If so, I'm sure he possesses a fair understanding of what constitutes libel or slander. Perhaps clarification is needed on what percentage of time is spent in a particular city to be legally considered a resident. Having read the pdf of her plea to VM Neighbors to intervene in her "civil" encounters with Council Lady Bennett, I'm convinced that Murray is so deluded and paranoid, that she actually believes her case has merit. Either way, I'm sure Murray needs this money; I bet plane tickets between Nashville and Detroit sure do add up! Also, shame on her lawyer for taking on her case when she could really use a psychiatrist or anger management specialist (but for his sake, I hope he got his money up front).

By: mamashan on 8/27/10 at 8:34

I think Pam's suit is just another example of how she doesn't think twice about wasting taxpayer's money. I don't understand how her lawyer would even waste time representing a suit like this -- it was more like, the absolute truth coming out., she was getting paid for a job she was not doing, she was in another state, doing another job almost half the time. She can't lie about those facts. The suit just makes her appear like a greedy egomaniac and puts her financial needs above that of the community.

Mama Shan