The Circuit Court summons, filed in Macon County on November 19, claims that Cook used malicious harassment - with intent to cause emotional distress to Leonard - by distributing an article which he claimed to get from the Internet, saying that Leonard was the author of the article.
The lawsuit alleges that Cook - elected in August, 2006 to represent districts six, seven, twelve, and ninteen - used his position as a School Board member to influence Leonard's supervisors, calling for her termination or resignation, and breaching the trust placed in him as a School Board member.
As a result of Cook's actions, it is claimed, Leonard was brought into public scandal and disgrace, shunned by friends and business associates, suffered emotional distress, and experienced extreme difficulties in performing her job as a teacher.
According to the action, violation of Leonard's privacy has not only damaged her reputation, but has created animosity and a hostile work environment with her supervisors, co-workers, students and their parents.
The suit claims that Cook should be required to pay compensatory damages - to the tune of $25,000+ - to deter such malicious, willful, and ill-intended conduct in the future. The action also asks for punitive damages, reasonable attorney fees and costs, and any other relief that the court deems proper.
Jimmy Cook has until December 30 to answer and defend the action, which was filed by Attorney Jacky O. Bellar on behalf of Leonard, or loses the suit by default.