Pete Ellis

Pete Ellis speaks to his players at West Florence during a timeout. He resigned in March 2018.

FLORENCE, S.C. — A settlement was reached in former West Florence basketball coach Pete Ellis’ case against Florence One Schools and former West Florence Principal Kelvin Wymbs before the suit was dismissed.

The dismissal was reported last week.

Ellis confirmed on Monday that the case had been settled. He also confirmed that he would be receiving a financial sum but did not disclose the amount as the money has not yet been disbursed.

However, Florence One Schools Superintendent Richard O’Malley said as far as he knew the case had been dismissed but added that he might not know about a settlement as it would be handled by the district’s insurer.

A stipulation of dismissal with prejudice was filed on Dec. 26, according to records of the South Carolina court system.

The dismissal with prejudice means that the matter is concluded permanently and cannot be refiled.

The stipulation, agreed to by all three parties in the suit, notes that both parties will be responsible for their costs and fees in the action.

In the complaint filed on Oct. 24, 2018, Ellis alleged that the school district defamed him, that the district tortiously interfered with prospective contracts with other school districts and that the district defrauded him and made misrepresentations to him.

Ellis also sued former West Florence interim Principal Kelvin Wymbs for defamation, tortious interference with a contractual relationship and civil conspiracy.

The district and Wymbs denied committing any unlawful actions against Ellis in their answer to Ellis’ complaint, which was filed on Nov. 24, 2018.

The district and Wymbs were also later sued by former West Florence athletic director and football coach Trey Woodberry. Woodberry sued the district for defamation and Wymbs for civil conspiracy.

That lawsuit was still pending as of Tuesday.

Morning News reporter Lauren Owens also contributed to this story.

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Government and Politics Reporter

I cover the city of Florence, the county of Florence, the state legislative delegation of Florence County and surrounding areas, and the federal delegation representing the Pee Dee for the Morning News.

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