Ex-wife joins town in charging former town manager Megan Garner had affair with then-fire chief; she says it led to Garner’s departure, his firing
Graham city manager Megan Garner is facing a new lawsuit that, if proven, would appear to reinforce her former employer’s allegations that she engaged in an extramarital affair with then-fire chief Andy Marshall and then concocted a cover story when confronted about the affair.
Now, the ex-wife of the town’s former fire chief has filed a lawsuit against Garner, seeking more than $25,000 in damages under each of three alleged claims: alienation of affection; criminal conversation; and punitive damages.
In a lawsuit she filed Friday afternoon in Forsyth County superior court, Stacy Marshall claims that Garner, “for a period of several months from approximately December 2017 through April 1019…willfully, intentionally, and deliberately seduced, enticed and alienated the affections of Plaintiff’s husband.”
Stacy Marshall further alleges that Garner’s “seduction of and sexual relations with” her husband, Andy Marshall, led to the end of their marriage.
Stacy Marshall claims that Garner “made excuses” to visit the couple’s home, “to bring him gifts and/or based on similar pretexts”; frequently went to lunch with Marshall during work hours; and spent all of her free time at work with the town’s then-fire chief.
Marshall was terminated as Rural Hall’s fire chief in December 2021. The Rural Hall town council did not publicly give a reason for his termination.
Suit alleges that Garner resigned and Marshall got fired because of the affair
However, in her suit, Stacy Marshall claims that Andy Marshall was fired, in part, due to the alleged affair with Garner – and that Garner abruptly resigned as town manager on October 21, 2021 “due, in part, to the affair.”
As the alleged affair progressed, Garner purportedly began texting Andy Marshall “at all hours of the day,” and the texts became so frequent and explicit, that he began hiding his cell phone from his wife and “deleting entire conversations with [Garner] in order to hide the text messages,” the complaint asserts.
In her suit, Stacy Marshall alleges that Garner continued to seduce Andy Marshall, even while his wife was pregnant with the couple’s now 3 ½-year-old daughter. Stacy Marshall accuses Garner of carrying out “a longstanding and sexually explicit affair via text message [and] illicit sexual liaisons, emails, phone calls, Facebook messages, Snap Chat messages, while both were employed with the town.
Stacy Marshall is seeking more than $25,000 in damages against Garner for: allegedly depriving her of Andy Marshall’s affections and for destroying her “home and happiness forever”; and for alleged criminal conversation, for allegedly having sex with Andy Marshall while he was still married. Stacy Marshall claims that Garner engaged in “acts of sexual intercourse” with Andy Marshall were done with malicious intent to injure, disgrace, and humiliate his wife, causing her mental and emotional health to suffer, which has been exacerbated by subsequent media coverage.
Stacy Marshall is also seeking more than $25,000 in punitive damages against Garner for allegedly seducing Andy Marshall to intentionally lure him away from his wife and then willfully attempting to conceal the “the facts and consequences of her conduct.”
The plaintiff, Stacy Marshall, is also asking a superior court judge to consider the following alleged evidence in determining the award for punitive damages: the reprehensibility of the conduct and Garner’s awareness of the “probable consequences of her conduct”; the duration of and publicity about the alleged conduct; Garner’s ability to pay punitive damages; and “the concealment of the facts or consequences of her misconduct.”
Background: earlier lawsuit by Garner’s former boss, the town of Rural Hall
The town of Rural Hall initially filed a lawsuit against Garner in November 2021 to void the payment of a $150,000 settlement agreement that she insists was intended to compensate her for a hostile work environment she claims she was subjected to because she’s a woman, based on the latest filings in that case.
Graham’s city council voted unanimously to hire Garner as city manager on October 22, 2021 – less than 24-hours after she abruptly resigned as Rural Hall town manager and three long-serving Rural Hall town councilmen resigned their seats.
Garner has since filed a response in which she claims the town’s lawsuit is baseless because the town blocked the payment of the $150,000 settlement, per the agreement that the three now-former town councilmen approved prior to their resignations on October 21, 2021.
In December, the town of Rural Hall filed an amended complaint alleging that Garner had been romantically involved with Marshall, her subordinate – which coincidentally violated the town’s personnel policy – and then attempted to conceal the relationship by claiming she had been subjected to a hostile work environment.
Stacy Marshall is being represented by Natalie Vermitsky of the Morrow Porter Vermitsky & Taylor law firm in Winston-Salem. She is also seeking recovery of her attorney’s fees and costs for filing the action.
Garner had not filed a response by press time.