Airport wants former spokeswoman’s lawsuit dismissed

Becky Beaman, former spokeswoman for the Charleston County Aviation Authority.

Lawyers for the Charleston County Airport District want a lawsuit filed by a former longtime employee to be dismissed.

Becky Beaman, the ex-spokeswoman who worked at Charleston International Airport for nearly 30 years, sued her former employer in January for defamation and unpaid retirement benefits.

Airport attorneys say the complaint should be tossed because “it fails to state sufficient facts to state a cause of action.”

Beaman, 67, was fired in November for insubordination over the use of a video camera to solve a case of missing food in the agency’s offices.

The video determined a construction worker was involved in the missing food incident, and the agency asked the contractor to remove the employee from the airport.

Beaman, who served as the spokeswoman for the Charleston County Aviation Authority, said she never authorized anyone to install the camera.

Beaman retired in 2008, but she returned to work under the state’s retirement system. She said the airport district promised to pay $250 a month toward her retiree health insurance after she retired but alleges it did not follow through.

Lawyers for the airport, including those from the Cleveland & Conley firm of Charleston and Jenny Horne, a state lawmaker from Summerville, deny Beaman’s claim of nonpayment and defamation.

“(Beaman) has been paid all amounts due her,” attorneys said in response to Beaman’s lawsuit.

They also said that any statements the airport published about Beaman “were true, or substantially true,” and the district “pleads truth as a complete defense.”

Beaman is asking for a jury trial.

Reach Warren L. Wise at 937-5524 or twitter.com/warrenlancewise.