Jefferson County school superintendent Craig Pouncey has filed a lawsuit, following his unsuccessful bid to become state school superintendent. Pouncey accuses state school board member Mary Scott Hunter and others of conducting a whispering campaign to derail his candidacy. According to Pouncey's suit, the defendants falsely claimed that Pouncey plagiarized his doctoral dissertation, committed ethics violations, and was under investigation by the Alabama Ethics Commission. There was no immediate comment from Hunter or other other defendants. The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages. The other defendants included several other officials at the state department of education: Interim State School Superintendent Philip Cleveland, General Counsel Juliana Dean, Associate General Counsels James Ward and Susan Crowther.