More slander lawsuits filed against radio DJ

Two more slander lawsuits have been filed against a radio personality and the Aiken FM station.

The newest Richmond County Superior Court lawsuits were filed Wednesday by the Rev. Clarence Moore, the minister of the Good Shepherd Baptist Church, and Cedric Johnson, an officer and branch manager of First Bank of Georgia and a board member of the Augusta-Richmond County Aviation Commission.

Both men allege Brian L. "Ryan B" Doyle on radio station WAAW 94.7, which is owned by Rejoice Co., has tarnished their reputations with false accusations.

A lawsuit represents only one side of a dispute. Mr. Doyle and Rejoice will have 30 days to respond.

Wednesday night, Mr. Doyle said he has submitted his resignation to station owner Frank Neely, but Mr. Neely has refused to accept it and he will continue to broadcast.

"My station supports me. I am not being forced out," Mr. Doyle said.

The Rev. Moore's and Mr. Johnson's lawsuits come on the heels of a near identical lawsuit filed earlier this week by Richmond County Sheriff Ronnie Strength. Each of the plaintiffs contend Mr. Doyle repeatedly makes false and slanderous statements intended to cause harm.

The Rev. Moore and Mr. Johnson both allege Mr. Doyle has accused them of collusion. Twice in February, according to the lawsuits, Mr. Doyle told his listeners that Mr. Johnson gave the minister's wife a job and gave the Rev. Moore a contract for concrete work at Augusta Regional Airport.

"Which statements in essence accuse (the Rev. Moore) of fraudulent and criminal activity in receiving public contracts from friends and members of his church," the lawsuit reads.

The Rev. Moore states in his lawsuit that his wife has never worked at the First Bank of Georgia and he has never been awarded any contract for work at the airport.

Mr. Johnson also denied the allegations. Further, Mr. Johnson's lawsuit contends he has no authority to award any airport contract just because he is a board member.

Mr. Doyle insists he has done nothing wrong.

"I have a right to my opinion," he said, adding that he has retracted his statement about the sheriff.

The lawsuits filed by the Rev. Moore and Mr. Johnson seek just under $75,000 in damages. Federal courts, where lawsuits against parties in different states often are handled, have a minimum requirement of $75,000 in damages.

Each of the three lawsuits allege jurisdiction is proper in Richmond County Superior Court because Mr. Doyle's radio audience mainly is in Augusta where he has extensive contacts.

Staff writer Timothy Cox contributed to this article.

Reach Sandy Hodson at (706) 823-3226 or sandy.hodson@augustachronicle.com.