No Defamation Lawsuit For Statements Made In Disciplinary Investigation

Michael Fiore was a probationary police officer for the Town of Whitestown, New York. The employee of a tanning salon appeared at a meeting of the Whitestown Police Commission and told the Commissioners that while Fiore was off duty he visited the tanning salon and displayed a handgun. The tanning salon employee also told the Commissioners that before Fiore began working for the Department, the owner of the tanning…

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No Defamation Lawsuit For Statements Made In Disciplinary Investigation

Michael Fiore was a probationary police officer for the Town of Whitestown, New York. The employee of a tanning salon appeared at a meeting of the Whitestown Police Commission and told the Commissioners that while Fiore was off duty he visited the tanning salon and displayed a handgun. The tanning salon employee also told the Commissioners that before Fiore began working for the Department, the owner of the tanning…

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First Thursday, April 2015

This month’s podcast features an overview of the anti-public safety collective bargaining legislation making its way in various state houses across the country and an important new genetic information discrimination case involving a firefighter. Cases discussed: Firefighter Wins Age Discrimination, GINA Claims, Lee v. City of Moraine Fire Department, 2015 WL 914440 (S.D. Ohio 2015) Firefighter Loses ADA Case Because Discrimination Occurred Before Change In Law, Kennedy v. Gray,…

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State Police Major Loses Defamation Lawsuit Against Police Union

John Burns was a major in the Massachusetts State Police. In 1995, Burns approached Trooper Kathleen Barrett to question her about court overtime and whether she was properly subpoenaed. Barrett called Dean Bennett, the vice-president of the State Police Association of Massachusetts, asked about the policy, and complained about the manner in which Burns had conducted his inspection. Barrett told Bennett that she felt humiliated. Subsequently, Bennett was at…

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Police Chief’s Testimony In Defamation Case Constitutionally Protected

Robert Deutsch was the Police Chief for Laramie, Wyoming. In the summer of 2007, Deutsch used City petty cash to purchase a laptop computer for $1,433.11. The purchase violated City policy, but was apparently unknown to the public until a city council meeting in May 2008. At the meeting, Tim Hale, a private citizen, stated that there might have been a misappropriation of City petty cash by a department…

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Fire Chief Loses Defamation Lawsuit Against Union

Bernard Becker was the Fire Chief for the Clearcreek Township Fire District in Ohio. In 2008, Local 4207 of the International Association of Fire Fighters sent an unsigned letter to the Township’s administrator. The letter contained allegations that Becker had engaged in acts of sexual harassment or inappropriate conduct, and abused his authority. Sometime later, the media publicized the letter. Becker retired from his job and sued Local 4207,…

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Board Member Statements Absolutely Privileged From Defamation Lawsuit By EMT

Norwood Baybridge was an emergency medical technician for the City of Ortonville, Minnesota. On July 6, 2006, a nurse on an ambulance transfer found Baybridge to be inattentive to his duties. The nurse noted that Baybridge failed to log the patient’s vital signs, made personal phone calls, and at one point, appeared to be taking a nap. The nurse reported the incident to her supervisors; another EMT on the…

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Officer Does Not Establish Necessary ‘Perversion Of Process’

Michael Watson was a police officer with the Jamestown, New York Police Department. Watson was questioned by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in connection with its investigation of a missing woman with whom Watson had a relationship. The FBI reported to the Department that its investigation revealed that Watson had been stalking women. The Department launched an internal investigation and, after receiving statements from three women, prepared a warrant…

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