I'm a senior special agent with the Dept. of Treasury. Myself, along with Union reps want to go to the media to expose fraud, waste and abuse in our building, particularly by the vindictive, unethical man in charge. Everything we have to say can be supported by documentation; however, the boss is so devious, he'll try to sue us for slander/civil suit. If the statements I make begin with "I allege, I contend or I assert", am I covered? As opposed to saying "I know that he...", "He's guilty of...", or "I'm certain that he..."

1 answer  |  asked Jul 5, 2002 11:42 PM [EST]  |  applies to Vermont

Answers (1)

Herbert G. Ogden

Without knowing more, all I can say is that you are safer saying "I believe that ..." than "I know that ...." If, as sounds likely, what is happening should be a matter of public concern, say so, because it gives you additional protection. But, in Vermont at least, just saying "I allege," "I believe," or words to that effect won't necessarily protect you. If, from what you say, it appears you claim to have facts that would support what you say, the boss may be able to sue you, and you would then have to raise the defense of truth. Truth is, of course, an absolute defense, but you'd have to prove it in court.

posted by Herbert G. Ogden  |  Jul 8, 2002 10:53 AM [EST]

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