A state court judge in Portland, ME this week issued a decisive ruling regarding defamation and libel charges brought against IAM leaders by former officials of Local Lodge S6 in Bath, ME.
In the conclusion of a 21-page decision, Business and Consumer Judge A.M. Horton granted a request for Summary Judgment in favor of the IAM, finding that the evidence presented, when viewed in the light most favorable to the former Local Lodge officials, was not sufficient to support a viable claim.
Former S6 officials filed the charges following an IAM investigation into election irregularities, accounting discrepancies and misuse of computers at Local S6.
According to the IAM investigation, officials of Local S6 endangered the good and welfare of the organization and its membership by permitting the rampant viewing and accessing of substantial amounts of pornography… Failing to secure Lodge property, including computers and confidential grievance documents… Allowing an enormous backlog of grievances and cases pending arbitration to accumulate… Refusing to comply with procedures and preparations for the upcoming contract negotiations with Bath Iron Works… and undermining community support for the members as they headed into contract negotiations by failing to pay debts owed to local merchants.
While plaintiffs in the case claimed they were defamed and libeled by letters sent to S6 members detailing the investigation and resulting Trusteeship, the judge found no basis to support defamation or libel charges against the IAM.