My question involves defamation in the state of: Maryland
Briefly, church member (attorney) decides to conduct a background check on me claiming she is helping the church council decide to award me a contract (I am a member of the church as well). Church council has never done a personal background check on any vendor (lawn care, cleaning, etc.) besides typical company references.
Church member attorney doesn't get authorization from church council to do the check. Church member attorney didn't get my personal information from anyone on the council or from me.
At the meeting, Church member attorney announces, "This is off the record", then proceeds to blast out my information INCLUDING calling me a criminal (never been convicted of a crime) and obtaining information from a prior employer (employer disliked me) and college. Other council members are shocked and council president and parish priest are appalled. Parish priest announces he never authorized church member attorney to conduct check and wanted to know what the motives were for it to be done. He told the church member attorney she was not hired to conduct such a check on behalf of the church nor council. (I know the motive - strictly personal - but that's another story. If you want to know, ask me.)
The council meeting was not in "executive session" or private/closed. So, somebody told me what happened. I filed a grievance with attorney grievance commission and I'm hoping for an investigation and reprimand.
Parish priest and church council president says this is "slander" and I should pursue. They say, "Your reputation has been damaged. There's a chance you won't get the contract (starting a catering business/becoming exclusive caterer for their hall - I applied for the contract as an LLC.) because other council members may be swayed.
Currently, the attorney is busy trying to "backtrack" saying she was conducting "due diligence" on behalf of the church. Parish priest and others say they would testify as witnesses to the contrary.
1. I want to be able to pursue former employer for comments and papers released to church member attorney
2. I want to pursue slander against church member attorney.
Your comments please....