My question involves defamation in the state of: MI
I recently was interviewed and offered a position with a contract employer with one of their clients, a large company. After receiving the offer, I did a background check on the contract labor company, to find that their owner had been convicted of tax fraud. I then respectfully declined the offer when they could not satisfy my concerns.
Out of courtesy, I wanted to explain via an e-mail letter to the client hiring manager why I turned down the offer, and referred to "information which greatly concerned me" about the owner of the contract company. I did not make mention of what it was, but the information is easily publicly available online. I made no other mention of it except what you see in quotes. I continued by stating that my intent was not to disparage the company or its owner, and that they had been professional in every way, and that I wished the contract company success and good will. I should also mention that I stated that I did not intend for this to be a solicitation to be hired directly, a common concern for these companies. The tone of the letter was professional, matter-of-fact, polite.
Doing a Google search on the person's name turns up pages and pages of government documents describing his guilty plea and upcoming sentencing date, so I truly would be afraid to work for this private company - I simply stated the truth, that I would be concerned. Although my motivation was really to provide an explanation to the manager, and my intent was not malicious, have I just set myself up for a libel case?