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Kelley v. Tanoos

865 N.E.2d 593 (2007)

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Kelley v. Tanoos

Indiana Supreme Court

865 N.E.2d 593 (2007)

Facts

Paul “Jay” Kelley (plaintiff) was the safety supervisor at the Gibault School (Gibault) in Vigo County. James Sinclair was Gibault’s executive director. Daniel Tanoos (defendant) was the superintendent of the Vigo County School Corporation (VCSC). Someone fired a shotgun at Tanoos from outside his house. Kelley was identified as a suspect. Gibault permitted police interviews of employees but insisted that second interviews be conducted outside working hours. Concerned about rumors that Gibault was not cooperating and strained relations between Gibault and VCSC, Sinclair suggested to Tanoos that they meet. The police had Tanoos wear a wire and record the conversation. At the meeting, Tanoos tried to coax information from Sinclair by saying, “I’m as convinced as the police are that Jay Kelley did it.” Kelley was never charged in connection with the shooting. Kelley sued Tanoos for defamation. The court granted Tanoos’s motion and denied Kelley’s motion for summary judgment. Kelley appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Sullivan, J.)

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