By Scott Tibbs, June 1, 2003
Scott Wells has been defamed. Oh, boo hoo.
Monroe County Council member Scott Wells added four more people to the defamation lawsuit stemming from allegations that he told a local citizen that he had prior knowledge about the arson at Pedigo Bay. The citizen, Kevin Shiflet, made Wells' alleged statement public at the July 2002 County Council meeting and submitted a signed affidavit detailing his version of the conversation.
Let's assume for a moment that Wells is completely in the right here, and Shiflet is making this up. How are you going to get a victory in a defamation suit regarding what was said in a private conversation between two people? As it is it is Wells' word against Shiflet's. To win a defamation case, you not only have to prove that a statement was made with the intent of damaging someone's reputation, but that the statement was false. How do you prove this either way to the extent required for a defamation ruling?
Simple. You can't. I think that Scott Wells is pushing his sob story about how he is being "persecuted" to get people to feel sorry for him going into his trial on charges of drunken driving.