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$40,000 Paid in Washington Guards' Defamation Suit

Michael and Heidi Malpass, husband and wife, worked at the
Washington Corrections Center as guards in 1997. Using hearsay
information provided by WCC staff members, Lt. Waller compiled a list of
eleven names of persons claimed to be involved in or associated with
others involved in white supremacist or other racist activities at WCC.

Lt. Waller, an African American guard, informally and without
authorization investigated the individuals named before submitting the
list to DOC investigator Jack Doleman for formal investigation of the
allegations. The Malpass' names were on the list submitted to Doleman.

Doleman spurned any expectation of privacy and freely shared names
on the list with management and other WCC employees who had no need or
right to know the alleged activity. The complaint was highly critical of
the release of the WSP's report on this matter to Prison Legal News editor
Paul Wright under a Public Records Request.

The Malpasses alleged that the disclosure resulted in damage to
their vehicle on WCC property, defacement of their ID cards with swastikas
and KKK engravings, and an extremely hostile work environment that created
a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury. They also
suffered denied promotions and/or transfer positions in retaliation for
the white supremacy activity.

On April 5, 2001, the suit was settled for $40,000. Representing
the Malpasses was Shelly L. Brandt of Olympia. See: Malpass v.
Washington State Department of Corrections, Thurston County Superior
Court, Case No. 99-2-00262-5.

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Related legal case

Malpass v. Washington State Department of Correcti

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