Ex-officer's suit alleges he was defamed

WAYNESBURG, Pa. (AP) -- A former police officer sued the chief and a former co-worker, alleging that they defamed him in information given for a federal background check.
Brian Machesky, Waynesburg, claims in his federal lawsuit that police Chief Timothy Hawfield and former Lt. Glenn Bates revealed information about his job performance and personal life, making it difficult for him to find a job. Bates is now a district judge in Waynesburg, about 40 miles south of Pittsburgh.
The background check, which included discussions with former colleagues, was done after Machesky was hired in June 2005 as a guard at the federal prison in Hazelton, W.Va., the lawsuit states. The background check cleared in September 2005.
Machesky resigned from his federal job during the probationary period after an investigation was launched against him for using government computers to send e-mail, the lawsuit states.
When he got a copy of his background check in July, Machesky said he found out that Hawfield and Bates made "false and defamatory statements" to federal investigators.
The statements, the lawsuit said, "were made with reckless disregard as to their truth or falseness."
Machesky has found it difficult to get another job and has not been able to get another police job because of information in his personnel file and statements made by Hawfield and Bates to other police departments, the lawsuit alleged.
Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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