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West Coast cops sue boss for slander

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  • West Coast cops sue boss for slander

    Three West Coast police officers have launched a defamation case after what their lawyer describes as a witch hunt..

    Inspector John Canning( above), Senior Sergeant Allyson Ealam, and Senior Sergeant Phillip Barker are placing their careers on the line with the case against Tasman District Commander Superintendent Karyn Malthus and the Attorney General.

    The trio have a combined 85 years worth of experience in the police force.

    "They're feeling pretty shattered at the moment because you always expect that when you're producing good results that your superiors are going to support you and this particular event there's been a breakdown," the three officers' lawyer, Grant Cameron, said.


    Inspector Canning, who received a District Commander's Commendation for leadership in 2012, and the two senior sergeants have been on paid leave since the end of May, following a battle with the police over a regional restructure.

    In the weeks that followed the restructure Superintendent Malthus made a series of comments to West Coast newspapers, which the trio believe portrayed them as incompetent and having failed their duties.

    The defamation claim has been filed in Wellington, but three weeks ago when the three officers requested an apology from Superintendent Malthus, police denied her comments were slanderous and said it would "strongly defend any such claim proceeding".

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