Yesterday evening I contacted Grace parishioner and world champion motormouth Kelly Gable, offering her the opportunity to either document her claim that I embezzled funds from a previous employer or to retract her claims in writing. I further informed her that if I did not hear from her by noon today I would file suit for defamation per se and seek punitive damages.
There’s also the issue of the statute of limitations. While Virginia law provides for a two-year statute of limitations from the date of defamation, and no discovery rule to toll the statute of limitations in cases alleging defamation, it is clear that republication has recently occurred, most likely from the diocese to other third parties. In such cases, I submit that a tortfeasor like Kelly should not be permitted to escape liability when, as here, the original publication was defamatory per se and the republication could reasonably be expected.