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Sunday, May 26, 2024 | Back issues
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Potential Hire Says Voicemail Defamed Her

(CN) - A Baltimore woman says the man who promised her a job withdrew the offer after he accidentally recorded himself on her answering machine telling coworkers a bogus story that the two of them had enjoyed sodomy, bondage and violent sex. Jane Doe seeks damages for defamation.

Doe claims in Baltimore City Court that after realizing his comments had been recorded, Mark Schwanke, an executive with Pompeian Inc., an olive oil company, never called or returned her calls again, reneging on a promise to hire her as a lab technician when the company began a second shift.

Doe seeks $500,000 in compensatory damages and $2 million in punitive damages.

Doe says she applied for a job at co-defendant Pompeian in response to its help wanted ad on Craig's List. She claims Schwanke called her because they both had worked at another company years earlier; an extensive interview process followed.

Between their initial conversation and the company's cutting off contact with her, Doe says she spoke with Schwanke and other company representatives no less than 20 times, attended multiple interviews and received positive feedback in each case.

She says Schwanke assured her she would be offered the job, even after there was a delay in the starting date. She says she also was assured she'd have an opportunity to earn "a lot" of overtime pay.

But that was before Schwanke placed called her in September 2009, seeking information about another job applicant. Mistakenly believing that he had hung up, Schwanke told coworkers of his bogus, sexually violent relationship with her, according to the complaint.

Doe says Schwanke told his colleagues that though she was being married, she solicited him for sex in the cafeteria of their former employer, that they had engaged in sexual intercourse numerous times, and that she demanded sodomy, demanded to engage in bondage, and demanded to be physically assaulted.

After several minutes, the complaint statement, Schwanke realized that his statements were being recorded and he ended the call.

Pompeian began its second shift in November 2009, but despite Doe's repeated attempts to contact the company, she says it did not offer her the job as promised.

Doe contends this was an attempt to cover-up Schwanke's "blasphemous, false and defamatory statements."

She seeks damages for defamation and false light. She is represented by Thomas C. Costello, with West & Costello.

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