Suspended senior customs officer, Crystal McField-Baldwin, is suing a local businessman for an email complaint he made to her supervisors and words uttered about in the presence of several officers.
The writ filed on 28th September claims that an email sent by the Caymanian businessman to Collector of Customs Charles Clifford, Deputy Collectors Kevin Walton and Jeff Jackson lodging a complaint against McField-Baldwin is defamatory.
It further claims that his compliant and the statements contained in the email are libelous towards her and in their natural and ordinary meaning, the words complained of among other things are accusing her of abuse of power, misconduct in office, dishonesty, corruption and smuggling.
The writ also claims that the Defendant also slandered her at the customs headquarters on 22nd September 2017 in front of several other customs officers by uttering some comments to her that they overheard. The writ asserts that he was motivated by malice and was seeking revenge against McField-Baldwin because he was subjected to a administrative fine based on her findings that he had undervalued imported goods.
The writ confirmed that the defendant is refusing to withdraw or apologize for his statements and he will further publish the allegations. There is mention of an injunction but her lawyers confirmed via email that no interim injunction has been sought in the matter.
McField-Baldwin is seeking damages for libel, slander and an injunction from publishing or repeating the defamatory allegations.
She is being represented by attorneys Nelson & Co. It was reported earlier that McField-Baldwin has been suspended with pay pending an investigation into some allegations made against her. It is now clear that the allegations and this lawsuit are connected. A seasoned attorney contacted about the latter but not related to this case indicated that it was very peculiar to address concerns with a complainant in this matter. He noted “normally you would deal with any wrongful allegations through the course of the investigation and provide such evidence to the adjudicators of that process. In my opinion, this may be the first time that I've seen a complainant being taken to court for contacting a persons superiors about perceived misconduct”.
He went on to state that
This case will definitely be one worth watching closing given the unusual circumstances