"Cowardice asks the question...is it safe? Expediency asks the question...is it politic? Vanity asks the question...is it popular? But conscience asks the question...is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Another Chapter on Litigation costs

I continue to be assailed for denying freedom by choosing not to publish certain comments.

No such thing. I have no obligation to provide a platform to everyman.

If comments are offensive or abusive,in my judgement ,they will not be posted.

It's  my decision to make.

There are no rules yet for social  media.

It may be there never will be.

It means we have to exercise personal discipline. I' ve made a few changes since I began. Sowem were from gut instinct .Others from events.

In 2010 in Aurora   Some stuff went down we ll learned from.

A severely critical comment was published about tformer Mayor Morris in the Aurora  Citizen blog.

 It was political.

Yet the town's CAO , stepped out of the administrative role and without authority from Council ,

 e-mailed demanded the comment be removed ...by a deadline.

The demand was repeated.

Then a special meeting of Council was called , during an election., to discuss a critical comment.
of the Mayor on a blog.

An ambiguous motion was passed giving staff authority to do what was necessary to deal with the matter. I understand the motion had been prepared beforehand.

I did not attend the meeting. Politicians are subject to criticism. It's the nature of things. .One might say the essence of politics. It was not the business of  the corporation or the administration.

During the election, without further communication, Councillors learned  while knocking on doors, the Town  had commenced litigation against three residents....moderators of the Aurora Citizen Blog.

A municipality never proceeds to court without Council authority.

Despite  being twice  and recently advised by the town solicitor of  no provision in the town's insurance coverage for an elected  member to precipitate  legal action...  Legal action had begun.

We have learned recently, legal counsel  was retained by the CAO. and the town solicitor was the only affidavit filed against the residents in the proceedings

The eventual result was dismissal and  a judgement that the proceeding had been an attempt to silence  political criticism.

Four of  six  members who assented to the ambiguous motion were turfed out of office.

The residents were vindicated.  But the price was high. The action was successful in that the Aurora Citizen has not published since.

The new Council after paying another solicitor $8,000 for advice, paid $43,000. in legal fees to date and terminated the town's involvement in the action.

I did not vote for either expenditure. I said we would be were ill-advised to pay the fees with town resources and we had not heard the last of it.

Nor had we.

A  Charge  of Conflict of Interest was filed  by a citizen against the former Mayor on the basis she voted to spend town funds on personal litigation.

She was quoted as saying she had no intention of spending her money. I had her that vow before.

Despite there was no insurance  coverage for the litigation  and Ms Morris was no longer an elected member,  the insurance company paid to defend the Conflict charge.

We learned last week the cost was $143,000.

The citizen who filed filed the legitimate charge was ordered to pay court costs.

So much for citizen justice.

Last week, the  town solicitor provided information to the media about the current status of litigation between Ms Morris and the town.  As I said ,we had not heard the last of it.

A suit was filed for payment of $250,000.to cover Ms Morris costs "on behalf of the town"

There have been further proceedings . I may not be at liberty to speak of that so I had better not.

This post ! As often happens took itself in a different direction.

It was to be a short comment about freedom of expression and the right to decide what would appear on my blog.

I should be working on my campaign

I have signs. I prefer to put them on private lawns. I can keep  better track of them.

Financial contributions are welcome.

My phone number: 905-727-6457

e-mail address: evelyn,buck@rogers.com

Any help I receive will be much appreciated.

P.S. Ms Morris twice failed to sign and return a document committing to refund the municipality's cost  for the litigation from  the millions claimed in damages if the litigation was successful.


Anonymous said...

Lovely post, E. You did leave the kicker to the end, though. The woman in question refused to sign off on the costs TWICE when asked by 2 different councils. And she is now suing for yet more of her expenses.

Anonymous said...

This is really quite interesting.

"Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Shadow knows!"

Not Shakespeare after all.