"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

Monday, 22 December 2014

The tally is by no means complete

In response to a number of references to  town insurance coverage for civil litigation against  six individuals  for defamation of character; as a Councillor, I was unable to speak to the issue.

I cannot release my sources for reason but I can provide my understanding of the situation.

Initially defendants' claim  for coverage was denied.

That decision was reversed .

Since the exorbitant cost  is the reason for vastly increased premiums an explanation for the new decision can and should be provided by the insurance company.

According to statements to Council  the Insurance VP indicated  normal procedure is to pursue settlement.

Counsel assigned to defendants was replaced after several weeks of active consultation. Reason undisclosed due to solicitor/client  privilege.

Defendants were  subsequently authorized to retain counsel of their choice.

From time of  notification of intent to take action  and dismissal of the "wholly political "  complaint by the Integrity Commissioner David Nitkin ,opportunity to retract and apologize was always available

One after another,each took the floor at a Council  meeting  and stated they would not.

An offer to settle can emanate with a complainant.

Onus to respond rests with defendants .

One after another each defendant took the floor at a Council meeting and declared they would not.

It  has been the  consistent position  of the defendants throughout.

Other than the Aurora Banner's  no offer to  settle ever received a response

Other expenses for legal fees were paid from the town  treasury to "investigate" two blogs to discover comments contrary to the Code of Conduct  and write a report of findings and another for publication
of the complaint  referenced  which was dismissed by the Integrity Commissioner .

Following the  decision that the complaint was "wholly political"  and his dismissal , the annual  fee  for the newly appointed Commissioner was paid from the town treasury on termination of his legal I doubt it paid  for  legal fees to protect his reputation.

A fee was also paid  by the town to a public relations firm to "mitigate damage" caused by the Integrity Commissioner's conclusion.

All records of consultations were destroyed by the outgoing Mayor after her defeat and before her exit. No effort was made to halt the activity though it was known.

Full financial cost of the action described by  the Integrity Commisioner as "wholly political" can  not likely be known except through a judicial review. In itself it would cost taxpayers millions more.

Publicized cost of  SLAPP litigation undertaken against three residents by the former Mayor did not include severance  paid to the solicitor who ceased in the town's employ shortly thereafter.

Expenditures in that matter were paid directly from the town treasury.

As were costs for several lawyers retained early in the term to investigate the immediately preceding Mayor for potential invasion of the privacy of the succeeding Mayor.

Fes were paid to George Rust D'Eye and John Mascarin for various services provided in similar vein.

None paid by the Town's insurance provider.

All for the purpose of pursuing political adversaries and destroying reputations.


Anonymous said...

The defendants claim for coverage was denied?...then was reversed? And then they got to pick their own lawyers? Really? How the heck did it get reversed?.... come to think of it... not sure if I want to know. I can feel my blood pressure already rising.

Anonymous said...

Thank you , Evelyn, It must be difficult to keep explaining the same old information to those who can not or will not listen.
Perhaps from now on when there is a ridiculous comment or demand, you could just refer the individual back to this post of yours. It seems to cover the lot as simply as possible.

Anonymous said...

You keep referencing the actions of others. But, what about your decision to sue? What were you hoping to achieve with your lawsuit?

Anonymous said...

I could never understand why we were paying a lawyer to trek back and forth from Waterloo. Lord know where the current lot are living but it sure won't be local.
Former mayor Grossi hired lawyers from the city for his defamation suit against a staffer which also went nowhere.

Anonymous said...

I can't wait until the entire story can be told.

Anonymous said...

This sure adds substance to the expression, "we don't have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem".

But you can bet our mayor and his deputy will be looking for a greater than the cost of living tax increase in 2015.

Anonymous said...

09:46 why don't you go and enjoy your life without any detriment to your liife?

Anonymous said...

I think that the day the suits were delivered to these Aurora families, their nightmares began. It's too bad that we have not been able to settle this. It will certainly not benefit the residents.

Anonymous said...

21:11, I'd be happy to oblige...if only I knew what you're on about.