Dave Hurren (Counsel for Tim Whitfield): "It was Martin's lawsuit; Whitfield was added."
Judge Sweeney: "Was there any reason why Martin could not have made the application (for the lawsuit) himself?"
Dave Hurren: "No."
This was an exchange in Ontario Superior Court this morning (June 18) regarding the long, drawn out case against The Four (Bob Steckley, John Hill, Don Lubberts and Paul Collard) for conflict of interest in the firing of town lawyer Heather Salter in 2012.
As some may know, almost a year after the lawyer's dismissal. a lawsuit was filed by former councillor Tim Whitfield against The Four for conflict of interest. He claimed that he knew nothing of the specifics of the firing until almost the end of 2012, thus making him fall within the six week period where such a lawsuit can be applied for within the parameters of the act. Whitfield claimed he knew nothing about the events around the firing of Heather Salter the previous year, even though he was a frequent golf partner of Salter's husband and admitted that he had read local newspapers and spoke with people on town staff. He has been referred to as a Straw Man because of his willingness to put his name on a lawsuit that was the brainchild of someone else. It is clear to any thinking person that the lawsuit was filed to destroy the reputations of The Four.
While the mayor tried to go through the back door to call The Four to task, he was unable to get anyone to take his assertions seriously. The excuse that Heather Salter filed a "harassment complaint" as the reason for her firing has never been proven. There is ample evidence of the reasons for Salter's dismissal. Martin aired revealing remarks at a council meeting about the conversations at an in camera meeting, which is a total no-no. So, Tim Whitfield became the Straw Man for Martin's lawsuit. This was reiterated by Hurren at least once more in his defense of possible champerty and maintenance in the defence's attempt to have the application dismissed.
And Marina Butler's name came up often under the "maintenance" definition. She was named as one of those who pledged support for Whitfield in the lawsuit. Excerpts of Mike Cloutier's writings were presented where he accused The Four of "stealing" $50K from the people to complete the termination package for Heather Salter. The package was agreed upon after another offer was rejected by Salter's representatives. It was also mentioned that Marina may have had an ulterior motive as she eventually ran against and defeated John Hill in the 2014 election. (It was also mentioned that Butler filed for a compliance audit against John Hill for his campaign expenses in 2010.)
A decision on the motion to dismiss will be announced at 10:00 AM tomorrow (June 19) at Welland Court Room 5. It the suit is dismissed, then there will lengthy discussions as who will pay for the massive court costs of this witch hunt. If the judge rules to move on to trial, testimony will begin.
This lawsuit is nothing but spite, filed by a sore loser with the help of a Lady Macbeth-like character. This is a perversion of the legal system. Hopefully it will soon end.
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