Aurora Citizen

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Please help me understand how litigation against three Aurora citizens was approved.

Posted by auroracitizen on April 13, 2011

Re: EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Payment of Legal Expenses of Phyllis Morris and the defamation action of Phyllis Morris v.Johnson et al.

An Open Letter to the Aurora Town Council and the Citizens of Aurora.

I am writing this as an open letter to the current Aurora Town Council and to the citizens of Aurora as I believe others may have similar questions and concerns in relation to the defamation action of Phyllis Morris v. Johnson et al. I stand open to being corrected if anyone has any new information to be shared and I look to others for answers and clarification as I don’t believe that the current information in the public domain is sufficient to explain how this action was authorized by the Town of Aurora. It is only by sharing the following questions and subsequent answers (and any questions that other Aurora citizens may contribute) that we may all learn and come to understand how this action proceeded to its present state. A considerable amount of Aurora tax money is now authorized for payment of external legal fees for this case but more importantly to me three private citizens of Aurora are still involved as defendants in this action which may take years to resolve and which may jeopardize the financial futures of their families.

I realize that there are those that support Ms. Morris’ argument and reasoning for her defamation suit as equally there are those that support Richard Johnson, Elizabeth Bishenden and Bill Hogg (Johnson et al) and I respect their difference in opinions. I was from the start and still remain in support of Johnson et al but it is not my intention here to argue the legal aspects of their case as this is now in the hands of our judicial system and the lawyers. It is my intention to learn and better understand how this action was authorized by the Town and to understand how it was deemed to follow the proper legislative and administrative procedures.

I recognize that Mayor Dawe and some of the current councillors that ran on a platform that included stopping the Town’s involvement in the lawsuit. I commend them for following through on this promise once they were sworn into office. I also commend those councillors and mayoral candidates that also supported stopping the Town’s involvement but who were not successful in the recent election. I can appreciate that Mayor Dawe and the current Town Council has had to responsibly deal with the matters opened by the previous council and administration and were faced with the difficult decision to authorize the payment of external legal fees to December 14, 2010. I further recognize that there may still be some legal privacy issues in answering some of my questions but that does not prohibit me from asking these important questions and seeking these answers even if they may still be forthcoming in the future when this case is resolved.

In the following, I will reference the letter by George Rust-D’Eye of WeirFoulds LLP entitled EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Payment of Legal Expenses of Phyllis Morris (to be known as the “Executive Summary”). This letter was made public on March 30, 2011 as a Media Advisory by the Town of Aurora. It was authorized for release by order of the Aurora Town Council at its March 29, 2011 meeting and it can be found on the Town website at the webpage http://www.town.aurora.on.ca/aurora/index.aspx?CategoryID=27&lang=en-CA under 2011 Media Releases (March 30, 2011).

It was after reading George Rust-D’Eye’s Executive Summary that I was compelled to ask the contained questions and to seek the assistance from others to help me and the citizens of Aurora better understand how Phyllis Morris v. Johnson et al was initiated by the Town of Aurora. It is the Executive Summary that makes me question past information and/or lack of information to the public in this matter.

I am numbering my questions so that anyone responding to this letter can do so accordingly by the question number.

1. Who has the legal authority at the Town to proceed on the Town’s behalf with a lawsuit?

2. What are or in fact are there any legislative steps that must be complied with by the Town Council in order to initiate a lawsuit? What is the involvement and authority of the Mayor and the Town’s administrative staff, be it the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), the Town Solicitor or any other Town staff in initiating a lawsuit?

3. I recognize that this matter started with the Council directive from the Closed Session of the Town Council Meeting of September 14, 2010. From that point onwards what were the steps and who further authorized that this matter was to be handled directly as a lawsuit?

As stated in Question 3, this matter started with the Council directive from the Closed Session of the Town Council Meeting of September 14, 2010 (Please see 2nd attachment). The entry for this motion is as follows:

Council recessed into Closed Session at 11:33pm

Mayor Morris left the meeting at 1:10 am.

Council reconvened into Open Session at 1:11 am with Deputy Mayor McRoberts in the Chair.

Moved by Councillor MacEachern Seconded by Councillor Gaertner

THAT the Council rise and report from the Closed Session to confirm the direction from Closed Session regarding the potential defamation; and THAT the Town Solicitor be directed to retain external legal counsel and to take any and all actions to bring resolution to this matter.

CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

The September 14th Council meeting initially had Mayor Morris and all eight Councillors in attendance. In the minutes it is noted that Councillor Collins-Mrakas left the meeting at 10:16 pm and Councillor Buck left the meeting at 11:01 pm. The Closed session would then have included Mayor Morris (who subsequently left at 1:10am just before reporting out and before the vote) and Councillors Gaertner, Gallo, Granger, MacEachern, McRoberts and Wilson. There is no indication in the minutes as to if any Town staff may have been involved in the closed session but since it involved litigation I would assume that the Town’s CAO and the Town Solicitor would be present, though I stand corrected if they were not present and/or if others were present.

From the Executive Summary (after the September 14th Council Meeting and after the Town retained Aird & Berlis LLP (“AB”) as its external legal counsel): “Then-Mayor Morris requested the Town to pay for the litigation, following the receipt of a legal opinion from AB in which it was advised that the comments were made against the Mayor, as well as the Town Solicitor and the Integrity Commissioner, in their capacity as elected officials or employees of the Town.”

4. Given the answers to the above questions 1, 2 & 3 and the statement “Then-Mayor requested the Town to pay for the litigation”, were the steps taken by the Town in accordance to the accepted procedures and in such a way that Mayor Morris could not be seen as having a conflict of interest as she had direct involvement in the case being that she would be the plaintiff, that the Town would be financing this action and that she would be the sole beneficiary of any awarded damages?

5. As I see no further reference to this action in any other subsequent Council Meeting in the above statement “who” is the Town? Was this a Town staff member with authority to authorize payment for the litigation?

6. Again, who at the Town had the authority to proceed with litigation? If it was the Mayor was it not a conflict of interest for the Mayor to request the Town to proceed? If it was the Mayor, should not another person (be it elected or Town staff) have taken the lead to this action?

7. Was there a reason why this matter was not taken back to Council be it in a closed session to authorize such litigation and the accompanying expenditures?

From the Executive Summary: “The retainer letter signed by the Mayor and the Town on October 6, 2010 leads to the conclusion that both are jointly and severally liable for paying the legal expenses incurred for the defamation action.”

8. Thus the Town and Ms. Morris were equally and separately responsible for the full amount. The Town has now authorized payment of legal fees to December 14, 2010. Should the Town not be demanding that Ms. Morris reimburse the Town now for at least ½ of the Town external legal fees instead of as recommended in the Executive Summary “that the Town give notice to Phyllis Morris of the intent by the Town to look to her for indemnity in respect of legal services paid for by the Town out of any damages or cost recovered by her in the proceedings”? The only way that the Town will be reimbursed will be if Ms. Morris is successful and the 3 Aurora citizens are not and this does not guarantee any funds to the Town as there is no signed agreement for this option.

9. Would the Mayor have proceeded or initiated such action given that she would have to pay ½ the current legal expense?

(This is now a hypothetical question and does not require an answer).

From the Executive Summary: “it appears that, at the time of the meeting of the Town Council on September 14 and 15, 2010, it was accepted by all concerned that the abuse being heaped on the Mayor and other municipal officials by third parties, was seen as an attack on the reputation of the Town itself, affecting the reputation and perceived integrity of Council and staff, and that there was an agreed-upon strategy to vindicate the Town’s name and reputation, which was seen at least as much the target as was the Mayor herself;”

10. Are we to understand that the “agreed-upon strategy” that Mr. Rust-D’Eye writes of was simply the wording in the Council Meeting Minutes of September 14, 2010 “THAT the Town Solicitor be directed to retain external legal counsel and to take any and all actions to bring resolution to this matter”? And that it was this directive that gave authorization to an open-ended mandate and a blank cheque to external counsel without further advice, consultation or authority from Council. (A separate rhetorical question but if there was not an election and a change of Council to stop payment to AB how high would the lawyer’s bill have gone?)

11. If it was an “agreed-upon strategy” then why if I recall correctly were some councillors apparently surprised when the news of the litigation came forth?

12. Were these instructions sufficient to proceed with the defamation suit? (Thus my earlier questions on legislative procedure).

13. Did the Town Solicitor or whoever instructed the external legal counsel of Aird & Berlis have the authority to proceed with litigation without further approval from Town Council?

14. Was the motion from the September 14th meeting so broadly worded that it could be ambiguous enough so that legal proceedings could commence without further authorization or approval from Council?

15. Did council discuss litigation as part of their closed session meeting? Was it understood that litigation was the only option that external legal counsel should pursue? (I realize that this may never be known as it was a closed session). If so, then they knew it could proceed to the current situation along with the financial burden to the Town. If not, then did someone at the Town over-step their authority (thus my earlier questions as to procedure in authorizing litigation)?

Please help me understand how we arrived at the current state of affairs.

It is my opinion that the council directive was far too vague and could be viewed as irresponsible as it did not provide specific direction and limitations and any need for the external legal counsel once engaged to seek further direction and authorization from council. Given the particular care that councillors take in wording their motions and given the fact that this was done at the end of term with councillors having a minimum of 4 years of experience (excluding Councillor Gallo) in their seats as opposed to being inexperienced councillors at the beginning of term it is surprising that this motion as worded was ever approved. It makes me wonder whether there is any part of this incident and/or subsequent actions that could be deemed in any way to violate the Municipal Act and/or the Town’s business and legislative procedures and if so who are we to hold accountable for their actions.

I note that Councillor Bob McRoberts disavowed his approval of the September 14th motion at the September 29, 2010 Council meeting and stated on October 14, 2010 on Rogers TV First Local News, “The arguments presented by town staff and council members didn’t match my understanding of the Municipal Act. I do not agree with the rationale provided. I do not agree that the matter is a matter for Council”.

I have to ask – what would have happened to the Town of Aurora if this past Council were to have directed other external contractors “to take any and all actions” for litigation against land developers in Aurora or for the repair to all roads or to improving Aurora’s water and sewage systems or to providing recreation facilities?

I believe that there is still much to be disclosed to the citizens of Aurora so that we can all understand how Phyllis Morris v. Johnson et al was authorized by the Town of Aurora. I should think that the answers would be simple and straight forward.

Sincerely,

Paul Sesto

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30 Responses to “Please help me understand how litigation against three Aurora citizens was approved.”

  1. Paul Sesto said

    As I had written in a blog reply here on April 14th “Mayor Dawe has acknowledged receipt of the letter and responded that more information on this matter would be forthcoming from the Town.”

    I assume now that Mayor Dawe was referring to the information contained in recently released Town of Aurora “Media Advisory: Town statement re: lawsuit” now found at http://www.aurora.ca/app/wa/mediaEntry?mediaEntryId=58529.

    It was encouraging to read this Media Advisory and to know that the Town is learning from this past incident.

    It starts off with: “The following is a statement from The Corporation of the Town of Aurora regarding council’s decision of March 29, 2011 regarding ending the Town’s involvement in the Morris v. Johnson et al. lawsuit and what changes will be made to ensure such an incident does not occur in the future”.

    Among other statements in the Advisory it was announced under the heading “Accountability and Transparency” that:

    “The Town will be reviewing its Litigation Policy so that:
    (a) resolutions authorizing the commencement of litigation against any party will require clear language of such authorization, including any delegation of authority to staff members; and

    (b) any opportunity for private interference with external lawyers by members of council will be restricted – all conversations and discussions with external lawyers that involve Town issues, or have the potential to require Town action, will only be made by staff members of the Legal Services Department, in accordance with such instructions or delegated authority granted to them by council.”

    I know that this Media Advisory wasn’t sent out to specifically address my questions and in my opinion it doesn’t serve that purpose. In writing the open letter I had recognized in presenting the information and the questions that I may not get any discrete answers but I felt that it was important to get the questions out there.

    This Media Advisory was covered in both The Auroran (Tuesday April 19th) and The Banner (Tuesday April 19th) newspapers and I share some of this print information.

    In The Auroran’s article, entitled “Town in damage control over former mayor’s bills”, it includes the following paragraphs:

    “Following the release of the executive summary of Mr. Rust-D’Eye’s report to the public, counsel from Ms. Morris, and former councillor Evelina MacEachern herself, indicated Mr. Rust-D’Eye’s report was based on “misinformation”. Neither party has cared to elaborate on that claim.”

    In The Banner article by Sean Pearce entitled “Town re-working litigation policy” it includes the following:

    “The statement was an attempt to address some of the lingering concerns residents have voiced in person or via e-mail, Mr. Dawe acknowledged. The biggest question that has been asked by the public and media has been how the lawsuit could happen in the first place, he said, noting an open-ended motion form Sept. 14 was enough to put things in motion. Council has struggled with the lawsuit, Mr. Dawe continued. It has been frustrating, he said, as councillors have been advised not to answer questions for fear of doing so could open up the town for potential liabilities. “A lot of that is confidential”, he said.”

    The article goes on further to state: “The media advisory comes just weeks after the release of a four-page executive summary from lawyer George Rust-d’Eye, which suggested Mrs. Morris “appeared to have a pecuniary (of or related to money) interest” when Aurora council was discussing a carte blanche motion that led to her $6-million libel lawsuit”.

    I note the last paragraph of the article: “Councillor Wendy Gaertner also took issue with the summary and contended some information contained within was not correct. The document puts forward that council was discussing a lawsuit during the closed session Sept. 14, but that simply isn’t true, she said.”

    I will continue to search for answers though they may not be immediately forthcoming until the resolution of the lawsuit. If it wasn’t true that a lawsuit was discussed as stated by Councillor Gaertner during the closed session then under whose authority was it interpreted “to take any and all actions to bring resolution to this matter” to mean litigation against Johnson et al.

    • Evelyn Buck said

      Since I never agreed an anonymous comment on a blog was entitled to any discussion by Council,I do not now agree the discussion that took place behind closed doors was entitled to privacy.

      I made a motion that Council waive/solicitor/client privilege for Mr.Rust D’Eye’s report. The public paid for it,they are entitled to receive it.

      It’s interesting that those who claim inaccuracy, do not attempt to provide accuracy.

      MacEachern and Gaertner were the mover and seconder of the open ended motion which I understand was already prepared in writing prior to the meeting.

      I understand the former Mayor had already had a consultation with her favourite lawyer prior to the meeting. It doesn’t show in the invoices but they could be easily re-organised.

      The “new” policies proposed in the media release are not “new”. They are old.

      Various policies currently exists, including a lack of spending authority which prohibited the actions undertaken by the former Mayor.

      The rogue members never saw a law or policy, including Conflict of Interest, that applied to them. Any staff person who might have stood in their way was long gone.

      As thankfully,they are now as well.

      Though to be sure, they do not yet seem to have fully understood the result of the election.

  2. Anonymous said

    I read the media release in The Auroran today. Is anybody else dissatisfied with this? It still doesn’t answer my questions or explain HOW this happened and who was involved.

    • Anonymous said

      It’s been said here before but I’ll say it again since obviously some of you still don’t understand — the discussion and resulting resolution to rectify the alleged libel by “any and all means” was made in-camera.

      The newly appointed acting solictor has been very clear with council that he can’t release any information–under both legal and professional rules–about what was discussed behind closed doors in order not to prejudice the ongoing court case. This is to protect both the defendants and Morris.

      No amount of “dissatisfaction” is going to change this.

      After the libel suit is settled there may be a full accounting. I can all but guarantee you it won’t happen before then.

  3. Anonymous said

    To Anonymous, April 14, 12:42
    When I wrote to the mayor and councillors in support of this letter I got no response from any of them – not even an acknowledgment of receipt.
    I guess responsibility to taxpayers is not being taken seriously.

    • Anonymous Too said

      Me too

      Sent an email to mayor and council – no reply from anyone.
      I didn’t expect flowers but an acknowledgement would have been nice.
      I believe there have been changes but I used the e-aurora addresses as per the town website. No bouncebacks.

      I’m thinking it’s a tech thing but perhaps someone ‘in the know’ can explain.

    • Evelyn Buck said

      Sometimes I feel like a character on the program Ghost Whisperer.
      Neither seen nor heard.
      I voted against paying the legal fees incurred by the former Mayor.
      The reasons I gave covered the questions cited above.
      They were stated in a public meeting after being repeated several times behind closed doors.
      Since I did not vote in favour of paying or of retaining another soliictor at a fee of $5,600,to tell me whether or not they should be paid, it was not for me to explain why other members of council voted as they did.
      Since my views were publicly snd strongly expressed, it never occurred to me,that people with an interested in the matter, might be unaware of my position.

      I do not agree the open-ended resolution was authority to proceed to litigation.

      I believe Council and only Council has authority to decide.

      I believe the town was ill-served in the advice received.

      I believe the comment complained about had no business being discussed behind closed doors.It was not a matter for council to deal with.

      Council had been advised previously thus by the town solicitor in an incident of unsupported and unsubstantiated allegations made in a public meeting against a member of council.

      I simply do not believe the opposite advice would have been given in the circumstance of an anonymous comment to a blog.

      I believe the town was ill-served by legal firm retained as part of a roster, to serve the town when the litigation esd undertaken. I do not believe the town was liable for payment of their fees.

      I am not alone in my contention. But I speak only for myself.

      I am saying nothing here I have not said before. In public. Clearly and succinctly. Those who heard had no trouble understanding.

      I will not say it again.

  4. Anonymous said

    To Anonymous at April 14, 2011 at 11:45 am

    you said:
    “Actually, unless you happen to be single with no dependants and no responsibilities, or independently wealthy, when someone in a home is sued — the entire family is affected. Unlike when someone hurt Morris’ feelings — only her feelings were hurt.”

    Anonymous – 8:03 am did not say that the families were not affected. The hyperbole of this site says that the “Families were sued”. That is not correct.

    To be devil’s advocate, you don’t think that when Morris’ feelings were alledgely hurt, her husband’s were not? I have seen posts on this blog – usually from the likes of Chris Watts – about Mr Morris. He is a private citizen and should not be attacked, but no one here stood up for him like these “families”.

    “Let me explain my view of this concept — funds that are required to fight this lawsuit could also be used for vacations, home repairs, after school activities, medical expenses, clothing, athletic equipment, etc. When those funds are no longer available — then the family that would have benefited — suffers.”

    You’re right. The financial burden does not seem to have impacted the ability to pay for itnernet access to continue posting. Or is SAG or APL picking up the cost?

    “Why do you think so many in this community are outraged by the lawsuit? They see it for exactly what it is. And they are doubly offended because Phyllis used their (defendants and other taxpayers) money to launch the suit.”

    I have a newsflash for you…. there aren’t that “many” in the community that are outraged. Many of those on this website are outraged, but knock on any home’s door in an area of Aurora and ask them if they are outraged over the Mayor’s lawsuit. You will be surprised as to the responses that you get. The Town is over this. They have moved on to gripe about their tax bill and how the council that they elected has screwed them – again!

    • “I have seen posts on this blog – usually from the likes of Chris Watts – about Mr Morris.”

      Care to cite an example?

      Thought non “Anonymous”

    • Elizabeth Bishenden said

      “… is SAG or APL picking up the cost?”

      No.

    • Anonymous said

      You do not have a clue.

      There are so many angry citizens still upset at the ex. ,and that a fact.

      I am very active in the community and hear it everyday how people cannot believe what she got away with.

      By the way….taking pictures of citizens over and over is harassment.

      Mr.Morris was doing that endlessly in the council chambers .

  5. Anonymous said

    Pauls’ Letter is dated April 2011…. I would wager that the same letter can be posted April 2012 and April 2013 with exactly the same questions and same responses. This will not be solved soon. The majority here will have their collective heads explode before the answers are brought out.

    When the answers do come out, half won’t like them.

  6. Anonymous said

    Paul Sesto said:
    “I recognize that Mayor Dawe and some of the current councillors that ran on a platform that included stopping the Town’s involvement in the lawsuit.”

    I don’t think that this is a fair statement. The news of the lawsuit hit Thanksgiving Weekend. The election was 2 weeks later. The campaign was 90% finished for most candidates, they certainly did not have time to run a platform that included stopping the lawsuit.

    I have a theory answer for question 11.
    They were in the middle of an election. Candidates sell their souls to get elected. Saying they knew nothing of the suit – whether they did or not – was the political thing to say. Every one of them lies to get into office!

    • Anonymous said

      Totally agree with you.

    • Anonymous said

      Since most of it was discussed in-camera, I suspect we won’t ever know what really transpired.

      The acting solicitor was very clear — even if council directs him to disregard solicitor-client privilege and spill the beans in public, he said he can’t and won’t. That’s because the in-camera discussion was about the still-ongoing court case and speaking publicly about it would put him in a position of legal and professional liability.

      Which makes all the hand-wringing and puffed-up outrage here a waste of time.

      Focus on the future people. Phyllis lost and the solicitor who was involved in the lawsuit is no longer with the town.

      Picking over the carcass of the past won’t accomplish anything.

    • Anonymous said

      There are times when things should not be let go; this is one of them until taxpayers have an explanation.
      The fact that a decision was made to pay the ex-mayor’s fees is one thing but an explanation and accounting of why this lawsuit happened with the taxpayers’ credit card is quite another!

  7. KA-NON said

    How can these questions be followed up on?

    As it is, this is just a letter to the editor, now reprinted on this blog. There is nothing other than growing public pressure compelling council to actually answer these questions.

    Does a councillor have to give notice of motion and then introduce this as a topic for discussion and request a report from staff?

    Can Mr. Sesto request delgation status at a meeting on the basis of this letter, and pressure the council directly to get these answered.

    This is NOT a “let’s move on” issue in my opinion. As stated above, this is a very serious matter for the people who are being sued. Also, I believe that it is a very serious matter for all the taxpayers in Aurora, not just because it is costing us money, but because of the possibility that procedure and policy were circumvented, willfully or otherwise.

    • Anonymous said

      I have already written to council in support of Mr. Sesto’s questions and the need for answers. I suggest everyone else do the same.

    • Paul Sesto said

      For everyone’s information, this letter was emailed out last Tuesday April 5th. Although it is not listed here or at The Auroran where the letter was also published this week, the original letter had the following email distribution list at the bottom of the letter:

      For the Town of Aurora:
      Mayor Geoff Dawe
      Councillor John Abel
      Councillor Michael Thompson
      Councillor Evelyn Buck
      Councillor Sandra Humfryes
      Councillor John Gallo
      Councillor Wendy Gaertner
      Councillor Chris Ballard
      Councillor Paul Pirri

      Richard Johnson
      Elizabeth Bishenden
      Bill Hogg

      The Auroran Newspaper
      Ron Wallace – Editor

      The Banner Newspaper
      Jeff Bower – Editor

      Aurora Citizen website – http://www.auroracitizen.ca

      I have also sent the letter after the original distribution to Alison Collins-Mrakas care of The Auroran as she hosts the online video presentation “Our Town with Alison Collins-Mrakas” which is found at http://www.theauroran.com

      Mayor Dawe has acknowledged receipt of the letter and responded that more information on this matter would be forthcoming from the Town.

  8. Anonymous said

    I think Mr. Sesto’s letter is excellent and captures all the questions that have certainly been in my mind since this whole debacle was initiated.
    The decision that we we are on the hook for legal fees up until December 21st does NOT explain how this situation came about
    I too want to know how all the decisions at every step ofthe way were made and on whose authority. Unless we are all clear on how this was allowed to happen, how can we ever be sure that it won’t happen again?
    As a taxpayer, whose money is being used to fund this, I believe I deserve answers and also ask council and town staff to provide residents with a comprehensive, thorough, blow-by-blow explanation of exactly what happened from September 14th onward.

    • Evelyn Buck said

      I had the impression the public does have an account of all that happened on September 14th/15th.
      I have repeated my rationale for opposition to payment of the legal fees several times in camera and on the night the decision was made to pay
      The vote was not unanimous.
      Councillor Thompson and myself were opposed.

      Several things are clear and indisputable.

      The decision to proceed to litigation was not made by Council.

      The tri-party contract was signed by the former mayor, who according to Mr.Rust D’Eye,”appeared”to have a conflict of interest. It was signed by the town solicitor.
      It is argued he had the authority.
      It is signed by the solicitors who advised in the first place, various anonymous comments could be seen to be defamatory of the Mayor,the town solicitor and David Tsubouchi

      Since there were no council meetings, no member of Council could have been privy to that advice.

      Any more than they gave approval to proceed with litigation.

      Under these circumstances,I opposed retaining yet another lawyer to advise on whether or not legal fees incurred in this highly questionable process should be paid.

      Nothing in the advice received caused me to change my judgment.

      I sought disclosure of the latest solicitor/client advice to help the public form their own judgment.But failed in that attempt.

      Having been opposed from the start to anonymous comments being dealt with behind closed doors in any context, the rationale offered by the town for the decision made is of course, not endorsed by myself.
      Other Councillors must speak for themselves.

    • Anonymous said

      With all due respect Councillor Buck, what you relate doesn’t satisfy my need for answers. I want to know what and when any discussions with any of the lawyers took place and who was present, what other communications occurred, e.g. emails, letters etc. discussions with any of the lawyers, and who knew about them – councillors, former councillors, staff etc.; when was the decision to litigate made and who was involved or knew about that? What exactly what transpired between September 14/15 until notice was served on the 3 residents of Aurora. I don’t believe that is at all clear unless I have missed something. If that is the case, please point me in the right direction.

  9. Anonymous said

    Good grief. The majority of council has voted to move on. Seems some people here can’t. Let’s get on with more important things please.

    • Anonymous said

      Clearly you are not one of the families being sued. Surely they would like to put this behind them as well, but they can’t and I suspect a $6 million lawsuit is very important to them.

      It would appear you are unclear about what took place. Imagine, someone offend PM’s delicate feelings so she took money from our taxes to sue people she wanted quiet. How would you feel if she used your tax dollars to sue you to settle political scores.

      Of course, Morris and her supporters would prefer to see the whole sordid mess swept under the carpet and forgotten rather than being held accountable for her actions. But unfortunately, she opened this can of worms — now she must live with the consequences of her actions.

    • sharon said

      As long as 3 Aurora citizens have to spend thousands of dollars to defend themselves against this distasteful lawsuit, we cannot and should not ‘move on”.

    • Anonymous said

      Anonymous said”

      “Clearly you are not one of the families being sued”

      STOP IT STOP IT STOP IT!!!!

      No where have 3 families been sued. 3 INDIVIDUALS have been sued for actions that they did on their own. This hyperbole about “families” and the suit being delivered on Thanksgiving weekend is just trying to pull at the heartstrings.

      I doubt that any of these three have conferred with their families prior to performing any action online at this blog.

    • Anonymous 9:16PM doesn’t list any items they feel to be “more important” than the precedent this lawsuit sets of a government suing its own citizens for hurt feelings.

      Nor are they forthright with their identity.

      I agree with Anonymous 10:08PM. Supporters of the former mayor and her suit would prefer the “mess” they have created to be forgotten. But that isn’t going to happen. Accountability will, and through discussions like the one Paul has raised here, is.

      There are more questions than answers. I’m with Paul on this one. We need some answers. This isn’t going away until we get them.

    • Anonymous said

      Anonymous – 8:03 am

      Actually, unless you happen to be single with no dependants and no responsibilities, or independently wealthy, when someone in a home is sued — the entire family is affected. Unlike when someone hurt Morris’ feelings — only her feelings were hurt.

      Let me explain my view of this concept — funds that are required to fight this lawsuit could also be used for vacations, home repairs, after school activities, medical expenses, clothing, athletic equipment, etc. When those funds are no longer available — then the family that would have benefited — suffers.

      The refusal to acknowledge this key point is typical of people who will justify their actions by any means — not necessarily common sense.

      Why do you think so many in this community are outraged by the lawsuit? They see it for exactly what it is. And they are doubly offended because Phyllis used their (defendants and other taxpayers) money to launch the suit.

    • Veritas said

      I agree with Mr. Watts. You are damn right this is not going away until there are answers and a full accounting of all the actions and decisions that took place.
      We should all make sure of that.

    • Another Anonymous said

      Honestly some of the barbs and negative comments that are being said of the candidates in the Federal election are most likely worse than what was said of Phyllis Morris. Is Stephen Harper going to sue Ignatieff, or vice versa? Would they have the nerve to use taxpayers money to fund it if they did? I don’t think so. What Phyllis Morris is doing to the 3 individuals (and their families) is totally uncalled for. And how is it that she (or her lawyers came up with a 6 million figure?

      I think the whole town deserves answers to all these questions that Paul Sesto has raised.

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