Fired for sexual harassment – wants $616,000 legal fees paid

“He has received almost $500,000 in salary while suspended, and his prior legal fees in this matter, in the amount of $123,000, have already been paid for him. Now he wants us to pay out over $600,000 more for his current legal bills… this will come to roughly $1,250,000 the taxpayer may end up having to pay out in total as the result of his trying to justify and excuse sexual harassment as his ‘personal management style’.”

This is one of the inevitable consequences of our predatory and largely unaccountable “human rights industry” – the utterly unrealistic expectations and sense of entitlement it can bestow upon its politically-correct beneficiaries.

Justice of the Peace Erroll Massiah was previously a mediator and adjudicator who worked with the Police Complaints Commission and the Ontario Human Rights Commission; one may reasonably wonder if he was promoted up and out-of-the-way for similar misbehaviour while in those positions…

He was eventually fired earlier this month after a disciplinary panel found he sexually harassed several women at the Whitby courthouse between 2007 and 2010.

He was suspended for ten days by the Justices of the Peace Review Council in 2012, after being accused of making inappropriate comments to female staff. But, although he has been in receipt of his full salary of some $122,000 per year for almost five years, he has not presided over any court proceedings since 2010.

According to the Toronto Star story “Disciplinary panel recommends firing Whitby Justice of the Peace” published late last month, Errol Massiah’s sexual harassment led to a “poisoned work environment” – and – “…is so manifestly and profoundly destructive of the judicial role and integrity in the judiciary that public confidence requires (Massiah) to be removed from office.”

The accusations against him included:

– Leering and/or ogling at female staff.

– Telling one woman near the women’s washroom he liked “two-tone blondes”.

– Changing in his chambers with the door open and standing at the door with his shirt off when a female staff member was delivering documents.

– Telling a female prosecutor, “Looking goooood,” and in another instance, leaning in from behind with his mouth close to her ear and saying, “Oooh, lady in red.”

He has received almost $500,000 in salary while suspended, and his prior legal fees in this matter, in the amount of $123,000, have already been paid for him. Now he wants us to pay out over $600,000 more for his current legal bills… this will come to roughly $1,250,000 the taxpayer may end up having to pay out in total as the result of his trying to justify and excuse sexual harassment as his “personal management style”.

In objecting to the payment of his current legal bills, we are told that “Presenting counsel Marie Henein and Matthew Gourlay, who were retained to prepare and present the case against Massiah, argue in their submissions that the $616,000 is ‘staggering’ and ‘exorbitant’, and that the council should not recommend paying Massiah’s legal bill… In these circumstances, considering the misconduct committed by the applicant and the manner in which this case has proceeded, a reasonable member of the public would not consider it just for the applicant’s legal bill to be paid by the public…”

How very true; making the taxpayer fund this man’s wrong-doing and abuse of power is illogical and unacceptable in the extreme. And furthermore, it will do absolutely nothing to deter any others who may wish to take advantage of their position (and their minority status?) in this or any other way.

The mere suggestion is offensive to me.

Jeff Goodall.

Read “Disciplinary panel recommends firing Whitby Justice of the Peace” (April 28th) here.

Read “Fired JP wants public to pay $616K legal bill” (May 29th) here.

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