Govt Funding Legal Action Against Hayward

August 17, 2015

[Updated] Finance Minister Bob Richards confirmed today [Aug 17] that the legal action against BPSU President Jason Hayward will be funded by the Government.

The legal action was launched after Mr Hayward made certain statements about the Minister on a television appearance in relation to the emails over the airport contract with the Canadian Commercial Corporation.

The Minister confirmed this in response to a Parliamentary Question from the Opposition in the House of Assembly, and responding to further questions, Minister Richards said, “The action has directly to do with my fulfillment of my duties as Minister of Finance, and the Cabinet took the position that this related to that, it was a Government matter, and the Cabinet decided this would be the policy.”

Update 12.59pm: Audio of part of today’s exchange in the House of Assembly regarding the action follows below.

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  1. watching says:

    this is absolutely ridiculous. They already wasted money on the Toni daniels lawsuit. Money for frivolous lawsuits but not for seniors, students, or the vulnerable.
    OBA – A Better way??
    I think not.

    • Casual Observer says:

      I suggest you advise your team to cease with the constant lies and libel against people thy perceive as their enemies.

      People and organisations have a right to protect their reputations against unfounded gossip and lies.

      • watching says:

        yes they do…from their personal accounts.

        • jt says:

          “PAC recommends that the Government examine amending Financial Instructions to allow for the Cabinet to support a civil action taken on behalf of a Minister against anyone who defames and damages the reputation or credibility of the Minister when he or she is carrying out his or her duties. The PAC also recommends that any amendment to Financial Instructions make it clear that any proceeds from any such action revert to the Government of Bermuda.”

          The below elected representatives on the PAC agreed and signed off on these recommendations.
          Mr. David Burt (Chairman)
          Ms. Lovitta Foggo
          Mr. Terry Lister
          Mr. Cole Simons
          Mr. Glen Smith
          Mr. Jeff Sousa

        • ReALLyBettty says:

          The nature of this case does not require spending of TAX-PAYERS money. SUCH A WASTE OF TAX_PAYERS MONEY………RULE BY SUING>….ONLY………….

          It does however suggest the Government is not in such a financial bind, if Richards is willing to waste money on a court case, in which he got his feelings hurt only…..come on….now OBA this is going tooooo far into the ridiculous ……

          Sounds like toni’s case feelings hurt and so lets waste some more of the Taxpayers monies…….yet he said look in his pocket….yeah because the money is not coming from his pocket but us the Tax-payers…..please for………….. real…….

          Can not sue everyone to keep their mouths shout…….please…..where is freedom of speech…….only persons that benefit from all of this nonsense is the LAWYERS>…..laughing all the way to the bank………oooh

          • Casual Observer says:

            Very interesting reply Betty. Especially given your response to the original June 9 2014 Bernews article regarding this PAC recommendation. Let me remind as to what your actual response was at that time:

            “Excellent recommendations by PAC. This should have been in place years and years ago. Every government Minister should have some legal representation when a case directly is set up to defame them.”

            Guessing that was one of the other numerous “Betty’s” huh? You guys really need to talk and get the narrative right before posting.

            For avoidance of doubt here’s the link to the June 9 2014 article that I am quoting you from:

            http://bernews.com/2014/06/pac-report-use-of-funds-for-legal-expenses/

            • Terry says:

              You tell em

            • hmmm says:

              Same Betty, same graphic…name slightly altered, but it is the same source.

              • ReALLyBettty says:

                @ Casual Obsever…..The nature of this case does not require a Court Case. It does not require any form of legal action. The implications of the case does not warrant such. It simply is unnecessary.

                In cases were there serious impact upon the country. I say yes for government funding such cases. In such cases I will agree with PAC’s recommendations..for real ……but this case by RICHARDS IS PURE FOOLISHNESS. This case is like toni’s case…purely a case of feelings been hurt….

                WASTE OF TAXPAYERS MONIES>…..

              • Rights for All says:

                This is not Bob Richards against the Union, it is the Union against the Bob Richards as Minister of Finance. “Betty” may a problem in understanding why this is but it is. No wonder the PLP are in disarray if they can’t understand simple details.

          • jt says:

            “No guns, no bloodshed, no physical attacks…just a sustained program of information, DISINFORMATION and criticism must be considered acceptable”

          • Noncents says:

            BETTTY TRUMP says:
            June 9, 2014
            “PAC recommends that the Government examine amending Financial Instructions to allow for the Cabinet to support a civil action taken on behalf of a Minister against anyone who defames and damages the reputation or credibility of the Minister when he or she is carrying out his or her duties.”

            “The PAC also recommends that any amendment to Financial Instructions make it clear that any proceeds from any such action revert to the Government of Bermuda.”

            Excellent recommendations by PAC. This should have been in place years and years ago. Every government Minister should have some legal representation when a case directly is set up to defame them

            • Really Really BETTTY says:

              But this is personal. ..the implications of this case differs…..thus Richards should pay for it himself. It’s personal. It’s an attack by Richards and the OBA on Unions in Bermuda. Please …..waste of our Tax-payers monies. …nothing more nothing less. …

              • Ringmaster says:

                No difference unless you are suggesting Bob Richards, as an individual, was putting out a multi million dollar Government contract. You and the PLP might believe that, but no one else so you have been caught in your own web of deceit. Misinformation and disinformation yet again.

                • ReALLyBettty says:

                  Its a waste and you know it, it is nothing more than a case of “personal feeling,” nothing to do with government…nor does it impact Bermuda in any major way. This is outrageous….PAC did not mean for the monies to be used on silly cases such as this…..get real. They particularly outlined the way in which such monies should be used. Richard’s reputation is not hurt in anyway in this regards. He is just like not willing to have someone call him out…for wrong doings…nothing more and nothing less…..get over it…

                  • Ringmaster says:

                    You supported the decision of PAC in June 2014 with no reservations or conditions as to how or why the Government should support a civil action. Your comment “Every government Minister should have some legal representation when a case directly is set up to defame them”. Read it again. End of story. The more you try and defend your argument the more you fail.

                    • radical says:

                      Using Betty’s own words against her?
                      She’ll spin around and disappear up her own you-know-what.

                    • Really Really BETTTY says:

                      I know your been handed a script from the OBA PR team
                      But the truth is this is viewed by most folks as a Waste of our taxpayers monies…..especially when Mr. RICHARDS SAYS MONEY DOES NOT GHOW ON TREES AND WE ARE IN DEBT…..PLEASE …GET REAL

          • Terry says:

            Accusations against a Minister is covered by law.

            For God’s sake folks.

            UBP kept the economy going after the 70′s.
            Some in the PLP helped ruin it and forge ahead with socialism.

            Any memories out there?

            Now who was the “Third Man” at Government House.

            All relevant

            • impressive. says:

              You have officially lost your mind. Socialism?? For Real? wth………..

      • Jeremy Deacon says:

        yes they do – but i don’t, as a taxpayer, expect to have to foot the bill.

        • ReALLyBettty says:

          Nothing more than the OBA government’s attempt to silence the UNIONS in BERMUDA….pay attention people……

          This is a waste of MONEY……TAXPAYERS MONEY….

          • radical says:

            It won’t silence anyone who is telling the truth. The truth isn’t defamatory.
            If the unions want to avoid expensive lawsuits, they should try sticking to facts which are true.
            That’s how the rest of us do it. Don’t spread lying BS about people, and they tend not to sue you.

        • Terry says:

          Your not getting a bill Jeremy.
          Your good at taking sides when conviniant.

          I mean lets be fair.
          You shoved it down our throats for years

      • Rich says:

        The Toni Daniels case wasn’t a lawsuit. It was a public prosecution.

    • Jeremy Deacon says:

      that was a criminal case, it did not involve direct spending by Govt…. as this does

      • Gorgam says:

        It was a criminal case but Governemt still paid… They paid the police to investigate it, CC’s in the DPP office reviewed and prosecuted it in front of a Magistrate all of whom are paid by Government. It was hardly a private prosecution and it cost all of us.

        • Jeremy Deacon says:

          not comparing apples with apples – it is part of the on-going justice system….

        • Spectator says:

          By your definition, any issue brought to the police for investigation is paid for by the taxpayers and is therefore wrong. Well, duh, of course police work is paid by taxpayers. Nothing wrong with that. The police enforce laws and investigate wrongdoing on behalf of the public. I’m sure if you were attacked and asked the police to investigate, you wouldn’t want to pay for it yourself. You would require the police to do their job.

    • NO MORE WAR says:

      And they say they aren’t got any money.

    • NO MORE WAR says:

      Inreally want to pursue libel against people as well but I just can’t damn well afford it. Maybe I should join Government so that I can take them to task.

    • JCS says:

      The Toni Daniels case wasn’t paid for by Government. AND I would not consider that lawsuit as frivlous. Marc Bean has a potty mouth, and some day it will come back to haunt him.

    • You just don’t get it.
      Money doesn’t grow on trees.
      What a JOKE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Zevon says:

        so you disagree with the “brilliant” David Burt and Lovitta Foggo then.
        LMFAO.

    • Rhonda says:

      i support the taxpayers paying……via the AG Office…want a QC pay for it yourself…..

    • stunned... says:

      things not to do: don’t heckle the comedian with the mic or impugn the integrity of a person or body with deep pockets.

  2. Casual Observer says:

    Before the usual suspects begin their usual drivel, they should be first reminded of the decision by the PAC, chaired by David Burt, reached in June 2014. The PAC meetings regarding this matter centred around Dr. Brown and Mr. Derrick Burgess’ legal fees over the so called ‘cheque-gate’ issue in 2009.

    The recommendation from these PAC meetings included the following:

    “PAC recommends that the Government examine amending Financial Instructions to allow for the Cabinet to support a civil action taken on behalf of a Minister against anyone who defames and damages the reputation or credibility of the Minister when he or she is carrying out his or her duties. The PAC also recommends that any amendment to Financial Instructions make it clear that any proceeds from any such action revert to the Government of Bermuda.”

    The below elected representatives on the PAC agreed and signed off on these recommendations.

    Mr. David Burt (Chairman)
    Ms. Lovitta Foggo
    Mr. Terry Lister
    Mr. Cole Simons
    Mr. Glen Smith
    Mr. Jeff Sousa

    All signed and dated June 6 2014. If you want confirmation then look up the document on Bernews.

    • Jeremy Deacon says:

      wrong then, wrong now.

      • Casual Observer says:

        Legally wrong back then, but not legally wrong now.

        • Onion says:

          But practically wrong. I know nothing may be technically wrong but if a Minister wants to protect his reputation he should be funding it himself out of principle.

          • Jeremy Deacon says:

            Like you and I would have to do ….

            • ReALLyBettty says:

              THE nature of this case does not require it going before a court. What happen in the pass is not a free pass or excuse for what is going on today. The case by Richards is weak at best, and does not require a court case. IT is more about silence of the UNIONS in BERMUDA, nothing more and nothing less. ……WAKE UP PEOPLE…..the agenda has been set by OBA……

              • Build a Better Bermuda says:

                That’s funny, because so many in the PLP were willing to excuse the BHC scandal with a free pass as ‘the UBP did it’… even as far into their administration as 2007, they were trying to blame the education meltdown on the UBP. Mr. Hayward made publicly broadcast accusations about minister going on with government business, without any actual evidence to support his claims, but still tried to pass them off as truth. Defamation of a government minister conducting government business… all you Betties need to get yourselves better coordinated, because at least one of you was told to agree with the PAC recommendation that supports this current action. Or is it disorganization amongst your masters in the Alaska Hall oligarchy, unable to remember where they stand or stood, who ordered what and when.

            • hmmm says:

              All proceeds go to Govt coffers.

              • Ringmaster says:

                The “Betty” obo the PLP has been uncovered. Read “her” response June 9 2014 in support of the PAC recommendations, posted earlier. Now trying to say the issue is different. Pathetic but to be expected. By the way why no court case? An inquiry maybe? Or should unfounded accusations not be challenged?

                • ReALLyBettty says:

                  Ringmaster I know the script of the OBA, it reads like the PR team of the OBA, the missing fact is that this case is much different. While I agree with PAC’s ruling the reality is, it was not intended for a case like this…RICHARD’s CASE is not what PAC intended it to be used for.

                  This case is a silly personal agenda because his feelings where hurt. NO where was his reputation affected or does it hurt Bermuda on a global scale. This is a waste of TAXPAYERS MONIES…nothing more and nothing less.

                  PAC had stipulations for the use of such monies coming from the Taxpayers. Mr Richards case does not align up with such stipulations. FOr REAL…

                  • Ringmaster says:

                    Keep squirming and trying to deflect from your own admiration and support of the PAC decision in June 2014. Let me remind you of your support: “Excellent recommendations by PAC. This should have been in place years and years ago. Every government Minister should have some legal representation when a case directly is set up to defame them” Where did you say anything about conditions? You didn’t and you have been caught in a lie.

                  • radical says:

                    It’s not the OBA script Betty. It’s you own words.
                    Are you disappearing up your own a__s yet?

        • Jeremy Deacon says:

          morally screwed that the taxpayer should foot the bill

    • watching says:

      Didn’t the OBA and the Auditor General find that in the case of the forged cheques, the Government should NOT have paid the bills?

      • Casual Observer says:

        Don’t know about the OBA, but the AG certainly did

        That would be due to the fact that the financial instructions at the time did not permit for funds to be used for this purpose. Also, the issue was that any proceeds that could’ve been awarded to the plaintiffs would only benefit them and not the taxpayer funding the legal bill.

        As I stated pretty clearly above the amendment recommendations were issued last year June. As such no financial instructions have been breached as they were in 2009/10. So no breach this time around. Whether you agree with it or not it doesn’t really matter as it is permitted.

        These amendments to the financial instructions were agreed to by both Parties. And who says they can’t play nice with one another.

    • clearasmud says:

      @ casual observer it was a recommendation can you show where it was debated and approved by anyone? The finance minister has the constituational responsible for how money is spend so it seems very hollow that he is trying to say its Cabinet’s call!

      • Casual Observer says:

        It’s not legislation, so it doesn’t need to be debated in the House.

        The PAC discussed the recommendation during their meetings and agreed to move it forward.

    • Rhonda says:

      Where is the Auditor General……

  3. Jeremy Deacon says:

    This is absurd, I don’t pay my taxes on time for them to go to things like this. Also – what if Bob loses and the judge decides to award costs against him (the Govt). That means Joe Public gets to pay for the BPSU as well …
    Oh, and does anyone know how expensive defamation cases can be, especially if they go to court. Why do you think it is only the rich that sue newspapers?

  4. Yamon says:

    That whole government is filled with a bunch of cowboys. I have no confidence in either the PLP or the OBA.

    • Regina says:

      I’m starting to agree with you. Really questioning whether or not I want to invest in BDA – AC 35 or not. Is it really a wise investment when the Govt (whoever they are at the time) is so questionable? So many more solid investment opportunities out there, why invest here?

  5. Self says:

    I hope the BPSU membership (as well as sister unions) don’t take this lightly. This is their usual M.O….to use the courts to intimidate their critics into silence.
    Stand behind your President people!!!

    • hmmm says:

      Or perhaps demand he be sacked from his BPSU role for abuse of his position, if what he was doing was not part of his remit.

  6. Rockfish #1 says:

    Not sure, but didn’t the Privy Council hear a case involving the previous Government, a few years ago? Who paid for that?

    • Build a Better Bermuda says:

      That wasn’t even for defamation, it was to silence the media I believe.

  7. tobp says:

    Amazing about who will be paying for minister Richards defence. I don’t see any mention of who will be paying the bill for mr. Hayward. Was he speaking on behalf of the BPSU or himself. Will the BPSU or the people’s campaign be finding his defence.

  8. Serious Though says:

    Not a great way of our leaders to engage in this kind of politics whether your are in opposition or governing party, Issue NO#1 JOBS, seriously people are struggling, GET to work .

  9. Islandgirl says:

    I also think the basis of this case is ridiculous. It upsets me that the Government beleives that they can bully people in this way. It is importanat that people hold the Government responsible!!!! Dont be a politician if you dont want people to question what you are doing!!!! And despite what Mr Richards and other members of the OBA may not realize is that they work for the people of this country…not themselves!!

    STOP IT OBA.

  10. Terry says:

    First time since audio that I have listened to something from the house.

    Grasping at straws and trying to deflect is what the PLP are doing.

    The last 40 seconds speaks volumes.

    Bermuda’s PLP
    Shalom.

  11. Alvin Williams says:

    Money does not grow on trees? accept of course if government wants to take somebody to court ; than there is the recourse of dipping into people’s tax base to save one’s integrity?

  12. Coffee says:

    Bob Richards , what a trifling individual , imagine looking under the hood and putting aside money for a petty and most juvenile lawsuit … Pathetic !
    Now tell me how this action puts Bermudians back to work !

    • Ringmaster says:

      Name one action the PLP have detailed, read detailed which means costs, time lines, number of jobs and benefits, not some fancy ideas like undersea mining or on line gambling, that puts Bermudians back to work. Just one in detail so we can decide if the PLP should be supported in the next election.

      • Coffee says:

        No deflections allowed !!! Tell me how this action puts Bermudians back to work ?

        • Ringmaster says:

          Clearly it doesn’t. I’ve answered your question, now answer mine.

  13. Sherlene Smith says:

    I hope u voters 4 oba are paying attention , when they say their is no money in the GOVERNMENT PURSE. If they can afford to pay 4 this court case & there lawyer SAUL FROOMKIN. IF U GET LEACAL AID U USE WHAT EVER GOV .LAWYER. EXPLAIN TO ME HOW HE IS ABLE TO CHOOSE A QC LAWYER ON TAX PAYERS PURSE. THEY NEED TO REIMBURSE BURGESS & DR.BROWN.PLUS THEY SURE DID DRAG DR. BROWN DOWN TO THE DOGS & WITH NO PROOF. HE SHOULD HAVE HAD THEM ALL IN COURT

  14. Just a matter of time says:

    @Ringmaster. Are you suggesting that during the entire 14 years the PLP was in Govt there was no budget plan (which is required by law), no Throne Speech initiatives (also required) and that not one Govt Ministry at the time put forth Budget Brief initiatives which are read in the House in much detail for every single Govt Dept, cost and revenue center? Are you suggesting that this entire process which continued before the PLP and continues today totally disappeared during those 14 years? Are you also suggesting that the PLP didn’t have one Town Hall presentation or PR to outline various initiatives and projects? Not one? I suggest you review the official Budget Books produced by the Ministry of Finance every year to answer your question which includes Ministry initiatives and Head counts (proposed or otherwise) eg jobs. And if the Budget is not on target due to unforeseen circumstances which happens in all administrations including this current one, additional action is taken.

    • Build a Better Bermuda says:

      In 14 years, there was $800m spent that can not be accounted for; never mind unforeseen or unexpected budget overruns… but complete failure to provide an account of. Could be it was legit, but irregardless, under the PLP’s governance of the public purse, they spent $800m and failed to get any receipts to let us know where they spent it. That averages to $57m a year of budgeted monies that they cannot say if it was spent on what it was supposed to be spent on according to their budgets. You can be rest assured that we didn’t have emergency or unforeseen costs every years to the tune of $57m. Not even Gonzalo and Fay came close to that bill, and the PLP only had, what… Fabian. Because, aside from storms, there aren’t that many unforeseeable costs to impact us that could rack up to millions.

    • Ringmaster says:

      Your response may well be accurate, however my question was asking Coffee to detail one action that would put Bermudians back to work. That was in response to his question. What may have occurred in the past in irrelevant. Action means now. Name one action (now) in detail to put Bermudians back to work.

  15. Common Sense says:

    How much did the PLP spend on lawsuits to try to prevent the media from printing the report on the BHC scandal. The PLP lost three suits; the Supreme Court, The Court of Appeals and then The Privy Council. The result was the same in all cases. “The Public’s right to know out- weighed all other considerations” These cases were really PLP acting against the interests of Bermuda. Bermuda won!