Dr Brown Asks For Review Of Police Investigation

January 31, 2019

Lawyers acting for the health clinics operated by Dr Ewart Brown have written to the Governor and Director of Public Prosecutions to express their concern at what is alleged to be “the use of sensitive patient information by a senior member of the Bermuda Police Service.”

They also requested the Governor “instruct a review of the investigation into clinics run by Dr. Brown, taking into account the time and resources consumed” and the “absence of evidence.”

This is the latest step in what has been a long running investigation into Dr Brown’s medical clinics, which included the clinics being ‘raided’ by the police.

File photo of boxes being removed from the medical clinic by the police in 2017

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The legal letter to the Governor said, “We represent former Premier Dr. Ewart Brown. Our client is a medical doctor and the owner and operator of successful medical clinics in Bermuda. He is the subject of a long­ running investigation by the Bermuda Police Service [BPS] into the operations of those clinics.

The letter said it is within this “context that we write to you to express our grave concern” at the alleged “use of sensitive patient information by a senior member of the Bermuda Police Service [BPS] in order to put pressure on a potential witness.”

“Your Excellency, as governor you are ultimately responsible for the BPS, which includes ensuring its officers conduct themselves in accordance with the BPS Code of Conduct.

“We therefore request that you direct an expeditious inquiry of this incident by the Police Complaints Authority for violation of the BPS Code of Conduct,” the letter said, adding that they  “will provide any assistance we are able to the PCA’s inquiry.”

“More broadly, however, your responsibility for the BPS extends to ensuring that its regrettably diminishing resources are deployed in accordance with the public interest. Despite a massive expenditure of scarce police resources over several years, there is no concrete evidence of medical malpractice.

“It is also important to note that the BPS investigation has been conducted in the face of resolute opposition from the patients affected. No patient of a clinic run by Dr. Brown has ever complained of the quality of the medical care provided.”

The letter said “all but a few of the patients of Bermuda Healthcare Services and the Brown-Darrell Clinic whose records were affected by the raids” in February 2017 have “taken the significant step of formally intervening in the judicial review proceedings in support of the applicants, and in opposition to the BPS.”

“It seems clear that the lengthy pursuit of this investigation by the BPS, despite the available evidence indicating an absence of wrongdoing and against the stated interests of the patients, has served as displacement for the predictable failure of the BPS to incriminate Dr. Brown for his actions in Government.

“We therefore request that you instruct a review of the investigation into clinics run by Dr. Brown, taking into account the time and resources consumed, the absence of evidence, as well as the procedural impact of a long list of established procedural abuses by the BPS.

“These circumstances, assessed fairly, inevitably lead to the conclusion that the continuation of this unduly lengthy and severely mishandled investigation represents an unconscionable burden on the public purse, and is not in the public interest.

“We reserve all our client’s rights as to the appropriate steps to take as a consequence of this incident in the context of the proceedings pending before the Supreme Court and the BPS investigation.”

In response, Government House said, “Government House can confirm that a letter has been received from Trott and Duncan to which the Governor will reply.

“Government House would also note that the Police Complaints Authority is an independent body established by the Police Complaints Authority 1998 and that it is open to individuals to make complaints to the Authority in accordance with the provisions of the Act.”

A police spokesperson said, “The Bermuda Police Service strongly disagrees with many of the sentiments that have been expressed and attributed to the BPS as it relates to the patient files and sensitive patient information, however it would not be prudent to respond as the matter is being investigated.

“It also should be noted that the BPS has been very clear over the years and our position has not changed. We are conducting a thorough investigation and as such we will not be speaking further on the matter until the investigation has come to a conclusion. We are aware of the public interest. However, we will stay committed and focused on the investigation.”

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