House of Assembly picks up harassment-related legal fees for MHAs

The House of Assembly will pick up the $55,000 cheque for legal fees resulting from last year’s accusations of harassment and subsequent investigation, which saw Dale Kirby and Eddie Joyce ousted from the governing Liberals.

The decision to cover the fees for four MHAs was approved by the House of Assembly Management Commission during an in-camera meeting in the speaker’s boardroom on Jan. 23.

Fees accrued up to Nov. 6, 2018 will be covered.

The total cost breakdown for the legal expenses being covered by the House are as follows:

  • Tracey Perry, MHA for Fortune Bay-Cape La Hune: $12,502.80.
  • Pam Parsons, MHA for Harbour Grace-Port de Grave: $2,219.51.
  • Sherry Gambin-Walsh, MHA for Placentia-St. Mary’s: $14,559.00.
  • Dale Kirby, MHA for Mount Scio: $26,277.50. 

Dale Kirby will have $26,277.50 in legal fees covered. (Gary Locke/CBC)

Months of allegations of bullying and harassment between MHAs led Premier Dwight Ball to hand over the investigation to Bruce Chaulk, the commissioner of legislative standards, in May.

The commission directed that the decision to pay these legal fees will not be considered a precedent in similar matters. According to the minutes from the Jan. 23 meeting, future policy direction of the management commission on the reimbursement of legal fees will not be constrained by the commission’s decision in this matter. 

Joyce was given a deadline of Jan. 31, 2019 in order to be considered for similar legal fee reimbursement.

The two-day waiting period to give effect to commission decisions was also waived during the Jan. 23 meeting. 

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