City considers the issue closed citing two independent legal opinions
By Kevin Woodhouse
Kirkland resident Sergei Brovkin made headlines a couple of years ago while writing a blog for the Kirkland Citizens Association. A specific blog referred to the then controversy between council and citizens affected by cross connected pipes. Councillor André Allard, referenced in the blog, took offence and along with the city, sued Brovkin for defamation.
After two separate occasions, Brovkin was never charged with anything but had to pay out of his own pocket for his legal defence. He wanted Allard to pay for his own legal fees instead of having “taxpayers cover the cost” and wrote to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs for their advice on the matter.
And while the ministry cannot give a legal edict to the city, the letter Brovkin received recently stated that the legal fees incurred by Allard in the case against Brovkin should indeed be paid back by the councillor and not by the city.
“My case was dismissed but legal fees were paid by myself and the city of Kirkland,” Brovkin told The Suburban. “It was a bogus case to begin with and while the city tried to intimidate me and failed, then the person who was responsible should pay.”
Brovkin has tried unsuccessfully to find out how much money the city spent in legal fees on two outside opinions on the dossier as well as Allard’s legal costs.
Since the city’s two legal opinions noted that they were in the right to pursue Brovkin in the first place, Mayor Michel Gibson did acknowledge Brovkin’s reply from the ministry but told The Suburban “that after council reviewed the letter in question, we are considering the matter closed from the city’s point of view.”
The Kirkland resident is pleased that his case, according to his lawyer Julius Grey “is precedent setting because if the city wants to go after a citizen, they will have to think twice.”
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