Dear Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council,
As with previous FOI requests I will provide some context to assist with hopefully a prompt response to what is a very straightforward matter albeit borne from
contentious and controversial circumstances (which nevertheless should not preclude the disclosure of the information I am requesting).
On 2nd July 2007 I attended a Grievance Appeal hearing at Wallasey Town Hall with my wife.
This was 10 months after I had submitted my grievance and whistleblowing allegations and many years of trying to raise the issue of the abuse of vulnerable people.
In the duration I was subject to proven sustained and co-ordinated bullying/harassment and abuse of power by Department of Adult Social Services senior management.
This context needs to be considered so that when I say that the single most significant act of my entire experience was when during my opening statement I was interrupted by KEVIN MILLER the then Director of Adult Social Services and he threatened my wife and I that he was going to sue me for defamation of character.
After months of prolonged psychological abuse and years of working within a toxic and dysfunctional Department it was this despicable act more that than anything lead my wife and I to want to take our own lives on the night of July 2nd 2007.
Considering the significance my wife and I placed on this incident there are serious questions as to the lack of investigative rigour that was applied by Martin Smith (North West Employers Organisation) in his subsequent Bullying/Harassment/Abuse of Power report (March 2011) - which is also apparent elsewhere in his report and is detailed in previous FOI requests.
NOTE A : At the Grievance Appeal Hearing there were 3 current or former members of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD)- Cllr.Gerry Ellis (currently Mayor of Wirral),Tom Ryan (DASS Human Resources) and Paul Bradshaw ( Corporate HR - and now Head of HR at Cheshire East Council)
Martin Smith is also a member of CIPD.
It should be noted that Cllr.Pat Wiliams at an Extraordinary Meeting of Wirral Council held on February 13th 2012 complained publicly that she had not not had a right of reply to counter the "outrageous lies" she claimed that had been told to Smith by PAUL BRADSHAW.
The threat of being sued for defamation issue is considered initially on page 166 of the Smith Report:
" Martin Morton has claimed that KEVIN MILLER stated that he and other colleagues intended to sue Martin for defamation.This is most unusual (!) in a grievance appeal hearing and there are different recollections of what was said or even who said it" .
Shades of the Leveson Inquiry were the most incriminating questions were met with the " I have no recollection" response.
KEVIN MILLER (5.566) claims to Smith that "he registered his dissatisfaction in a calm,professional and appropriate way".
Meanwhile CIPD member TOM RYAN (5.568) "confirmed that he made reference to DASS staff seeking independent legal advice when he made his opening remarks by reading from his PRE-DETERMINED PRESENTATION SCRIPT.......indeed those staff are wishing to take independent legal advice with regards to the allegations made".
You are a liar TOM RYAN.It may have been in your PRE-DETERMINED PRESENTATION SCRIPT but you never said it as KEVIN MILLER had already said it for you.
And if you want to sue me for defamation Tom I await the letter from your solicitor (I've been waiting for the one from KEVIN MILLER's solicitor for 5 years - perhaps he's building up the courage to get out from behind CLLR.MOIRA MCLAUGHLIN'S skirts).
Needless to say CIPD member Martin Smith (5.568) concludes whilst "they are not a pleasant thing to hear and would be upsetting for anyone.HOWEVER,I DO NOT THINK THEY INDICATE THAT KEVIN MILLER WAS THREATENING TO SUE MARTIN MORTON FOR DEFAMATION" .
NOTE B: "Upsetting" doesn't come close Mr.Smith.Is it any wonder that he concludes I was "not bullied" at the Grievance Appeal hearing and KEVIN MILLER did not threaten to sue me for defamation.
Might I suggest that Mr.Smith in order to address his lack of investigative rigour watches a few episodes of Judge Judy.
When the Blessed Judge encounters witnesses who have "no recollection" and those who do she goes (as was the case with my wife and I) with those WHO DO recall in vivid detail and at the exact point at which the threat was made.
Tune in to ITV2 Mr.Smith- you might learn something (and you can't say that about ITV2 very often).
Meanwhile Martin Smith chooses to side with those with no recollection and Councillors who state this was "not a very big case (5.627) " a lot of the issues were not anything to do with us" (5.641) and that I "was good at attacking people and winding them up" (Great insight Mr.
A particular dishonourable mention should go to CLLR.HARRY SMITH who not only stated this wasn't "a very big case" (really? £10 million and counting CLLR.SMITH - great insight again there)but also he stated at the aforementioned Extraordinary Council Meeting held on February 13th 2012 that once again he could not recall being at a meeting where Miller and a certain Maura Noone gave him and Councillor Williams a "briefing" after the Grievance Appeal Hearing and it would appear told them both that there was nothing to worry about.
Unfortunately Mr.Miller chose not to mention CLLR.SMITH's attendance at this meeting and laid it all at the door of CLLR.WILLIAMS in a curious FILE NOTE left on my personnel file composed and signed on his last day as Director of DASS ( October 31st 2007).
NOTE C: To her credit Maura Noone has recently confirmed to Cllr.Williams that CLLR.HARRY SMITH was indeed at this meeting.
Which of course leads one to question a) CLLR SMITH's selective amnesia and b) Why KEVIN MILLER failed to record CLLR SMITHs attendance at this meeting but was quite happy to dob CLLR.WILLIAMS in it ,especially when according to the Smith Report KEVIN MILLER claims that the FILE NOTE was an example of him being "assiduous" on his last day (please no laughing at the back).You can't be that "assiduous" when you omit someone who was in attendance at a highly significant meeting surely.Assiduous my ass.
Which brings us to the clincher - exactly what request am I making?.
a)I want the notes of the meeting made by Brian Ellis who was at the Grievance appeal Hearing on 2nd July 2007 and where I understand that he records Kevin Miller complains about me making "defamatory statements".Curiously again Martin Smith does not consider this evidence definitive when he concludes that Miller did not threaten to sue me for defamation.
b) I want a copy of the File Note left on my personnel file by KEVIN MILLER on his last day as DASS Director and dated 31st October 2007.
c) I want copies of any correspondence held by Wirral Council which makes reference to any employee or Councillor past or present who expressed the intention to take legal advice about the allegations I had made about them.
Dear Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council,
Please pass this on to the person who conducts Freedom of Information reviews.
I am writing to request an internal review of Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council's handling of my FOI request 'In for me,infamy.Morton's oh so defamatory....'.
I know Brian Ellis document exists.
A full history of my FOI request and all correspondence is available on the Internet at this address:
You have asked the Council for an internal review of this request for
information and our response is attached. Apologies for the delay in
responding to you.
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Dear Corrin, Jane,
Thank you for confirming how sloppy the Martin Smith report is (and hopefully more to come).
Witnesses and documentary evidence seemingly can't compare with a job title.
Investigative rigour amounted to - he's a Director/member of CIPD so he MUST be telling the truth.
Confirms once again the staggering dishonesty.Particularly of ex-DASS Director Kevin Miller who evidentially threatened me and my wife with defamation but Martin Smith wanted to ignore.
Similarly I want the Tom Ryan /Colin Hughes email which confirms the true motive behind the gagging clause.
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