Thursday, 10 January 2008

Assembly Senior Civil Servant Accused

The Wales on Sunday, Daily Mail and South Wales Echo have reported in the last few days on a civil court action concerning two Assembly civil servants in relation to sexual harrassment and assault.

I'm disturbed by the following statement:

An internal investigation was carried out by the Assembly Government after Mrs Davies filed a complaint in September 2003. Mr Evans was cleared after the inquiry concluded there was insufficient evidence against him.

Internal investigation! If accusations are made and a crime has allegedly been committed then the police should've been informed. It should distress staff and the wider public that such organisations can try to take matters into their own hands.

Call me an old fashioned girl, but I thought it was up to the police to examine all the evidence and to determine whether or not a crime has been committed - then take the appropriate action. It shouldn't even be an internal disciplinary matter to begin with. Organisations shouldn't try to take these matters into their own hands, even if their intentions are honourable to begin with, as it just looks as it they are attempting a cover up in the long run.

Whether a crime has or hasn't been committed in this case, a civil court action doesn't suffice and something should've been done nearer to the time of the alleged incident(s). Because of the actions of the organisation and the lack of action from both individuals at the time, we have now experienced a trial by media and speculation.
Update: The BBC and Western Mail have reported that Mr Evans has been ordered to pay damages for sexually harassing a female colleague. Judge Curran QC said Mr Evans' assertion that Mrs Davies had conspired with a colleague to invent the story "bore all the marks of desperation".
Mrs Davies said she complained to senior assembly officials who launched an internal investigation into her claims. But the court heard officials took no further action against Mr Evans because of "insufficient evidence". She resigned from her job on medical grounds.

An assembly spokesman said he could not comment on the case or confirm whether any action would be taken against Mr Evans.


John 10 January 2008 at 08:41  

The Assembly should've called the police in as soon as the accusation was made. Simple as that.

Caronwen 10 January 2008 at 08:55  

I agree that without a thorough police investigation at the time of the incident we will never know what happened or what likely happened. Mistakes were made and that's what happens when organisations/people take policing into their own hands.

dotcommentator 10 January 2008 at 10:29  

Yes, you're right. The procedure the Assembly followed is only valid for cases where it is alleged that an Assembly rule has been broken. It's fairly clear that all this 'transparency' guff is bull-poop when it comes to the Assembly's back office functions. Anyone who has tried to make any sort of information request will known what I mean.

Miss Wagstaff 10 January 2008 at 11:10  

It makes you wonder how many cases have been covered up in the past.

This could be the start of people going public for the first time. In an organisation of that size, more goes on than we will ever found out about.

Miss Wagstaff 10 January 2008 at 11:10  

Dotcommentator - you should start a blog as that's an excellent name and I've enjoyed reading your comments on this site.

SK 10 January 2008 at 11:48  

You'd be surprised as to what goes on. Then again, perhaps you wouldn't. Depends what shocks you in the first place.

Woody 10 January 2008 at 11:51  

Does anyone remember the security men down the bay and their use of cctv cameras to peep into bedroom windows. Isn't that a crime that was hushed up?

dotcommentator 10 January 2008 at 12:11  

Woody - I seem to recall that one making the front page of the Echo. Regarding idle tittle tattle, I once heard a rather interesting (but unsubstantiated) rumour about Nick Bourne and his desk.

Thanks for the compliment, Miss Wagstaff. I shall place it in my in-tray and reply when I return to my Assembly desk from Christmas holidays in March (this is a joke, of course, I don't work for the Assembly). I'm rather busy so I don't know if I'd manage a blog. You'll be one of the first to know about it if I do start one though.

Miss Wagstaff 10 January 2008 at 12:19  

Dotcommentator - perhaps you could send me an email as I may have a proposition for you - something I've been toying with for a while. I'll need some evidence that you're the 'one and only' dotcommentator though.

Woody 10 January 2008 at 12:45  

Nick Bourne and his desk. Hmm!

dotcommentator 10 January 2008 at 13:49  

Waggy - I've just emailed you (circa 13:45 GMT).

Ruth 10 January 2008 at 15:11  

Has anyone an idea of the level of compensation? This could lead to more claims and hopefully not opportunists.

Anonymous 10 January 2008 at 15:14  

She was hoping to claim £15k which must be the maximum the court can award. No confirmation yet.

Anonymous 10 January 2008 at 16:56  

Didn't the incident happen in a pub? Guess the lady should have reported it to the police.

temporary secretary 10 January 2008 at 19:04  

The top man doesn't like scandal and has ruled the Assembly with an iron rod. There's more to come in other areas. Quangos being one.

Jonty 10 January 2008 at 23:19  

Today's news will be forgotten by tomorrow and we'll all have something else to be shocked about when Assembly recess is over. All the gang are back next week... yippee!

johnny foreigner 10 January 2008 at 23:25  

Miss Wagstaff said...

Dotcommentator - perhaps you could send me an email as I may have a proposition for you - something I've been toying with for a while.

johnny says....

But surely Miss, it's proposals like this that can give an entirely wrong impression.

Your prudish pal.


Miss Wagstaff 10 January 2008 at 23:39  

Yes, on reading that again it does sound very, very bad ;)

Anonymous 11 January 2008 at 11:58  

The amount of award is made at a later date.

Karen 11 January 2008 at 12:00  

"Yes, on reading that again it does sound very, very bad ;)" Good job you're a respectable lady otherwise men would get the wrong idea.

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