A College of Windsor legislation professor who was efficiently sued for defamation by a former colleague has filed a discover of authorized motion towards her faculty, accusing it of “unconscionable” behaviour by hiding paperwork that might have cleared her.

Julie Macfarlane says the college owes her a public apology and monetary compensation for refusing to make accessible to her paperwork, together with a termination letter,  that she believes backs up the claims she made towards her former colleague Emir Crowne.

“I really feel like I have been fully betrayed by my college, by my establishment,” Macfarlane, a full professor of legislation on the faculty, mentioned in an interview with CBC Information.

However the college is denying Macfarlane’s allegations.

A Trinidad and Tobago courtroom dominated in Might that Macfarlane defamed and libelled Crowne, and had supplied no proof of her accusations that he sexually harassed, threatened and intimidated college students whereas he was a legislation professor on the College of Windsor greater than six years in the past.

The courtroom additionally awarded Crowne the equal of greater than $100,000 in damages due to what Macfarlane instructed his employers after he left the college.

However Macfarlane says she was solely lately made conscious of the existence of a termination letter that then-university president Alan Wildeman despatched to Crowne in 2014.

In that letter, obtained by CBC Information, Wildeman writes that Crowne “repeatedly engaged in harassment” of scholars and a college member.

Settlement reached

Crowne, nonetheless, reached a settlement settlement with the varsity that included his full wage for the subsequent three months and just below $100,000 a 12 months for 4 years. The small print about Crowne’s termination letter,and settlement have been stored non-public, main Macfarlane to accuse and criticize the varsity for signing a non-disclosure settlement with him.

Macfarlane argues that Crowne breached the settlement by launching authorized motion towards her. 

“The truth that none of those paperwork have been offered to Dr. Macfarlane is unconscionable,” Natalie MacDonald, her lawyer, wrote in a current letter to the varsity.

“These paperwork not solely affirm that always Dr. Macfarlane was persistently telling the reality about Crowne,  however extra disturbingly, illuminate the college’s intentional and lively cover-up of Crowne’s behaviour.”

“To have sat again and turned a blind eye to her apparent misery throughout this time is unfathomable,” the letter goes on.

Macfarlane is now demanding, partially, that the varsity subject her a public apology clearing her identify and state publicly that non-disclosure agreements won’t be used in any instances of “simply trigger” termination sooner or later. She can also be searching for $250,000 in compensation, cash for use for the Nationwide Self-Represented Litigants Venture, a company that advocates for the wants of self-represented litigants and of which Macfarlane is director. 

The letter additionally states that if the college doesn’t meet Macfarlane’s calls for, she is going to proceed with civil litigation towards the varsity. Certainly, a discover of motion has been filed within the Ontario Superior Court docket, arguing that the varsity “failed to guard her towards the vexatious motion commenced” by Crowne “regardless of understanding that [Macfarlane] spoke the reality.”

That motion would search $1 million for breach of contractual obligation, $1 million for psychological duress and $5 million for punitive damages if a lawsuit goes forward.

Julie Macfarlane says the College of Windsor owes her a public apology and monetary compensation for refusing to make accessible to her paperwork, together with a termination letter,  that she believes backs up the claims made towards her former colleague Emir Crowne. The college denies these allegations and says they’re ‘with out benefit.’ (CBC)

Crowne, who’s at the moment an lawyer with the agency New Metropolis Chambers in Port-of-Spain and practises legislation in Canada and Trinidad and Tobago, had been a tenured affiliate professor educating within the legislation college on the College of Windsor.

However in 2014, he was relieved of his educating duties whereas the college performed an investigation into his conduct.

That investigation was prompted, partially, by Macfarlane, who mentioned she started listening to complaints from college students a 12 months earlier about Crowne’s allegedly inappropriate behaviour towards college students.

Crowne left the college in December 2015. In a private weblog publish in Might, Crowne acknowledged {that a} “confidential settlement” was reached with the college however mentioned his departure was a “voluntary resignation.”

Crowne was employed by a Mississauga legislation agency in 2017. That very same 12 months, he additionally grew to become a senior lecturer within the college of legislation on the College of the West Indies in Mona, Jamaica.

The courtroom in Trinidad heard that Macfarlane twice contacted companions on the Mississauga legislation agency and instructed them Crowne was a “sexual predator,” was a “threat to younger, feminine trainees on the agency,” had been terminated from the College of Windsor for “severe misconduct” and that his {qualifications} have been “bogus.”

Related allegations by Macfarlane have been introduced by way of electronic mail to the dean of the college of legislation on the College of West Indies, the courtroom heard.

Nonetheless, as a part of Crowne’s defamation case towards her, paperwork referring to him and his subsequent departure from the College of Windsor in 2015 have been made accessible by Crowne’s lawyer earlier than the judgement.

Termination letter despatched

A type of paperwork was a termination letter despatched by then-university president Wildeman to Crowne months earlier than his departure.

That letter, dated Dec. 11, 2014, acknowledged that the college supposed to dismiss Crowne’s employment with trigger and that his “misconduct has served to intimidate college students and create an unsafe studying atmosphere for them.”

 “It’s my view that you’ve engaged in a constant sample of conduct that has rendered the employment relationship irreparably broken,” Wildeman wrote. 

Wildeman references a lot of examples which he believed constituted harassing and unprofessional behaviour that have been uncovered by a third-party investigator.

These embody:

  • Crowne not talking up when a male pupil made an inappropriate remark in regards to the bodily look of a feminine pupil in Crowne’s presence.
  • Crowne viewing a feminine pupil’s Linked In profile on quite a few events with no cheap rationalization for doing so
  • Crowne “liking” sure pupil feedback on Fb that have been  “offensive” to an affiliate dean and made clear she must be changed concerning a call she had made.
  • Crowne “pushing the boundaries of professionalism” by together with a real-world instance of a pupil legislation society dispute in an examination.

In her letter to the college, MacDonald acknowledges that Wildeman by no means makes use of the time period “sexual harassment” however, in her view, a few of these findings again up Macfarlane’s allegation. 

Crowne grieved is his termination, which lead the college affiliation and college to comply with a settlement.

In keeping with the settlement, Crowne obtained common funds at his present annual wage of $124,000 for 3 months in 2015.  From Jan. 2016 to Dec. 31, 2019, he was to be paid $99,000 a 12 months. 

The college additionally agreed to “take away all data of any self-discipline advisable or issued” to Crowne and that the report into his behaviour was to be sealed.

No reprisal

The settlement additionally states, nonetheless, that Crowne can’t have interaction in any sort of reprisal or retaliatory conduct” towards any present or former college member or college students who have been concerned within the complaints towards him.

As effectively, the college additionally equipped a reference letter about Crowne that states that he had an “intensive publication document,”  and notes that he was the four-time winner of the college’s Professor of the 12 months award.

Macfarlane believes that Crowne’s defamation lawsuit and his disparaging feedback towards her, which included calling her a “racist” on his weblog, imply that he violated the phrases of the settlement settlement. 

As such, the college, understanding that Crowne had breached these obligations, might have launched these paperwork when Macfarlane “repeatedly begged for help,” MacDonald writes.

As an alternative, the varsity was “intentionally hiding” them from Macfarlane, which is “wholly unforgivable,” the letter says.

In a press release to CBC Information, the College of Windsor mentioned that it denies Macfarlane’s allegations and “considers them to be with out benefit.”

“The college has not hidden any paperwork,” the assertion says. “The college considers employment issues to be confidential and doesn’t disclose employment paperwork with out the suitable consent, a courtroom order, or until it’s in any other case obligated at legislation to take action. Always, the college has acted correctly and appropriately.”

In the meantime, Crowne’s lawyer, Matthew Gayle, mentioned in an electronic mail to CBC Information that there was no settlement that prevented his shopper from defending his skilled fame that Macfarlane “has sought to wreck, subsequent to his voluntary departure” from the varsity.

Gayle has beforehand acknowledged that  whereas on the College of Windsor, Crowne’s casual social interactions with college students have been “wholly applicable and commensurate together with his place as a professor.”


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