Premier Andrew Fahie has denied any knowledge of a likely reporting date for a committee he pushed to establish over three months ago to review the payment of House Speaker Julian Willock’s legal fees.
“I don’t … That’s a House [of Assembly] matter. I’m not in charge of the House so I have to check and see with the House and ask them so that a report can be given. But that’s outside of my authority. I don’t control the House of Assembly,” Premier Fahie said when asked for updates on the matter at a press briefing last week.
It was Premier Fahie, who told reporters when questioned on the same issue in early December, “the committee should start to get running very soon, it is already in place.”
At the time, the Premier disclosed that no work had been done so far by the committee he had set up in the House to examine the payment of legal fees accrued by Willock.
When the committee was established, it was given two months to complete its task and come to a decision on whether payment of the legal fees would be made by Willock — the person who incurred them — or whether the bill would be foot by taxpayers instead.
The decision on who should pay Willock’s legal fees from a failed injunction bid before the High Court was met with much protest by the community at large, forcing the Premier to reverse his initial decision to have the House pay the legal fees outright.
The decision on who will pay the $98,000 legal bill was ultimately left up to legislators Julian Fraser, Mark Vanterpool, and Vincent Wheatley, who are the three persons who reportedly agreed to sit on the committee.
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