It’s a pity councillor Wills thought it wise to draw the public’s attention back to his letter of 14th October 2009.
1. Witness credibility
In his letter he questions my partner’s credibility as a witness at my disciplinary hearing. I did not respond in public at the time, partly out of respect for the privacy and professional reputation of his key witness.
On 9th September, my mobile phone rang while I was eating dinner in the Great Wall with my partner. I didn’t recognise the landline number, but answered anyway. The anonymous lady caller accused me of making a threatening call to her. She refused to identify herself, so I hung up. It appeared that someone was trying to entrap me into saying something incriminating.
It later transpired that the anonymous caller was in fact councillor Wills’ wife calling from their home number. Councillor Wills later admitted that he listened in on the call from another handset. Yet despite his impressive credentials as a reporter he could produce no verbatim record, or even remember accurately what his wife had said. How convenient.
Minutes after she made this anonymous false accusation, councillor Wills hot-footed it to the Bressay ferry and on to the police station to claim that I had in fact threatened him on his mobile phone. Perhaps the enormity of his wife’s actions had dawned on them both.
Mr Wills gave the police as evidence a sheet of paper which he claimed was a verbatim record of my call. His wife’s name is hand written as witness. At the hearing she admitted she had not heard what I had said. She claimed she signed it because her husband asked her to. He claimed he did not ask her to, and that he wrote her name, not her. Neither was under oath.
No wonder the police, his council peers and the procurator fiscal found his tardy tale too hard to swallow.
The actions of his other key witness in conveniently changing his evidence says all that need be said about his credibility.
It is worth noting that this was the same day the wife of the assistant chief executive, our MP and MSP all made public attacks on me through the media. To consider this as coincidence stretches my imagination rather far.
Councillor Wills in his letter accuses me of defaming him at the hearing. Subsequently he has quoted what he claims is a verbatim record of my words. In fact, I only uttered one word he quotes. I know exactly what I said because I read out a pre-prepared question. I retain the original in case councillor Wills ever sees fit to put his money where his mouth is and test his charge in a court of law.
For a year I have avoided the indignity of indulging in public tit for tat. Recently the Standards Commission criticised individuals for not responding publicly to councillor comment in the media. Therefore, should I or mine face further attack, I will exercise my right to respond as I consider appropriate. My response will be proportionate. It will not consist of running to the national gutter press, or telling officers of the law to “get stuffed”.
Councillor Wills’ wife is a good woman who contributes much to the community. I apologise to her that her husband’s actions have made this letter necessary.
David A Clark
62 St Olaf St,