Tuesday, 30 August 2011

A Cautionary Tale: the Diligence of an Investigating Manager

"I thought ten thousand swords must have leaped from their 
scabbards to avenge even a look that 
threatened her with insult." 
Edmund Burke


Lincoln Green: I believe I am justified in making an official complaint of bullying and harassment through 
your illustrious Code of Practice in Dealing with Harassment and Bullying
Baron Beardo: Quite possibly but you'll be putting Jack shit in writing with that hand

What an interesting week that was....

Readers will know of course that we refer to the Employment Tribunal that consumed three days of a busy week. Two University managers were to take the stand as was a certain tweed-wearer of some disrepute. University witnesses Philip Hopwood and Simon Attwell had previously given evidence in March 2011. But on this Monday 15th August, Mr Scott Mulholland was first to take the oath and render his witness statement to the public record. Mr Mulholland was the Investigating Manager during the disciplinary process instigated by the University against me. The second witness was a Mr Keith Watkinson. You will hear a great deal more of Mr Keith Watkinson over the coming weeks. (It's worth stating at this point that links to relevant documents have been provided which readers view themselves taken from the joint bundles included in the ET. Accuracy is after all an important. To access such documents, click on the orange highlighted words)

Investigating things is important

Only an absurd and unreconstructed clodpate could suggest that being an Investigating Manager isn't an important role. Any manager worth his or her chlorium sodide would surely wish to bring to this role a level of perseverance and perlustration not known on our shores since a puritanical clique of English Stove-Pipers boarded ship and set sail to the Americas sometime around 1620. Yes any manager vested with this commission would carry out their role diligently and to the best of their abilities. At the outset and during the investigation, they would want to:

'...[n]ot draw any conclusions at this stage: just set out the evidence for and against. You are not just looking for evidence that supports the allegations. In fact, a fair investigation should also look for evidence that disproves an allegation.'(1)

With this authority conferred upon him by the University, Mr Scott Mulholland's remit was to conduct a thorough and fair investigation into the allegations that in writing the Vice Consul's Newsletters, I had produced and distributed the Newsletters and that the 'malicious contents' constituted 'bullying, harassment and victimisation and also bring the University into disrepute.' Quite simple really. For clarity, the two staff members I was said to have bullied were part-time member of staff (now full time lecturer) Xiang Li and Head of School Professor John Wilson (now not at Salford any longer). The selection of words you may wish to lock into your collective conscia is that according to the allegation it was the malicious contents which constituted bullying, harassment and victimsation and also brought the University into disrepute. But first things first.

Definitely a poster and not a newsletter.
But are the contents malicious or satanical?
A brief summary of events

When I was first invited to attend a meeting on the 14th May 2009 with the Dean of Faculty Professor Brian Longhurst who is a specialist in media studies and an academic, it was to discuss 'information that had come to light regarding your conduct in the University'. Not much detail there. A certain be-tweeded fella could never be accused of not seeking clarification and more illumination from Professor Longhurst with regard to the specifics of this 'information'. Yet despite several requests, none was forthcoming from him or his office. Things became a little less opaque once I'd been suspended by the aforesaid professor on the 18th May 2009. It appears that he knew all along the reasons for the meeting. I was suspended for producing and distributing 'posters'. Even a person with the intellectual absorbency of a piece of six inch armour plate could not deny that the allegations were now pretty clear.

The artistic endeavours of a certain type...

Now I thought my artistic endeavours might have ruffled a few feathers. Having been the principal poster designer for the campaign group Salford University Defend Education (SUDE), over a period of three or so months, I and others had produced and distributed many hundreds of official SUDE posters around the University. SUDE opposed the loss of 150 academic and teaching staff at the University under the tastefully named Project Headroom. I undertook this role with a fervour akin to that of a self-flagellator on amphetamines performing it openly in full view of managers and staff in my own time. Indeed the UCU branch provided the funding for these posters and other materials. I thought they had some aesthetic merit and hardly warranted being described as weapons of mass harassment. But it definitely said 'posters'. Indeed the letter inviting me to the first investigation meeting also carried the words 'posters'.

Suspensions, complaints, sexual harassment and suchlike...

A series of posters on a
shit-house wall
I was also aware that one of the official SUDE posters had been doctored in a rather non-satirical manner by an unknown person sometime in February 2009. I presume this was carried out in order to raise issues concerning the not particularly private relationship between Ms Xiang Li and Professor Wilson. This altered poster had created a bit of a stir among the campus union as they had presumed that it was an official poster sanctioned by SUDE. It wasn't. Moreover in late 2008 early 2009, two staff members had been suspended - Dean of Faculty Professor Cynthia Pine's PA and a member of staff in the Salford Business School Alex Belgorodsky. Rumours abounded. Some suggested that Xiang Li had accused Alex Belgorodsky of sexual harassment and of harassing her and that the doctored SUDE poster was central to her complaint. Having been informed by Longhurst that I'd been suspended for producing posters, it was an entirely rational presumption to deduce that my own suspension had something to do with posters and possibly this poster. Indeed at the beginning of the first investigation meeting Mr Scott Mulholland almost gave the game away by stating that he would be investigating the 'publication and distribution of the posters'. Keen to establish that I was not responsible for the doctored poster, I stated this at the outset of the meeting.

Precision - is it a good thing?

Although keen to avoid being categorised as an 'astringent precisian', as a fully trained political scientist I admit to being quite punctilious when it comes to the appliance of a specific technique that's oft used and encouraged within academia. It's clever little device more commonly referred to within rarefied academic circles as 'precision'. Personally I find it particularly relevant in the field of language. Now I have a little confession to make at this point. You see I was under the distinct impression that the necessary attributes for an investigating manager might be assiduousness, doggedness, meticulousness and as the literary contents of  a poster(s) was being investigated, I would have thought at least an adherence to an elemental model of etymological commonality.

It's a poster...

Now I've had a few surprises in my time and the evidence presented was no exception. You see having not been provided with any evidence prior to this first meeting, I was keen to disassociate myself from the doctored non-satirical poster at the outset of the meeting. This I did as I was not particularly keen to take the rap for someone else's non-satirical shenanigans. However, the evidence proffered to me by Mulholland/Jenks was about as far from a poster as one could get and still lay claim to a modicum of credibility or Sherlockian professionalism. At the top of one of the pieces of evidence it stated clearly in quite bold letters VICE CONSUL'S JANUARY NEWSLETTER. On the top of the other it suggested that it might be something exactly akin to the VICE CONSUL'S MARCH NEWSLETTER.

Now it's a Newsletter

You might at this point be thinking that this is of minor importance in the bigger scheme of things. However, there are several important points to raise here: firstly the alarm bells were ringing to such an extent that I believe the estate of Victor Hugo had tried contacting me with claim to significant back-royalty payments. Secondly, the allegations were quite clear - they stated that is was 'posters' that were bullying and harassing not 'the Vice Consul's Newsletters'.

The essentiality of accuracy

It might be little disingenuous to say the least to invite a chap to an investigation meeting to discuss 'posters' and then present him with something entirely different, and then suggest later in the Employment Tribunal that the aforesaid mutton-chop is not being entirely honest with regard to what was being discussed during this meeting and is therefore not entirely an honest character. Remember in cases such as these, the burden of proof is on those making the accusations. What other evidence might they not be sure about? After all, if one was on trial and it was alleged one had shoplifted a tuppeny Fruit Salad chew from the local newsagent's sweetie section, one would not wish to tried and sentenced for receiving a pair 36" waisted Stayprest with associated frontal piss-staining from a looted British Heart Foundation charity shop on Salford Precinct. Particularly in the current hysterical climate. And when a chap's job is at stake accuracy is essential.

That the University sought to maintain this confusion is made clear in the notes of the second investigation meeting in June 2009 and in Mr Mulholland's witness statement to the Tribunal (see section 7). Finally, this rather laissez faire approach to the specifics and finer detail has been the hallmark of the internal disciplinary process and much of the external proceedings. A few more examples might serve to prove the point.

Clitoral Hood:  One has just been appointed a lecturer despite not having completed one's PhD... 
Beast of Burden: Did one's close personal relationship with Maid Marion play a part?
Clitoral Hood: [farts]
Beast of Burden: You vile bastard


The Code of Practice for Dealing with Bullying and Harassment

As a formal investigation had been instigated by the University into the allegation that I had harassed and bullied two members of staff, one would presume that its departure point would be the University's own Code of Practice on dealing with Harassment and Bullying and the 2008 Disciplinary Procedure in this order. Both documents provide a  framework for dealing with any such issues or allegations. These also should provide any alleged harasser/bully with a series safety mechanisms against any malicious allegations, abuse of the system and arbitrary sanctions. Both were provided to me as key documents and evidence by Mr Paul Jenks HR manager for the Disciplinary Hearing in August 2009.

The centrality of the complaint to proceedings

Starting from this principle, any investigation would focus on the original complaints made by Xiang Li and Head of School Wilson. According to the University's own Code of Practice for Dealing with Harassment and Bullying, in the section headed 'Formal Resolution' 'the formal complaint should be made in writing...' and that 'any such formal complaint, and any further written communications will be passed to the alleged harasser.' This would ensure that any staff member accused of harassment or bullying could address the specific issues, and formulate a defence. It's pretty clear and straightforward isn't it?

Formal or informal resolution?

However, before moving towards a formal resolution, and this speaks volumes, readers will note that the Code has a specific section (4) that deals with informal resolution. Yet the University never embarked upon the path of seeking an informal resolution prior to suspension or investigation. Why? I'm of the opinion that in seeking informal resolution, the ultimate sanction - summary dismissal - could not be invoked. As I'd just been elected as a UCU branch official three weeks before my suspension, in leading and helping organise the protests and opposition to the 150 job losses, I was the bridge between the student body and staff. Did this help determine which route was taken by senior University managers such as Watkinson of HR, Registrar Adrian Graves and the Vice Chancellor Harloe? Readers are invited to decide for themselves. Dr Graves makes it abundantly clear what he thinks about my involvement in the campaigns against the job losses in his email to Harloe dated 30 May 2009:

'...isn't it supremely ironic though, that Gary Duke is so sensitive about his own reputation that he has organised a campaign amongst students to defend it  - having carried out a sustained campaign himself over six months aimed expressly at damaging the reputation of six or seven people and the university itself - through the anonymous publication and distribution of three scurrilous pamphlets within and without the university, through speeches at well publicized demonstrations and meetings subsequently published as video on the internet, a sustained press campaign in the local and HE sector press nationally and through lobbying MPs, local government councilors, and other influencers: Sorry - steam coming out of ears.

Adrian'


Avez-vous de la plainte... Non!

Having set sail on the sea of formal resolution, the rather singular pratfall for Mr Scott Mulholland was that neither Xiang Li nor the esteemed Professor Wilson (who the Tribunal heard was a specialist in Employment Law) made any formal complaint against me. Nothing that looked remotely like a complaint was provided to me either before, during or after the Disciplinary Hearing. And before you ask, yes I did request them after the Appeal process had been completed on the 19th November 2009. No complaint made specifically against me (naming me) by Xiang Li and HoS Wilson had been passed to me under document disclosure prior to the Employment Tribunal or through two Subject Access Requests. That no complaint existed was confirmed by the Chair of the Disciplinary Panel Philip Hopwood and the Chair of the Appeal Panel Mr Simon Attwell in their oral evidence to the Tribunal in March 2011. It was even confirmed by Mr Mulholland. Yet during the Disciplinary Hearing on the 4th August 2009, the note of the hearing shows that Mr Scott Mulholland gave contradictory evidence about the existence of a complaint.

You're it... pass it on

If there were formal complaints why then did he not pass them to me as the Code stipulates? Why did he not make them available to the Disciplinary Hearing and panel? Indeed, where were the follow up witness statements from these two people? A diligent investigator would have surely interviewed the complainants and taken witness statements? More importantly, given the centrality of a complaint to the University's own Code of Practice, and Mr Mulholland's assertion that Xiang Li had made a complaint when she hadn't, would this not appear to any reasonable person that Mr Scott Mulholland was either incompetent, negligent or had wilfully sought to mislead the Disciplinary Panel? Would it not be reasonable to assume given the Investigating Manager's apparent confusion, this would surely have made the decision of the Disciplinary Panel unsafe? Yet forty eight days later the Appeal Panel knowing there was this confusion - no complaints and no witness statements - upheld the findings of the Disciplinary Panel!

Having no complaint when one is accused of harassment and bullying is awkward. Why? Well for a start one does not know who the accuser is. How can one build any effective defence to such allegations? This presented the University with a rather embarrassing problematic. As if to find a safe route through this little procedural and evidential minefield the University had unwittingly staggered into, lo and behold almost a year and a half later prior to the March hearing in 2011, a complaint emerged. And during the Tribunal the University made much of this complaint.


A complaint emergeth... but it's a complaint against someone elseth...

The problem for the University - and I stated so under questioning by the University barrister Nigel Grundy - was that this complaint wasn't made against me. It was made by Ms Xiang Li on the 3rd of March 2009 and it was a complaint of harassment made against Alex Belgorodsky. The doctored SUDE poster was pivotal to this complaint. It was quite obvious really as Alex Belgorodsky was suspended on the 4th March 2009, the day after her complaint to the police. Alex Belgorodsky was of course exonerated in the internal investigation conducted by Professor Ruth Wright in June 4th 2009. 

The Report on Investigation into a Complaint of Harassment and Threats by Li Xiang against Alex Belgorodsky conducted by Professor Ruth Wright, which had been provided to us anonymously prior to the Tribunal, focussed on the central subject matter the issue of the doctored SUDE posters. (The inclusion of this report was vehemently contested by the University as not being relevant and ruled out of evidence by the Tribunal at the beginning of the week. Similarly in March the University also opposed the entering of a string of emails between Xiang Li and John Wilson as not relevant. Any reasonable person viewing these emails would concur that it indicated a close personal relationship).

Yet if this report had been allowed as evidence, it would have demonstrated two things: firstly that Xiang Li's complaint was against Alex Belgorodsky and that in this case a complaint was deemed necessary to suspend and invoke the complaints procedure; secondly it would have provided to the Tribunal a striking example of how a complaint should be investigated and conducted with a thorough examination of evidence including the collation of witness statements for the investigation hearing.

Out of the mouth of babes... 

Although this report would have helped our case, it didn't affect the rather ridiculous claim by the University that this was a complaint by Xiang Li against my good self. 'Sir! How can you be so damned sure of yourself?' Precisely for this reason. I'd taken the precaution of writing to the University in May 2010. Our old friend Matthew Stephenson confirmed in no uncertain terms that there was no complaint about me of sexual harassment or any other matter to the police. And by any stretch of the imagination, this was a complaint to the police. Moreover, it is beyond physical comprehension that Mr Stephenson as Head of Information Governance would seek to mislead me over such an important matter knowing that his correspondence would almost inevitably comprise part of the joint bundle in Tribunal proceedings.  

The spirit within the contraption

Now there is one person among the footsoldiers of Human Resources who could have sown the seeds of transparency were base opacity prevailed - a certain Mr Paul Jenks. He had after all received the email from Xiang Li on the 4th March 2009 and must have viewed the accompanying documents attached to her email which oddly were never disclosed to us by the University. He was also involved in the investigation of Alex Belgorodsky as his name's on Ruth Wright's investigation report. Given his hands on role in both cases, the question remains as to why Jenks did not clarify this matter with Mulholland and the University lawyers? If Jenks was aware that the complaint was against Belgorodsky, and allowed the University to pass this off as a complaint against me and as a consequence mislead the Employment Tribunal, surely Jenks should be suspended immediately pending a full investigation? It's a thought...*

The suppression of the TCM Group Report

I stated under cross examination by Mr Grundy acting for the University during the Tribunal that Ms Xiang Li had received preferential treatment with regard to her own appointment which had raised questions among staff, and that the wider appointments process within the Salford Business School had been manipulated by Professor John Wilson and other senior managers in that School. As a consequence family members and close friends benefited from this manipulation. I also stated that this was confirmed in the Vice Chancellor's TCM Executive Summary. You can read this summary here. You can't read the full TCM Group report. I thought it also prescient to state during my evidence to the Tribunal that it had been suppressed by Martin Hall and the University. Ms Li's complaint against Alex Belgorodsky which resulted in his suspension also infuriated staff in the Business School and beyond. Mr Longley also thought it wise to raise in the Tribunal the matter that Ms Li was a serial complainer.

Partiality and the 'vulnerability' of Ms Li.

Mr Scott Mulholland had claimed during my Disciplinary Hearing in discussion of Xiang Li that 'she is more vulnerable than others' .  He never explained precisely why Ms Li should be more vulnerable than others. In my opinion this admission inferred that she was being offered a level of protection and privilege above that  enjoyed by other postgraduate students who were also part-time members of staff. How else could it be read? Yet Xiang Li was perfectly capable of making complaints to the police and Human Resources against her former partner of three years Alex Belgorodsky. It was quite possible that Ms Li and HoS Wilson were upset and hurt by the contents of the Vice Consul's Newsletters as stated by Mr Hopwood. But this no more equated to bullying and harassment than Rupert Murdoch could claim because of the recent press coverage around the phone hacking scandal at the News of the World which may have 'hurt' and 'upset' him. It's a valid point and one I thought needed making to the Tribunal. 

Disposing of a singularly inconvenient truth

In any world where good sense prevailed, the edict 'there can be no complaint of bullying without a complainant and a complaint' must be the guiding principle. Why? Allegations of 'bullying','harassment' and of 'gross misconduct' are extremely serious. If proven, they can deprive a chap of his/her job, scar a professional standing, and tarnish a chap's reputation at the very least. They can also lead to long periods of unemployment. Without a complainant and complaint, the grievance and disciplinary system could be open to serious abuse. Any member of staff in any workplace perceived of as a thorn in the side of management, could find themselves accused of harassment or bullying. It would be a charter to sack people.

What was the response of the diligent Investigating Manager when confronted with just such an inconvenient truth - a lack of any formal complaint? Mr Scott Mulholland exhibited a streak of almost-brilliance in dealing with this intractable problem: he simply stated that the Newsletters were self-evidently bullying and harassing. As they were self-evidently bullying and harassing, therefore no complaint was necessary.

Unadulterated diligence the Mulholland way

No you've not entered an alternate singularity 137 light years from our nearest star. When the determined Suffolkian Longley referred Mr Scott Mulholland to the University's own document rather wittily entitled Methodology for an Investigation Report which provided the framework for the diligent Investigating Manager's investigation (you'll note SM's scribbled handwritten notes on the document), under the section headed Evidence for and Against the allegations where it stated 'Remember, you are trying to establish the facts, not opinions...' Mr Scott Mulholland confirmed to the hirsute but persistent Longley that it in his opinion the Vice Consul's Newsletters were 'malicious', 'bullying', harassing' a form of 'victimisation' and had 'brought the University into disrepute'.

The Birmingham Six - it was self-evident that
they blew up pubs in Birmingham

Armed with this pro-forma, it was but a simple job for Mr Scott Mulholland to prove the allegations of bullying and harassing upon my confirmation of 'authorship' and 'distribution'. And no need for any further investigation. No need to investigate if Ms Li's contentious appointment was fully in line with University appointment guidelines, no need to look into the expenditure by the University on the regular management retreats to luxury hotels, the expensive glass door of Harloe and Graves, the victimisation, bullying and harassment within the Salford Business School by managers, incidentally none of which have been denied by the University. Mr Scott Mulholland decided that he need not interview either Xiang Li or John Wilson to determine if they found the Newsletters offensive as he alleged. He did however consider interviewing two people who I'd also written about in the Newsletters but I wasn't accused of bullying and harassing; the Registrar Adrian Graves and the Vice Chancellor. How very thoughtful of him.

A valuable lesson in how to investigate an investigator

For any readers who may wish to marvel at the rigour with which Mr Scott Mulholland's investigated matters, press here. This interview, conducted by Deputy Chair of University Council Mr Chris Wells (an ex-Greater Manchester police officer) on 22nd January 2010, was part of an investigation into a grievance I had instigated against Mr Mulholland. This grievance centred on my claim that Mulholland had not conducted a thorough investigation. The interview is most enlightening and demonstrates the finely honed investigatory skills gained by a police officer with many years experience. Readers can guess the outcome...

Malicious content

I stated at the beginning of this article for readers to remember the words malicious content. Given that the allegation stated that the content was deemed 'malicious' and a form of bullying and harassment, any reasonable person may concur with the view that a thorough investigation would seek to explore if the contents were malicious and thus a form of bullying and harassment. Indeed the Chair of the Tribunal sought clarification from Mr Scott Mulholland asking him if he had investigated the content of the Newsletters. In response Mr Scott Mulholland stated that he had not. So how did he conclude they were malicious?

And when opinion takes precedent and facts are seen as irrelevant to an investigation, how does one who stands accused begin to mount a credible defence? It is of course impossible to refute someone's beliefs or opinions as they are entirely subjective. 

The secret meeting - a conspiracy play

It's clear that many of you are now suffering sensory overload. In normal times this author would cease and desist from heaping upon readers further uncanny tales. Yet this cake stands bereft, denied its fine sugary outer-coating. 

Let's indulge in a little role play. Imagine a scenario: it's two days before an important disciplinary hearing. A meeting has been convened. At this meeting is the Chair of the Disciplinary Panel Mr Philip Hopwood and the second panel member Professor Tony Warne. Also in attendance are assistant to the Investigating Manager the recurrent Mr Paul Jenks and another HR manager known as Ms Julie Woosey. Finally, in attendance are the University's external legal advisers.(2) Evidence is discussed. The case is discussed. Extraneous documentary evidence is presented to the two panel members which has not presented to the alleged bullyer and harasser prior to the hearing. This meeting is not part of the official Disciplinary Procedure. No note of this meeting is taken by the external legal advisers or provided under document disclosure. It would be a little odd to say the least. Now if this little scenario had been played out the campus unions would surely be outraged and enraged? The conspiracy theorists would almost certainly be setting up their tents outside Keith Watkinson's office.

The poor memory of Mr Scott Mulholland

Asked under cross examination by the astute and persistent Longley if he was in attendance at this meeting, the assiduous Investigating Manager Mr Scott Mulholland stated that he couldn't remember as it was a long time ago. Oh dear... In submissions, the affable Mr Longley made the rather laudable point to the Tribunal that Mr Scott Mulholland could quite easily remember who had commissioned the investigation in May 2009 but could not remember if he was in attendance at this secret meeting with the disciplinary panel and external legal advisers three months later on August 4th 2009. The only conclusion that the Tribunal could draw he suggested, was that Mr Scott Mulholland had attended this meeting.

M'lud! This vile poster is not at all funny, has upset a Registrar and has all the hallmarks of being authored
and distributed by a mutton chop in tweed. Hang the fucker!

The diligence of Mr Scott Mulholland

Like an attenuated Miss Marple, Mr Scott Mulholland excelled in his role as investigator. He proved conclusively that I had authored and distributed. He proved nothing else. He substituted his opinion for facts. He did not investigate the allegation that the contents were malicious. He stated that it was self-evident that they were. He chose not to interview the two people I was accused of harassing and bullying. He didn't feel it necessary to determine if the two had made an official complaint against me. When he realised that there was no complaint he sought to mislead the Disciplinary Panel by stating that there was. At no time did he seek to correct this misleading statement.

Fair proceedings and an absolute equality of arms

Under oath Mr Scott Mulholland stated that he couldn't remember if he had attended the meeting two days before the Disciplinary Hearing with Hopwood and Warne. The Tribunal heard that it could only conclude that he had indeed attended this secret meeting with two members of HR, the Disciplinary Panel and external legal advisers.  At this so called 'training' meeting the case and evidence was discussed. New evidence was presented to the Panel. Mr Scott Mulholland and the second Disciplinary Panel member Tony Warne tried to introduce this new evidence during the Disciplinary Hearing itself. This secret meeting with the two panel members was deemed entirely appropriate by the University and the Disciplinary Panel. Yet it was never disclosed to us by the University or Mulholland. It was only through a Subject Access Request that I made this discovery. It raises important questions about the injection of external legal advisers into internal disciplinary procedures. It is the view of this author that it speaks volumes about how the University views the concept of 'equality of arms' and a fair procedure.

Is it any surprise that two days later, this panel of impartials concluded that I'd committed gross misconduct and as a consequence duly relieved of me of my employee status?

Academics beware!

It would appear that 'authorship' and 'distribution' are now a dismissable offence. A precedent has been set. I'm of the opinion that the University having established this precedent, may find that it has unintended consequences as Salford academics researching contentious areas or controversial subject matter, shy away from authoring such work or its distribution for fear they may also be deemed to have committed gross misconduct and find themselves in receipt of the parishes poor rate.


Notes and References

Usual disclaimer: This work is the opinion of the author and is authored to report current events that are of public interest. The reproduction and use of any documents herein is to provide accuracy in order to avoid civil litigation and claims of misquoting. In reporting current events they are used within the context of Fair Dealing. The author is happy to provide further acknowledgement if requested. To make any such request press here.


To read Mr Philip Hopwood's interview with Deputy Chair of University Council Chris Wells press here. Of note in section 5 Mr Hopwood clearly states that they 'were concentrating on authorship, distribution and the content of the newsletter...'


It is clear from Hopwood's statement at section 20, that during the pre-hearing secret meeting (secret as I was not informed of it before the Disciplinary Hearing and because I only found out when this document was provided to me under a Subject Access Request under the Data Protection Act prior to the beginning of the ET in March and no note is said by the University lawyers Eversheds to exist) the remit was not widened but was narrowed from the above. He states: 'Yes, it was for an hour, lead by Paul Jenks (PJ) and the solicitors and they talked us through the disciplinary hearing specifically, the allegations. What was and waht was not in order so that we could reach a conclusion, also, how to break down the evidence relating to the accusations. To determine whether he was the author and had disseminated the newsletters and whether this constituted gross misconduct...' The issue concerning the malicious 'content of the newsletter' has been removed.


Mr Mulholland's interview with Chris Wells which can be accessed here states reasonably clearly at section 4 that the 'investigation was held to determine whether or not GD: was the author is [sic] the newsletters, had taken part in the distribution of the newsletters...'


* Of note, in the subject heading of Ms Li's complaint to the police it states 'SUBJECT: RE; Documents from Xiang Li', none of these documents from Xiang Li were disclosed to myself or the goodly Suffolkian Longley prior to the ET by the University or their legal advisers. Given that the claim by the University was that the complaint was about me, was it naive to expect the University to provide such documents under the rules of disclosure?


(1) Methodology for an investigation report rumoured to have been used extensively by Mr Scott Mulholland in his thorough investigation of the allegations against the accused one Dr Gary Paul Duke Esq.
(2) In his submission Mr Eric Longley who acted as Dr Duke's lay-representative argued that these external legal representatives were in fact solicitors from Eversheds. Eversheds also acted for the University throughout this case both at the internal and external stages.
Enhanced by Zemanta

1 comment:

  1. Very interesting appointment of investigating officer that's for sure given that individuals previous professional and personal association with a certain individual

    ReplyDelete