Consultancy Fees and Malicious Falsehood
Something like 18 months after Labour ex-Councillor Tony Kennedy pushed Jim Pendleton into a wall at the Prince of Wales pub in Moseley the Judge has now produced a judgement in the "Malicious Falsehood" case brought against Lib Dem Councillor Martin Mullaney for sending an email saying "Tony Kennedy is going to be Arrested."
As a sort of Small Claims version of Libel none of the outcome is particularly surprising. In this instance Martin gets costs of £60 rather than the £6000 or so he should be due for the amount of work done. Jim Pendleton also gets £50 for loss of earnings.
The case has had its surreal moments like when the Chief Executive of the Pub Chain was suppoenaed to stand as a witness - as if he was there on the night.
A key part of today's press report which has more impact than a row in a pub is the following:[Mr Kennedy] maintained ... attempts to set up as new business as an independent consultant to developers suffered.
Mr Kennedy said a number of clients backed out of contracts because they feared he would not be able to lobby the planning committee effectively given Coun Mullaney's senior position on it.
He also alleged he began to receive calls from people asking him "to help out in a fight".
Birmingham Post 4th Feb.
What this means is that he was expecting to get "consultancy fees" from developers wanting planning permission, but when Labour lost control of the planning committee they said they would no longer pay him.
Now planning is supposed to be a "quasi judicial" process where there is no party whip and decisions are made on the merits of the case.
Why then would it matter which party controls the planning committee?
I don't think this particular aspect of the case is finished yet.