Veritas Law, the firm that represented Speaker of the House of Assembly Hon. Julian Willock in the court cases against Fourth District Representative, Hon. Mark Vanterpool issued a notice of discontinuance for the matter that is before the court of appeal less than 24 hours after Premier and Minister for Finance, Hon. Andrew Fahie announced that he spoke with the Speaker regarding the swearing in of Hon. Vanterpool.
According to court documents seen by The Island Sun newspaper Veritas Law on 17 June filed the notice of discontinuance as it relates to the notice of appeal that was filed on 7 May, the notice of appeal that was filed on 9 May and the notice of application for a stay of proceedings in their entity against both respondents.
The matter which was heard before the high court in April was taken to the appeal court because the Speaker and his legal team felt that the court erred and noted some eight grounds for appeal.
In a statement on matter on 16 June Premier and Minister for Finance, Hon. Andrew Fahie announced that he spoke with the Speaker of the House regarding the swearing in of Hon. Vanterpool.
The Premier acknowledged the fact that the matter was currently before the court of appeal, however he said that in his opinion the matter has dragged on long enough. In noting the territorial divide on the matter Hon. Fahie said. “I am of the view that this matter, which is pending before the Court of Appeal, has been hanging over the Territory for an inordinate amount of time and has become a source of discord and bitterness that is undermining the harmony and family spirit which is the soul of our society.”
The Premier said that he agrees with the Speaker’s position on the matter that the seat was vacant and that Hon. Vanterpool did resign from the House of Assembly. “I am firmly of the view, based on advice that I have received, that the 4th District seat was indeed vacated by the resignation of Mr. Vanterpool on March 5 – a mere eight days after the February 25th General Election and seven days before the Fourth House of Assembly was convened to commence business.”
However, Hon. Fahie said that he is calling for the swearing in because he does not like how the prolonged situation is affecting the Territory. The decision that the matter should be bumped to the courts after the Governor and the Attorney General had given opinion on it was especially frowned on by some persons in the community. However, the Premier explained that this was necessary. In explaining why, the Premier said: “One of the reasons I felt the Speaker was right to pursue this matter to the fullest extent in the courts is because the fiasco created by Mr. Vanterpool exposed an apparent lacuna in the Constitution: one that should be adjudicated upon for future reference.”
“Regardless of Mr. Vanterpool’s erroneous addressing of his resignation letter, he was pellucidly clear in his video address of his intention to abandon his responsibility to the constituents who elected him, albeit by a very small margin,” he added.