Lawmakers at the House of Assembly on Friday grilled Premier Andrew Fahie about the cost to taxpayers of the legal battle between Speaker of the House Julian Willock and Mark Vanterpool.
Mr. Fahie said he would provide the information in detail once the court case has concluded, citing a standing order that prohibits questions on pending court matters.
Opposition Leader Marlon Penn responded, “So the people have to wait a few months to see how the money was spent.”
Mr. Fahie repeated his assertion that he would “come to this House and tell the taxpayers how their money is spent” once the court case is over, a statement which Mr. Penn took as an admission.
“Thank you for confirming that taxpayers are paying the bill,” he said.
In response to questions from Mr. Penn about whether or not Mr. Fahie had discussions with Mr. Willock about his decision not to swear in Mr. Vanterpool as Fourth District representative, Mr. Fahie said, “Nobody in this honourable House can direct the speaker of the House.”
Mr. Willock previously told the Beacon that the government was covering his legal expenses, but he did not disclose the amount.
Judge Ann-Marie Smith said at the May 2 ruling that the hearing to determine the responsibility of paying legal costs would be on July 12.
However, Mr. Willock has appealed her ruling.