Steven­son ac­cuses FNUC of char­ac­ter as­sas­si­na­tion

Saskatoon StarPhoenix - - Local -

REGINA — Wes Steven­son, who is su­ing the First Na­tions Univer­sity of Canada for wrong­ful dis­missal, ac­cused the act­ing pres­i­dent of the univer­sity of char­ac­ter as­sas­si­na­tion Thurs­day.

Steven­son said he was up­set Charles Pratt shared the con­tents of the FNUC state­ment of defence with all el­ders, fac­ulty, staff and stu­dents at the univer­sity prior to it be­ing filed in court.

“What I was of­fended by was that the act­ing pres­i­dent would take that state­ment of defence and in his e-mail to all el­ders, fac­ulty, staff and stu­dents in­di­cate that I was guilty of steal­ing money when in fact I have never, ever been asked a ques­tion, nor have I had the op­por­tu­nity to go through any le­gal process,” Steven­son said.

“And so, in my opin­ion, it is the on­go­ing ma­li­cious and defam­a­tory ac­tions of th­ese peo­ple that con­tinue to hurt me and my fam­ily and that is what made me very an­gry.”

Steven­son in­di­cated he has not had the op­por­tu­nity to talk to his lawyer about fur­ther lit­i­ga­tion.

Steven­son, FNUC’s for­mer vice-pres­i­dent of ad­min­is­tra­tion, was dis­missed last year amid al­le­ga­tions of fi­nan­cial wrong­do­ing. How­ever, Steven­son in­sists he has done noth­ing wrong and claims he wants due process and the abil­ity to de­fend his ac­tions.

“Right from the be­gin­ning I have said ev­ery penny has to be ac­counted for and when we are pro­vided with the op­por­tu­nity to an­swer each one of their alle- gations we will, for the very first time, have the abil­ity to an­swer to those al­le­ga­tions,” Steven­son said.

Pratt de­fended his ac­tions, say­ing he felt it was im­por­tant for se­nior man­age­ment to openly com­mu­ni­cate in­ter­nally and in­form peo­ple di­rectly about what ac­tions the univer­sity is tak­ing to de­fend its de­ci­sion to dis­miss Steven­son.

In the state­ment of defence, which was filed in Regina Court of Queen’s Bench on Thurs­day, the univer­sity al­leges Steven­son was en­gaged in a “sys­tem­atic scheme whereby he en­riched him­self to the detri­ment of FNU.”

The univer­sity is coun­ter­su­ing Steven­son to re­coup all al­leged im­proper pay­ments he re­ceived or pay­ments to third par­ties im­prop­erly au­tho­rized by Steven­son, who had ul­ti­mate con­trol over the funds held by the univer­sity.



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