Alexander Chapman, the man whose sexual harassment complaint has put a Manitoba judge's future in doubt, only decided to go after the judge after being unhappy with an unrelated lawsuit against Winnipeg police, a lawyer testified Monday.
Ian Histed, who represented Mr. Chapman in various civil proceedings, was on the witness stand at the Canadian Judicial Council inquiry into Lori Douglas, an associate chief justice in the Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench.
"He was going to spill the beans, as it were," Mr. Histed said. "I obviously discouraged him from doing that."
Mr. Chapman alleges Judge Douglas and her husband, Jack King, harassed him in 2003. At the time, Judge Douglas and Mr. King were lawyers at the same firm, and Mr. King was Mr. Chapman's divorce lawyer.
Mr. King and Judge Douglas have said all along that Mr. King uploaded sexually explicit photos of Judge Douglas to a website and asked Mr. Chapman to have sex with her, but did so without Judge Douglas's knowledge. Mr. King and Mr. Chapman exchanged emails and phone calls about the sex plan, but there has not been any evidence that Judge Douglas was in on the discussion.
Mr. Histed was hired by Mr. Chapman in 2003 to go after Mr. King for harassment and soon garnered a $25,000 settlement. Mr. Chapman did not target Judge Douglas until 2010, Mr. Histed testified Monday, when he became unhappy with a settlement reached in a malicious prosecution lawsuit he had filed against the police.
"Mr. Chapman ... was very discouraged about the administration of justice in Manitoba," Mr. Histed said.
"He didn't seem to be thinking he was going to get a fair hearing."
The case was heard by another judge who Mr. Chapman believed was a friend of Judge Douglas's, Mr. Histed said, so Mr. Chapman decided to file lawsuits against people including Judge Douglas and to file a complaint with the Canadian Judicial Council. The lawsuits were soon dismissed or dropped.
Mr. Histed advised Mr. Chapman not to go public, partly because the settlement he reached with Mr. King in 2003 included a confidentiality clause and an agreement that the harassment issue had been fully settled.
"I told him it wasn't going to go anywhere," Histed said.
The only direct contact Mr. Chapman and Judge Douglas had was during two brief meetings at a downtown bar along with Mr. King, who had organized the meetings. Mr. Chapman alleges Judge Douglas touched him on the bicep and leg. Judge Douglas says she never laid a hand on Mr. Chapman, and was surprised to see him there because she believed she was only meeting her husband.
Judge Douglas was appointed a judge in 2005 and the inquiry is to examine in the coming days whether she disclosed the photo matter to the committee that screened her application. The inquiry panel has the power to recommend to the federal justice minister that Judge Douglas be removed from her job.
In 2011, Mr. King was ordered to pay $14,000 in costs after his disciplinary hearing before the Law Society of Manitoba. However, he retains his licence to practise law.