A priest, a lawyer and a Jew walk into a courtroom…

Thunderheads on the horizon for David Radler, the rattus rattus who so famously both deserted and sank the HMS Tubby Black.

Uncharitably characterized by Tubby as “hunched, furtive with darting fearful eyes, too distasteful to be pitiful, misshapen by envy and insecurity,” Radler rolled over on his long-time partner and did only nine months in a Pennsylvania pokey, before returning to Vancouver to build another media empire that Tubby can only dream of.

The Radler modus operandi couldn’t be any different from Tubby’s. The flamboyant Black bestrode the media world and collected followers/loyalists, who even now hang on his every harrumph and fap.

The charisma-free Radler skulks about Vancouver, friendless and unrecognized, making furtive acquisitions for his Alberta Newspaper Group, Glacier Media (the Victoria Times-Colonist), and Continental Newspapers, owner of such birdcage liners as the Penticton Herald and Thunder Bay’s pisse-pauvre Chronicle-Journal.

Of course, it wouldn’t be Radler if the whole schmear wasn’t run on the cheap. That’s another difference between David and Tubby.

He’s still the interfering micro-manager, as obsessed with costs as he was all those years ago at the Sherbrooke Record when an employee marched into his office to present a petition of grievances, only to be fined two cents for wasting a sheet of paper.

So imagine the frugal Radman’s dismay earlier this month when the Chronicle-Journal got hit with a half-mil-plus defamation suit from a local Catholic priest.

Father Peter Groulx, retired parish administrator of Thunder Bay’s St. Martin of Tours (1988-2004) and St. Andrews (2004-2008), found himself up in October 2014 on three charges each of sexual assault and sexual interference last year based on the allegations of a young female parishioner.

A shocked Bishop Fred Colli told the Urinal “There has never been an inkling of any allegations against (Groulx) in this regard,” and added “In the last 10 years, I don’t think there has been an allegation of sexual assault against a priest (in Northwestern Ontario).”

All charges were dropped in July, and the paper duly reported on both Father Peter’s arrest and vindication, but not to the good cleric’s satisfaction.

The article on the withdrawal of charges repeated his original release conditions (don’t communicate with anyone under 16, stay away from parks and schools, etc.) which were of course no longer in effect, and noted “a source close to the court case told the Chronicle-Journal that the claimed victim was reluctant to testify. None of the former accusations against Groulx were ever proven in court.”

Groulx complains that the paper never tried to contact him, and even after a clarifications and amendments to the web version of the story, “the amended/altered version of the original posting retains the inference that Groulx is a child molester.”

Father Peter has decided to rely upon a higher power for redress: Bob Houston, Q.C. of Ottawa’s top-shelf Burke-Robertson LLP.

Shaking down obscure dailies in northern Ontario may seem an odd brief for the coruscating legalist, more accustomed as he is to m’ludding before the Santas of the Supreme Court, but Bob has pulled on his hip-waders for countless bits of mucky business.

He repped the reptilian Fred Doucet at the Oliphant Inquiry, explaining away the former Byron Muldoon chief of staff’s tragically flawed memories of the Airbus imbroglio – and the $90,000 cheque Doucet himself had pocketed from Karlheinz Schreiber – as a side effect of his heart condition.

When Bob Stanfield’s kids went after his widow over the elder statesman’s will, when Junior Martin’s gang of goniffs at Earnscliffe Strategy Group sued Warren Kinsella for defamation, when the Tories needed to shake loose nutbar rejected candidate Alan Riddell, always the cry went up: Houston, we have a problem.

Father Groulx is after Radler’s rag for “a proper and appropriate apology,” $500,000 in general damages, unspecified special damages and his costs on a full indemnity basis, which, with Bob running the meter, are likely to be hefty.

Somewhere, Tubby is smiling.


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One comment on “A priest, a lawyer and a Jew walk into a courtroom…
  1. Steve-O says:

    Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy, could it?

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