Nfld. & Labrador

Kirby cleared of being Twitter troll, Joyce cleared of bullying MHA Colin Holloway

Dozens of pages of documents lay out all the allegations against former cabinet ministers Dale Kirby and Eddie Joyce — and the reasons they were cleared of wrongdoing.

CBC News obtains reports laying out details of Colin Holloway's allegations

Both Eddie Joyce and Dale Kirby have been cleared of wrongdoing in the allegations made against them by fellow Liberal MHA Colin Holloway. (CBC)

Eddie Joyce and Dale Kirby have been cleared of wrongdoing in all the allegations made by fellow Liberal MHA Colin Holloway, including his claim that Kirby attacked him with an anonymous Twitter account.

CBC News obtained copies of the report, handed over by Holloway himself, that show he believed the two cabinet ministers bullied, harassed and isolated him.

Bruce Chaulk, the official tasked with investigating the claims, said their actions did not fall outside of what is expected in politics.

"I believe they fall within the scope of behaviour that exists in a political environment in which debate about decisions rightfully occurs," Chaulk wrote in Kirby's report.

Who's the Twitter troll?

The documents show Holloway accused Kirby of attacking him for being a leaker, and wanted the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary to investigate if the education minister was behind a nasty Twitter account that hurled insults at Holloway and fellow MHA Pam Parsons.

The police investigation was brief — it ended when Twitter refused to turn over the IP address linked to the account.

@WackjobNL often sent degrading and vile messages about political figures, perhaps none more than NDP members Lorraine Michaels and Gerry Rogers.

After stories began to break about allegations of harassment and bullying within the Liberal caucus, the account began accusing Holloway and Parsons for being the sources behind the stories.

In his findings, Chaulk said there was no evidence to suggest Kirby was @WackjobNL.

A screenshot of a tweet from the suspended Twitter account @WackJobNL. (Twitter)

The F-word

Holloway alleged Joyce shut him out of departmental business, harassed him with phone calls about a vote for house speaker and at one point asked him, "Why don't you just f--k off?"

While Chaulk found some of Holloway's claims to be truthful — and Joyce admitted to telling Holloway to "f--k off" several times, in jest — he didn't find any of the claims to be a violation of the members code of conduct.

It appears the harassment and intimidation situation has only been magnified by my efforts to come forward with these complaints.- MHA Colin Holloway

He did suggest to Joyce and other MHAs, however, to stop using profanity when speaking with colleagues.

In his rebuttal, Joyce said he only made three phone calls to Holloway about his support for Pam Parsons as speaker. Holloway claimed there were 11 calls, including one where he told Holloway that "Pam's success would be a vote against the Premier."

In the report, Chaulk said Holloway also made calls to other MHAs to rally support for Parsons, and that his actions were likely no different than Joyce's.

Holloway drops other names

In his submissions, Holloway didn't limit his criticisms to Joyce and Kirby.

He also took aim at MHAs Graham Letto and Brian Warr, saying they demanded he turn over his cell phone the day after news broke about harassment allegations inside the House of Assembly.

Terra Nova MHA Colin Holloway made several complaints against Eddie Joyce, including allegations that Joyce told him to 'f--k off' on several occasions. (CBC)

"We go into a caucus meeting the next day," Holloway said. "[Warr and Letto] are saying cough up your phone. They want to know who's talking to media. And I'm sitting there thinking that stuff in my phone is between me and my constituents, go get a court order."

One of Holloway's complaints about Joyce was that he was shut out of meetings as the departmental secretary for the Municipal Affairs and Environment.

Since Justice Minister Andrew Parsons took over Joyce's post, Holloway says the cold shoulder has continued.

"I have been completely frozen out of this department," he told Chaulk. "It appears the harassment and intimidation situation has only been magnified by my efforts to come forward with these complaints."

Dale Kirby was cleared of wrongdoing for sending this email to Liberal MHAs seeking out the person or persons who spoke of harassment allegations with PC leader Paul Davis. (Submitted)

While Kirby is cleared on all counts, Joyce is still the subject of complaints from MHAs Sherry Gambin-Walsh and Tracey Perry.

In the reports given to CBC News, Holloway said his career has taken a hit since he came forward with the allegations.

"Many days I wish I didn't open my mouth. Life would be easier."

Read the full reports below

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With files from Terry Roberts