Ed Drover pleads guilty

CNLOPB board member given absolute discharge after dangerous driving

Published on February 14, 2014
Ed Drover in provincial court in St. John's. — Photo by Ashley Fitzpatrick/The Telegram

Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (CNLOPB) member Ed Drover has pleaded guilty to dangerous operation of a motor vehicle, resolving a case that is three and a half years old.

He has been given an absolute discharge and a victim surcharge of $1,500, to be paid within three months.

Drover admitted to driving in downtown St. John’s on Aug. 23, 2010 and, encountering road repair work near Rawlins Cross, pushing a City of St. John’s employee with his Range Rover a couple of times when the employee tried to stop him from entering the construction area.

The worker was trying to stop the vehicle because of a piece of heavy equipment was crossing the road at the time.

A separate flag person on site saw Drover’s vehicle hit the city worker and walked over.

“(He) positioned himself in front of the Range Rover and was also pushed by the vehicle, causing him to fall down,” notes the agreed statement of facts, presented at Provincial Court in St. John’s.

When asked why it happened by Judge Jim Walsh, Drover’s lawyer Bob Simmonds began: “Your Honour, we all suffer from impatience on occasion …”

Three charges previously set against Drover — failing to stop at the scene of an accident and two counts of assault with a weapon, the weapon being his vehicle — were dropped and replaced with the single charge of dangerous operation of a motor vehicle.

Prior to the penalty being determined, Drover’s lawyer presented a trio of character witnesses on his client’s behalf.

One of the victims, the first to be struck, Robert Doyle, read an impact statement describing a visit to the hospital, subsequent knee problems and physiotherapy, which continues to this day.

The time involved in resolving the case included two delays, one for one of the victims and one for Drover, both for health reasons, for cancer treatment.

Drover accepted an opportunity to address the court.

“Just to say I’m sorry for all the trouble this has caused,” he said.

The end of the criminal case does not preclude any further action in civil court and, in fact, two civil actions have been launched.

More to come in tomorrow’s Telegram and online at thetelegram.com.