Belliveau settles with former employer

Darrell Cole
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SPRINGHILL The former editor of the Springhill Record has ended her lawsuit against her former employer.

While Susan Belliveau is unable to say much about it because of a confidentiality agreement between herself and Advocate Printing and Publishing shes happy her two-year ordeal is over.

Although I am not at liberty to discuss the particulars of the resolution of this matter, I feel vindicated by the way it was resolved and I consider it a victory for journalists everywhere, Belliveau said in a statement. This lawsuit was about putting editorial control back in the hands of editors where it belongs. When an editors afraid to print an accurate news story for fear of offending a manager or advertiser, its detrimental to the delivery of news and, as a result, negatively impacts readers.

Belliveau filed suit against the publishers of the Record in April 2006 claiming she was constructively dismissed following her coverage of a front page story that appeared in the paper in July 2005 regarding the discovery of a body at a Springhill apartment and an apology that subsequently ran in the paper without her knowledge or consultation.

She was seeking unspecified damages from the Record's publisher as compensation for its alleged failure to provide reasonable notice of dismissal or payments in lieu of notice, according to papers filed with the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia. She believed the apology undermined her position as editor of the Record.

The papers publisher responded in its defence that Belliveau resigned her position as editor. The publisher said it opted to write an apology on July 13, 2005 after receiving several letters and telephone calls criticizing the story. It did not refer to Belliveau or allege any wrongdoing.

The company claimed she was made aware of the apology the day before it appeared, but did not request its removal. It denied damaging her reputation and said Belliveau was offered a position elsewhere when she suggested she could no longer work in Springhill because of the apology.

Organizations: Record, Supreme Court

Geographic location: SPRINGHILL, Nova Scotia

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