Ed Drover pleads guilty

Ashley Fitzpatrick
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CNLOPB board member given absolute discharge after dangerous driving

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.

Ed Drover in provincial court in St. John's. — Photo by Ashley Fitzpatrick/The Telegram

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.

Organizations: Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board, Range Rover

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Recent comments

  • Denise
    February 18, 2014 - 23:30

    Can we have 2 sets of judgements handed down by the Judge. What precedent has he set here? Purposely hit a road worker and claim you were inpatient, bring in a few prominent citizens and that's all that's to it. a couple of charges dropped and an absolute discharge. and a small monetary fine. All done -- Next case , .....Please your Honour you are being laughed at by society.

  • Derek
    February 17, 2014 - 13:10

    This makes me sick...its totally unreal how someone can act out in an act of violence and get off with it while the victim suffers. what message does that send to the rest of us? that if you got money you can do what the hell you want to anyone else, cause the lawmakers are either stupid, corrupt or both. this is the only place in our country where you can almost kill someone with your car and drive away laughing and get a gloved pat on the bum, a small fine and banned from the big game hunting season. there is no legal or justice system in NL...whats it going to take before we make a change? how many lives have to be destroyed?????

  • Anna
    February 16, 2014 - 15:42

    So will it be open season now on flag people now that Judge Walsh has said it is not a crime? We have two sets of laws in this Province and it doesn't seem it will change any time soon. Anyone who can afford a Range Rover and Bob Simmonds will surely see freedom while a young man in a hoodie will only see the jail time. I hope those two people that Mr. Drover hit with his vehicle take him to the cleaners as that certainly will punish him.

    • Get real
      February 16, 2014 - 16:48

      Take him to the cleaners? Will not his vehicle insurance take care of that? I have a son who was hit and nearly killed, in hospital for 3 months and Milller Centre rehab 3 months. Three years later the lawyers are still talking, the driver's insurance company still playing legal games. The driver wasn't charged by police , deeming it to be an accident, but the guy was probably on his cell phone. Bottom line.... no cost to the driver. His insurance will likely pay some costs. Surely Ed had insurance.

  • Ron Hammond
    February 16, 2014 - 06:33

    Too much " POWER"

  • Frank
    February 15, 2014 - 18:54

    This is a disgraceful reflection on our legal system AND what the heck is fast Eddie doing on the CNLOPB ~ A political appointment - NAH !!!!

  • Corporate Psycho
    February 15, 2014 - 15:16

    Must be nice to be above the law.

  • Louis Humphreys
    February 15, 2014 - 12:20

    The System Works

  • Maggy Carter
    February 15, 2014 - 12:13

    A week or so ago a man convicted of spitting at a guard was given a six month sentence. Having hit two city workers - one of which sustained significant injuries - Mr. Drover is given an absolute discharge. Unlike the spitter, the hitter - to be fair - had no criminal record. Nor am I advocating that Drover should do hard time. Clearly his behaviour was a strange aberration and he is no risk to society But I do question what at times appears excessive haste in sending lesser mortals down to that 18th century gaol on the pond. Prisons should be reserved for violent criminals and for the most intractable non-violent offenders. I can already hear the reaction from those loud critics of the justice system who regularly insist on 'throwing away the key' for even minor infractions. Well, I do agree that we owe it to ourselves and the most vulnerable among us to keep violent offenders off the streets - the consequence of recidivism being far greater than for other crimes. So while we should find alternative solutions for non-violent transgressors, violent criminals - especially repeat offenders - should be incarcerated indefinitely. That is to say, violent offenders should be released as soon as a competent parole board decides they are no longer at risk to re-offend. In extraordinary cases, that might be almost immediately but in others, unfortunately, not for many years. In no instance however should people be incarcerated in substandard, inhuman conditions such as those that exist at the local pen. All of this to say that we need to reconsider our sentencing philosophies - not in the cynical, crowd pleasing manner of the Harper government - but based on what works and what engenders respect, even among violent offenders.

  • saelcove
    February 15, 2014 - 12:02

    NEWFOUNDLAND LAW LOL

  • SP
    February 15, 2014 - 11:50

    Did anyone ever consider that the only reason this went to court was because the man was driving a high priced vehicle. I mean give me a break. Why is this even news? Its because he served on the petroleum board and drives a range rover. The road worker was "pushed to the ground" I have seen people get hit by a moving vehicle and not require 3 years of physio. Be honest with yourselves, this is an opportunity here for civil action. Please cut the BS about special treatment due to $. If the road worker was "pushed to the ground" by a 1998 toyota corolla, this would not be news and likely never went to court.

    • m
      February 16, 2014 - 13:25

      Are you serious? Drover deliberately ignored safety protocols and endangered the lives of others. He was driving through a work/construction zone where it is required that drivers obey laws to slow down and stop for flag persons. He got off with lesser charges and he should not have. A seemingly slight injury can lead to major problems. You do not know what happened to the injured worker.

  • Virginia
    February 15, 2014 - 11:03

    Isn't it ironic Ashley that those who are so quick to pounce on even the most inconsequential errors of others (or at least what they believe is an error), turn downright nasty and indignant when their own errors are picked up or rebutted? When 'kent' states he grew up near Rawlin's Cross he's only half right.

  • Guy Incognito
    February 15, 2014 - 10:08

    Rich old man knocks down 2 construction workers willfully and gets absolute discharge.....that's NL justice for you. What do you think would have happened if your average joe did this? An average joe who can't afford a fancy lawyer.... I hope you didn't dent your Land Rover when you knocked those commoners out of the way Ed.....

  • Joe
    February 15, 2014 - 09:00

    A $1500 fine is the same as could be imposed on a driver passing through a construction zone at a high speed. If the court wants respect, then it has to EARN it.

  • Steven
    February 15, 2014 - 08:26

    Wow, we all suffer from impatience on occasion …" Great justification for hitting two people with a car - just pure class; It galls me that someone with the organisation for safety offshore couldn't understand why he had to wait for a flagperson. At least he is facing two civil actions, richie rich will learn the price of patience

  • what a joke
    February 15, 2014 - 01:30

    corruption @ work, friends looking after friends. what a sick society we live in when we have a corrupt mickey mouse/kangaroo court system.. "ONLY IN CANADA"

  • JMAP
    February 14, 2014 - 20:24

    Proof that money, top priced lawyers and position talk. Shocking that this person got an absolute discharge.......what is wrong with our Justice system?????? Where is the justice for these City employees.....so its ok to treat them with disrespect, hit them with the vehicle, and to say I'm sorry for the trouble this has caused....what about I'm sorry for the trouble I have caused, for the injuries I inflicted upon these city employees, for the road rage I exhibited and for thinking I'm more important than these employees who attempted to stop my vehicle, my behaviour was deplorable and I deserve to be punished. I guess he is being punished, Karma has shown its face to him.

  • Marshall Art
    February 14, 2014 - 20:03

    Isn't it amazing what the courts will do to accommodate certain people ? Drover left the scene of the incident; that charge was dropped; he used his vehicle as a weapon to push two people; those two charges were dropped. He initially pleaded not guilty to those three charges. They eventually came up with a charge that he agreed to plead guilty to, dangerous driving. It's a wonder the two City employees didn't have to apologize to the Court for testing the patience of an important member of the CNLOPB and having the audacity to touch his $100,000 Range Rover.

  • Dee
    February 14, 2014 - 18:43

    @Kent I don't know Where you got your information from but I lived all my life downtown which was only a few doors down from Rawlins Cross on Prescott St .We were certainly referred to as downtown heritage area.We are not able to restore our home unless the city approves this so how much downtown can we get.

  • Dee
    February 14, 2014 - 18:42

    @Kent I don't know Where you got your information from but I lived all my life downtown which was only a few doors down from Rawlins Cross on Prescott St .We were certainly referred to as downtown heritage area.We are not able to restore our home unless the city approves this so how much downtown can we get.

  • Dee
    February 14, 2014 - 18:40

    @Kent I don't know Where you got your information from but I lived all my life downtown which was only a few doors down from Rawlins Cross on Prescott St .We were certainly referred to as downtown heritage area.We are not able to restore our home unless the city approves this so how much downtown can we get.

  • Cashin Delaney
    February 14, 2014 - 17:11

    {Ranger Drover da Danger Rover} I got pushed by a car in Ottawa, (just once, and he stopped) on a Bank St. crosswalk, I forgave him, he didn't see me, I didn't consider it assault, or ON PURPOSE, like this Hero seems to be admittedly guilty of. - you got to be watching out for yourself, anyone willing to stop a speeding bully in an SUV with their gloved hands, for union wages, needs to adjust life strategy, whatever, I hope everyone heals, even Drover, even though his name is now verb for a while, I sure he will heal nicely back into a proper dufus, after this wake up call, and resulting KISS on the wrist from the judge. Yeah, if it was a cashier in a cavalier d’yad be cooked for this, stripped of der sexy car, and career, and have psychiatric assessments up the yin-yang. drover - v. to impatiently nudge pedestrians with a Luxury Vehicle ex: The Judge had already set a case law president, so he feels safe enough in himself to slightly drover a city worker slowly filling a pothole, in a fit of impatience, and plead the "just lost it" defense. I'm exuberant to learn that my vehicle is no longer considered a dangerous weapon when used with intent to push. LET THE IMPATIENCE GAMES BEGIN. Those crossing guards won't be so cocky now when they try to ruin my whole life by making me stop for insignificant children. Forget the "stand your ground" law in the States, we got it beat, we got the "barrel your way" precedent now. Thank you Mr. Drover, you are a real man, my hero. You set the bar for me to act exactly how I feel Monday morning and get away with it. Get da skullcandy out your ears all you young ones intentionally in my way every morning, frustrating me, on purpose, grrrr, losing it, aHHHH- I'll "drover" you out in da snowbank at $750 a pop.

  • Jim
    February 14, 2014 - 16:53

    Another great day for Justice in the Province. Didn't they bring in new laws a few years ago, doubling fines in construction zones to PROTECT workers. Here, you have a driver who, through his own recklessness and stupidity, struck a worker and he gets an absolute discharge!! Stupid action, stupid judge, and the comments of the lawyer are equally stupid and callous.

  • Jim
    February 14, 2014 - 16:51

    Another great day for Justice in the Province. Didn't they bring in new laws a few years ago, doubling fines in construction zones to PROTECT workers. Here, you have a driver who, through his own recklessness and stupidity, struck a worker and he gets an absolute discharge!! Stupid action, stupid judge, and the comments of the lawyer are equally stupid and callous.

  • Grandma
    February 14, 2014 - 16:46

    There really are "favors in hell". Here is a person who deliberately endangered the lives of two city workers who were only trying to avoid the imbecile endangering himself. This is not impatience, it is complete disregard for others and a threat to their safety. Shame on the courts, shame on the judge! It is a sad day when public employees cannot feel safe carrying out their jobs. I don't think an ordinary "joe blow" would have gotten off so lightly.

  • Grandma
    February 14, 2014 - 16:45

    There really are "favors in hell". Here is a person who deliberately endangered the lives of two city workers who were only trying to avoid the imbecile endangering himself. This is not impatience, it is complete disregard for others and a threat to their safety. Shame on the courts, shame on the judge! It is a sad day when public employees cannot feel safe carrying out their jobs. I don't think an ordinary "joe blow" would have gotten off so lightly.

  • Grandma
    February 14, 2014 - 16:43

    There really are "favors in hell". Here is a person who deliberately endangered the lives of two city workers who were only trying to avoid the imbecile endangering himself. This is not impatience, it is complete disregard for others and a threat to their safety. Shame on the courts, shame on the judge! It is a sad day when public employees cannot feel safe carrying out their jobs. I don't think an ordinary "joe blow" would have gotten off so lightly.

  • Grandma
    February 14, 2014 - 16:42

    There really are "favors in hell". Here is a person who deliberately endangered the lives of two city workers who were only trying to avoid the imbecile endangering himself. This is not impatience, it is complete disregard for others and a threat to their safety. Shame on the courts, shame on the judge! It is a sad day when public employees cannot feel safe carrying out their jobs. I don't think an ordinary "joe blow" would have gotten off so lightly.

  • Observer
    February 14, 2014 - 16:14

    I agree with you, Kent. Having been born in the 40's, I think I have a good perspective on this and having the history of my parents who were born in the early 1900's, they sure referred to downtown as Water and Duckworth street areas, anything below the hills and streets leading to the harbour. LeMarchant Rd., Military Rd., above Long's Hill, Freshwater Rd., Rennies Mill Rd., etc., that is what they referred to as " the higher levels". Since we're so keen on historical correctness and preservation, I think it's only right that we keep that aspect of the history correct too. Rawlin's Cross is definitely NOT downtown. The original owners of those fine houses onRawlin's Cross and Military Road did not live anywhere near downtown. You travel up hill to get there. We went SHOPPING at Ayre's and Bowring's, the London, New York and Paris and the Royal Stores, downtown. We went DOWN to get there. We came up Prescott Street, with the cop directing traffic at Duckworth, to get up to " the Cross". The Downtown Development Commission needs to do its homework and a lot more research. Sheesh! Just ask people my age. We are the witnesses to that history.

  • Buster Garvick
    February 14, 2014 - 15:38

    Disgraceful.

  • Aub
    February 14, 2014 - 15:08

    Geography is not the story here. It's the case of one justice for the lower class and another for the higher class. It could have happened outside St John's.

  • Marshall Art
    February 14, 2014 - 14:24

    Mr. Big Shot in his big , $100,000 Range Rover got an absolute discharge for pushing two City employees with his vehicle ? What's up with that ? Think the outcome would be the same if somebody driving an old beater pushed Mr Big Shot with it and couldn't afford to hire a high priced lawyer ? Not a chance.

  • Ashley Fitzpatrick
    February 14, 2014 - 14:20

    I did grow up here. And here's a pocket map of downtown St. John's, from the Downtown Development Commission, by which I define downtown: http://downtownstjohns.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/downtown-stjohns-map.pdf

    • kent
      February 14, 2014 - 18:56

      As I said, anyone who grew here would never refer to Rawlins Cross as downtown... I grew up around the corner from Rawlins cross and no one living anywhere near there ever referred to it as downtown either.. As for the map... All that tells me is the the Downtown development Corp doesn't know where downtown is either, which is hardly surprising given the supposed development / improvement down there.

    • kent
      February 14, 2014 - 19:09

      I see.. So you grew here and you neeed a map to tell you where the downtown is? Thanks for confirming what I already thought... You need a map.

  • Kent
    February 14, 2014 - 14:11

    Could someone explain to the author of this story that Rawlins Cross is not "downtown".. Downtown, St. John's, would be everything below Gower Street. Further, most true St. John's natives would only regard Duckworth and Water Streets to be the true downtown... It's not hard to tell that the people writing these article never grew up here. Pretty soon they'll be calling Prince Philip Drive "downtown".

    • Dolf
      February 14, 2014 - 15:22

      Another clown shooting the messenger. Why not try "money and big mouthed lawyers will buy you anything". Over three years to bring this "king in his own mind" to justice? Nuts!

    • Jacqui
      February 14, 2014 - 17:50

      What Rawlins Cross is not downtown since when! Anyone including my 84 year old father, who grew up downtown, would say Rawlins Cross is downtown.