A barrage of persistent emails and phone calls from a “complex client” left a senior government official fearing for his safety, a harassment trial heard Tuesday.
Peter Lemieux, the director of corporate security services for the Government of Alberta, said he even installed surveillance cameras at his home as a result of Darin Udowicz’s tenacious communications.
Lemieux told Udowicz’s provincial court trial the Calgary man cost the province an estimated $250,000 just dealing with his complaints and constant FOIP requests under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.
And the Edmonton man testified the accused’s persistent applications for information under the act to the Justice and Solicitor General’s department overwhelmed staff.
But Lemieux said when Udowicz was told in February 2019 his inquiries would no longer be taken by email, or phone, he was inundated with calls.
“In the span of just eight business days I received … 129 calls from Mr. Udowicz,” he told Crown prosecutor Janice Walsh.
Udowicz is charged with conducting harassing communications.
Lemieux said the caller identification on his phone would show up as anonymous when the accused would call.
“It got to the point where I would simply hang up when he would identify himself.”
He said his department deals with about 1,200 “complex clients,” but there are other duties as well.
“Mr. Udowicz was taking up at least two hours every day,” he said.
Lemieux said even though the communications never made him believe his life was in danger, “I worried … there’d be a point he would come after me physically.”
“I felt worried for myself, I felt worried for my family.”
The trial continues Wednesday.
On Twitter: @KMartinCourts