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Friday, October 17, 2008

Ontario top cop Fantino denies politics or vindictiveness in treatment of officers
"This is hysterical nonsense," Fantino said Friday ... "People who know me do not hold onto these notes for later retribution," he said.
Hmm ... Sounds like a threat to me! Fantino denies his own vindictiveness ... and then demonstrates it himself!!
- National - Ontario top cop Fantino denies politics or vindictiveness in treatment of officers
Colin Perkel, THE CANADIAN PRESS ORILLIA, Ont. - Ontario's blunt-spoken top cop denied Friday that he had acted vindictively or politically against two senior officers charged with misconduct or against a third officer who became a witness in their case. Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner Julian Fantino also told a Police Act hearing that his talk of "executing" the alleged source of a leak about the force's restructuring was intended to be humorous. Fantino's explanation came during hearings into charges he authorized against two officers, who headed the force's internal complaints bureau. Supt. Ken MacDonald and Insp. Alison Jevons are accused of neglect of duty and deceit relating to an investigation they did into a complaint about another officer caught up in a domestic dispute. Their lawyer, Julian Falconer, maintains Fantino acted against them because he was convinced MacDonald had leaked plans to restructure parts of the police service in the fall of 2006, shortly after he took over the 6,000-member force. Falconer also maintains Fantino was trying to appease the police union, which was upset over how MacDonald and Jevons had handled the internal probe. "This is a political process . . . continued by a political commissioner," Falconer has said previously about the Police Act charges. "This is hysterical nonsense," Fantino said Friday when asked to comment on the assertion. "None of this is true." He went on to denounce Falconer's suggestions as "mind-boggling, disingenuous, dishonest." Apparently upset about the leak, Fantino asked an officer in March 2007 who would "execute the disloyal one," the hearing was told. The conversation was overheard by Supt. Bill Grodzinski, who took notes of Fantino's comments. Soon after becoming aware of the notes through the Police Act hearing process, Fantino reassigned Grodzinski to another position. Falconer maintains that was sheer vindictiveness. Asked to explain what he meant by the term "execute," Fantino explained: "I just meant, 'Either you look into it or I will,' " he told the hearing. "I used the word 'execute.' I meant, 'Put an end to this.' " It was, the commissioner insisted, "police appropriate" language. "It slipped out a couple of times. We have not executed anybody nor do we have plans to," he continued. "It's just to bring a little humour to the situation." Fantino argued that Grodzinski's reassignment was seen as a step up and that he thought he was bringing the officer "home" by sending him to head the North Bay detachment because the officer's wife was from there. Nor was a subsequent denial of a promotion for Grodzinski anything but the result of a competitive process, the chief said. But Fantino made little secret of his contempt for Grodzinski's note-taking, referring to them as "cheat" notes. "People who know me do not hold onto these notes for later retribution," he said. He also insisted that laying the Police Act charges against the two officers was anything but his duty as the commissioner. The fact that the complainant was the police union, upset at how the two officers had handled their probe into another officer had no bearing on what he called "very serious matters," Fantino said. "In absolutely no way, shape or form was it a punitive thing," Fantino said. more ...


Fantino shrugs off allegations over vendetta

ORILLIA, ONT. -- Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner Julian Fantino boasted to a lawyer that, had he been vindictive, he could have hurt the career of one of his subordinates "with the stroke of a pen," a police disciplinary tribunal heard yesterday.

In a testy day of testimony, Commissioner Fantino shrugged off as "hysterical nonsense" allegations that he used an internal disciplinary case to wage a vendetta against some senior officers.

Appearing at a disciplinary hearing at OPP's headquarters, Commissioner Fantino curtly dismissed the allegations by defence lawyer Julian Falconer.

"It's absolutely mind-boggling disingenuousness," the OPP chief said.

Mr. Falconer represents Superintendent Ken MacDonald and Inspector Alison Jevons, two OPP officers facing disciplinary charges after a union complaint about their handling of an internal-affairs case.

In a motion to dismiss the matter, Mr. Falconer alleges that Commissioner Fantino authorized the charges and extended filing deadlines as a reprisal against Supt. MacDonald because he suspected him of leaking information about an OPP restructuring.

In addition, Mr. Falconer also alleges that Chief Superintendent Bill Grodzinski was reassigned to North Bay because he had testified that he heard the commissioner make menacing remarks about Supt. MacDonald.

Commissioner Fantino said Chief Supt. Grodzinski ultimately wasn't sent to North Bay because his wife was having health problems.

The tribunal was told yesterday of remarks that Commissioner Fantino made regarding the transfer to the case's prosecutor, Brian Gover.

"I could have done it with the stroke of the pen if I had been vindictive," Commissioner Fantino told Mr. Gover in a note read during yesterday's proceedings.

"That's how you see power?" Mr. Falconer asked after reading the note.

"If I wanted to be, yes," the commissioner replied.

He said it wasn't his problem if Chief Supt. Grodzinski perceived the North Bay posting as a retribution for his decision to testify against his boss.

"I have no control over people who are paranoid," Commissioner Fantino said.

At one point, the commissioner angered tribunal adjudicator Mr. Justice Leonard Montgomery when Commissioner Fantino appeared to adjust his afternoon testimony in light of objections that took place in his absence from the hearing.

Commissioner Fantino was being questioned about why he extended deadlines in the case so that the two officers could be charged after the cut-off dates ran out.

Barely containing his annoyance, the judge said he wasn't accusing the prosecutors of tipping the witness during the break, but added that the commissioner's behaviour raised questions about his professional conduct.

Several times, the commissioner dismissed Mr. Falconer's questions with sarcastic comments. When the lawyer objected, he shot back, "Well, sir, you never cease to do it to me."

Mr. Falconer alleges in a motion to dismiss the case that Commissioner Fantino had a grudge against Supt. MacDonald because he wrongfully thought he was behind the damaging leak.

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My Canada includes rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Two Row Wampum Treaty

Two Row Wampum Treaty
"It is said that, each nation shall stay in their own vessels, and travel the river side by side. Further, it is said, that neither nation will try to steer the vessel of the other." This is a treaty among Indigenous Nations, and with Canada. This is the true nature of our relationships with Indigenous Nations of 'Kanata'.