Swift justice?

Police corruption is a form of police misconduct designed to obtain financial benefits, other personal gain, or career advancement for officers in exchange for not pursuing, or selectively pursuing, an investigation or arrest. One common form of police corruption is soliciting or accepting bribes in exchange for not reporting organized drug or prostitution rings or other illegal activities. Another example is police officers flouting the police code of conduct in order to secure convictions of suspects — for example, through the use of falsified evidence.

Swift justice?

Postby Thomas » Tue Apr 07, 2015 1:40 am

To say the wheels of justice grind slowly when it comes to Ontario’s Liberal government as compared to Ottawa’s Conservative one, would be an understatement.

In March, 2013, the RCMP began an investigation into allegations of fraud and breach of trust over expense claims against a number of Canadian senators.

Things have moved swiftly ever since.

Suspended former Conservative senator Mike Duffy’s trial on 31 counts of fraud, breach of trust and bribery begins Tuesday.

The trials of suspended Senator Patrick Brazeau (a Conservative before being expelled by the party) and retired Liberal senator Mac Harb for alleged fraud and breach of trust are scheduled to start this summer.

By contrast, an OPP investigation that began in June, 2013 into allegations e-mails connected to the Ontario Liberal government’s gas plants scandal were illegally erased, has yet to announce charges, or that there will be none, let alone set a court date.

This strikes me as odd.

The OPP probe began just three months after the RCMP’s and on the face of it, the RCMP’s investigation into Senate expenses would appear to be at least as complicated, if not more so, than the OPP’s investigation into deleted e-mails.

The OPP alleged David Livingston, former premier Dalton McGuinty’s chief of staff, committed a breach of trust by employing the boyfriend of McGuinty’s deputy chief of staff, to wipe computer hard drives in the premier’s office clean.

Only Livingston has been named as the subject of the OPP’s probe in which no charges have been laid, the allegations have not been tested in court and he has denied wrongdoing through his lawyer.

But for heaven’s sake, this isn’t Watergate. Why is the OPP taking so long?

The OPP is also conducting two other probes of the Liberal government that haven’t produced charges, or an announcement there will be none.

An OPP investigation into the Ornge air ambulance scandal started in February, 2012, at the request of the Liberal government itself.

The OPP is also investigating the Liberals over bribery allegations related to the February, 2015 Sudbury byelection.

In that case, OPP alleged Premier Kathleen Wynne’s deputy chief of staff and Liberal campaign director, Pat Sorbara, along with Liberal fundraiser Gerry Lougheed, attempted to bribe former Liberal candidate Andrew Olivier not to seek the Liberal nomination.

No charges have been laid, the allegations have not been tested in court and Sorbara and Lougheed deny wrongdoing.

Initially, the OPP said there was no evidence of wrongdoing, but re-opened their investigation after Olivier produced recordings of his conversations with Sorbara and Lougheed.

The OPP probe into Ornge is complicated — even the former provincial auditor general said he couldn’t crack all of the financial shenanigans in his own probe of the scandal.

By contrast, the Sudbury byelection controversy doesn’t sound complex.

Complicating matters for the OPP is the perception of many Ontarians — including me — that they are too close to the Liberal government.

This dates back to the violent aboriginal land claim protest in Caledonia that started in 2006, where neither the McGuinty government nor the OPP — certainly in the opinion of many Caledonia residents — did enough to maintain law-and-order in the face of lawbreaking by some aboriginal protesters.

In a recent guest column in the Sun, former OPP commissioner Julian Fantino, defended the OPP’s actions, saying more than 40 officers were injured preserving the peace and the OPP charged protesters, when appropriate, on both sides of the dispute.

The perception of the OPP being too close to the Liberals, however, was furthered by the actions of the Ontario Provincial Police Association during the 2014 Ontario election.

It launched a political ad saying the OPP — later changed to the OPPA, which negotiates with the Liberal government for the wages, benefits and pensions of OPP officers — was opposed to the election of Wynne’s major opponent, then-Conservative leader Tim Hudak.

Since the election, three senior executives of the OPPA — one of them an unsuccessful Ontario Liberal candidate in the 2011 provincial election — have been placed under investigation by the RCMP for alleged financial irregularities.

No charges have been laid, the allegations have not been tested in court and they deny wrongdoing.

OPP Commissioner Vince Hawkes, who criticized the OPPA election ad when it came out and has suspended the three OPPA officers under RCMP investigation with pay, told Sun Queen’s Park columnist Christina Blizzard recently he is confident of the integrity of the OPP’s three probes into the Liberal government and the OPP should not be confused with the OPPA.

Let’s hope so.

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Re: Swift justice?

Postby Thomas » Tue Apr 07, 2015 1:50 am

The OPP does not want to bite the hand that feeds it. The OPP has proven time and again that it is a corrupt, incompetent yet ruthless organization. The corruption in this relationship is obvious to anyone with enough common sense. Over the past few decades we have seen way too many of these type of stories to be naive enough to believe there is not fire where there is smoke. One reason for delay is the bargaining that is currently going on behind the scenes between the provincial government and the OPP. I expect, after it is finished, the OPP will have better pensions and working conditions and yet another healthy pay raises as their reward for their deliberate obfuscation in all the cases mentioned in the article. The police /government relationship in Ontario is as corrupt as in any "banana republic". The RCMP should be brought in to investigate, as the local sheriff "cannot be trusted", as they used to say in the old Westerns. I have no hope in justice being served. And even if at some point in the distant future charges are laid then remember that justice delayed is justice denied.
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