UPDATE January 8 2010: A justice of the peace has officially signed the charge against Julian Fantino this afternoon and he will be summoned to Cayuga Court to face the criminal charge of influencing a municipal official which carries a maximum of 5 years in prison.
January 6, 2010
Remember when Michael Bryant killed a man in 2008 how the media and public were quite convinced that as the former Attorney General he would receive preferential treatment and would not be able to receive a trial that was in the best interest of justice?
Although Julian Fantino has never held any office with the prestige of Attorney General, he is every bit the public figure that Bryant was, and the same concerns should be on the minds of all of us now that he stands charged. Add to that the fact that our government has already taken numerous steps to cover up for Fantino and it’s very difficult to believe that the crown will be capable of treating Mr. Fantino in a way that’s in the best interest of the public.
Steps could certainly be taken to ensure that justice prevails in this case, but there would need to exist a will within the Ontario government to stop covering for their appointed enforcer of race based policing. They could simply stop interfering with the justice system, but that seems somewhat doubtful at this point. There is a very simple solution that not only ensures Fantino won’t receive special treatment, but takes that decision out of the hands of the McGuinty government in the eyes of the public.
The moment that a person is charged with a criminal offence as a result of an information laid by a private citizen, that person becomes the prosecutor in that particular case until such time as the crown decides to interfere. This is a little known fact that took us some time and experience with private prosecution to learn, but as of the moment that Judge Crane ordered Fantino charged on Dec 31 2009, Gary McHale became the prosecutor.
Yes folks I did just say that Gary McHale is the prosecutor in the Fantino case. This is a great solution for everyone involved (except for Julian) because it’s fair to say that Gary is not going to let politics cloud the question of guilt or innocence, and is perhaps the most committed person in the Country to law and order today.
In the interest of fairness and equality, Gary sent a letter to Attorney General Chris Bentley today with a number of requests to ensure that this case is handled with the professionalism that it deserves. He has a number of suggestions for how the AG can proceed with this case, and is hopeful that they won’t simply stay the charge for political reasons and force this into appeals court.
That letter is presented below in its entirety and we can all form our own opinions about how this should proceed, but I for one would love to see Mr. McHale remain the acting prosecutor on this case for its duration.
Dear Mr. Bentley:
RE: McHale v. Fantino File: CRIM 25/09
Mandamus Order of Justice Crane dated December 31, 2009
As you are aware on Dec. 31, 2009, Honourable Justice Crane ordered mandamus compelling His Worship David Brown, justice of the peace, to issue process on my private information alleging that Commissioner Julian Fantino committed an offence under section 123(2) of the Criminal Code.
Once Justice Brown has issued the formal charge against Mr. Fantino the Crown will need to decide whether to intervene and take over the case and whether to stay or withdraw the charge.
The Criminal Charge states that I am the prosecutor of this case until the Attorney General informs the court that the Crown is taking over the case. The Ontario Crown Attorneys Act recommends that private citizens be permitted to prosecute the case they have filed. (see section 11(d))
11(d) watch over cases conducted by private prosecutors and, without unnecessarily interfering with private individuals who wish in such cases to prosecute, assume wholly the conduct of the case where justice towards the accused seems to demand his or her interposition;
I, as the current prosecutor of this case, am formally requesting that you bring in a Crown Attorney from outside of Ontario to review all the evidence and to consult with me prior to determining whether the Crown will be intervening and whether to stay or withdraw the charge.
There is strong evidence that the McGuinty Government, via its agents, have already either covered up for Mr. Fantino’s actions and/or approved of them.
In the summer of 2007 Monte Kwinter, then the Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services, hired an outside lawyer by the name of Rod McLeod. I met Mr. McLeod during the course of his review as did Haldimand County Mayor Trainer. It should be noted that Mr. McLeod’s function was NOT to investigate the allegation against Mr. Fantino but merely to report as to what the procedures were when citizens file a formal complaint against the Commissioner of the O.P.P.
Despite the fact that no investigation was ever conducted by the Government into the allegation regarding the Commissioner, Monte Kwinter announced to the public that Commissioner Fantino had been cleared of any wrongdoing.
Mayor Trainer made the following statements under oath in court:
It was June the 28th. He [Rod McLeod] called me in the morning and said he was finalizing his report and he went over a few things. He said he wanted to soften the report a little bit so that Commissioner Fantino wouldn’t look too bad. He stated he would call me later in the day to go over how he quoted me to verify if that was okay. Later Chinta Puxley form the Canadian Press called and wanted to know what I had thought of Minister Kwinter’s announcement that Commissioner Fantino had been exonerated. I said, “Pardon me?.. the report isn’t even written yet, I just talked to the fellow who’s writing the report.” So meanwhile, Rod did send me an e-mail which I have here which states:
Your Worship, it’s Rod McLeod. It is just about 12:30 on Thursday the 28th. Thank you for your time this morning. The more substantive discussion that I referred to that you and I might, that I might be asking you to participate in with me today is not going to happen today as far as I know at the moment. I will get back to you when that can be re-activated. I hope that is okay…
He leaves the number of Miller Thompson Barristers. So of course, I called him back and said, “what’s going on, Chinta Puxley had said Minister Kwinter has already made the announcement.” He changed his whole tone. He actually seemed quite upset and said, “I have to write the report as I’m instructed.”
It should also be noted that I was present at the Ontario Ombudsman’s office in the summer of 2007 when Mayor Trainer presented evidence of the above conversion.
Furthermore, the original email sent by Mr. Fantino to Haldimand council was copied to three senior members of the Government directly within McGuinty’s office. Mr. Fantino sent copies to Tony Dean (Secretary of the Cabinet), Chris Morley (Press Secretary for McGuinty) and Peter Wilkinson (Chief of Staff to McGuinty). It appears senior members within McGuinty’s office were not concerned about a Commissioner threatening elected officials.
Finally, the alleged criminal act was commit by the Commissioner as an agent for the McGuinty Government. It was because he was the Commissioner that the email had teeth to it and thus made it a threat. As an agent for the McGuinty Government his conduct should have been dealt with by the Government.
The McGuinty Government has already once cleared Mr. Fantino without an investigation. The use of an outside Lawyer gave the appearance of an independent ruling. At the time the Ontario Ombudsman publicly denounced the use of this outside lawyer instead of calling upon his office to do a truly independent review.
Mr. Bentley, as Chief Law Officer for the Province of Ontario, you are duty bound to ensure both the integrity of the Justice System and the public’s trust in that system. It is difficult to imagine how the public’s trust in the justice system would be improved by intervening and taking over this case and issuing a stay or withdrawal of the Charge.
Due to the history of how the McGuinty Government has handled the allegations since 2007 it appears logical that the prosecution should remain within my control and you assign either an Crown from outside Ontario or an Ontario Crown of my choosing.
It is true that this is an unusual case where there must be a balance between the rights of the accused who is innocent until proven guilty and the rights of the alleged victims. There must be a fundamental independence between the prosecutor and the Government in all cases and even more so in this case.
Considering the current reality of a case before the Ontario Appeals Court and a case before Divisional Court which are both providing the court with numerous examples of abuse by Crown Attorneys who intervene and stay private informations against members of the O.P.P. and officials in the McGuinty Government, there are serious questions already raised in court as to the true independence of the Attorney General’s office.
Please consider my request that prosecution remains within my control until, at least, after an Independant Crown reviews the evidence and consults with me.
Thank you for your time and I await your reply.