By Pat Hewitt
Toronto — The Canadian Press Published on Saturday, Jan. 09, 2010 4:56PM EST Last updated on Saturday, Jan. 09, 2010 4:58PM EST
“I intend to vigorously defend myself and the OPP against this allegation and have the utmost confidence in the judicial system,” Mr. Fantino said in a statement issued Saturday.
A summons was issued Friday against Fantino on one count of influencing or attempting to influence municipal officials — a legal step required before charges could be officially laid and court dates set.
However Mr. Fantino has not received any paperwork, said Inspector Dave Ross, a provincial police spokesman.
”The commissioner has been made aware of a process that's been issued by a justice of the peace against him concerning an allegation brought forward by a private citizen,“ said Insp. Ross. “At this particular time we haven't seen the process so we don't know what the details are of it nor has the commissioner been served with any sort of a process.”
Activist Gary McHale has been trying to have Mr. Fantino charged after the commissioner sent an email in April, 2007, allegedly telling the mayor and councillors in Caledonia not to attend Mr. McHale's rallies.
Mr. McHale led a number of rallies to protest what he called two-tier justice in the policing of the land occupation in the town south of Hamilton.
In his statement, Mr. Fantino also defended police efforts to keep the peace and protect the public in Caledonia during the land claims dispute.
“I am proud of the work that the men and women of the OPP have done in Caledonia over the years in a complex and, at times, extremely volatile environment,” Mr. Fantino said.
“The OPP and its officers have taken a measured approach and acted in accordance with legislated responsibilities and exercised police discretion appropriately, fairly and equally,” he added.
Mr. McHale released a copy of a letter he received from the Ministry of the Attorney-General, which said a special prosecutor will be assigned to prosecute the case for the Crown.
He also said Friday he was informed by the court in Cayuga, Ont., that a judge signed a summons on a charge of influencing or attempting to influence municipal officials, a Criminal Code offence that carries up to a five-year prison term.
In an e-mail to The Canadian Press, Mr. McHale said Mr. Fantino is summoned to appear before criminal court in Cayuga on Feb. 3 at 10 a.m.
A justice of the peace who heard Mr. McHale's complaint refused to issue a summons or warrant for Mr. Fantino.
But in a decision released last week, Ontario Superior Court justice David Crane ruled Mr. Fantino must face the unproven allegation brought forward by Mr. McHale.
Mr. Fantino and Mr. McHale have tangled in court before.
Mr. McHale faces charges of counselling mischief and Mr. Fantino testified during a preliminary hearing last April that he told subordinates he would have gladly arrested Mr. McHale himself for inciting civil unrest in Caledonia in December, 2007.
Mr. McHale, who is representing himself in that case, questioned Mr. Fantino on the witness stand.
During one exchange, Mr. Fantino told Mr. McHale that his repeated visits to Caledonia, already tense over the lengthy aboriginal occupation, dangerously inflamed the situation.
The Commissioner called Mr. McHale a “lightning rod to the conflict” during his testimony and added police saved Mr. McHale from “grievous bodily harm numerous times.”
The normally media conscious Mr. Fantino would not be commenting on the case beyond Saturday's statement, said Insp. Ross.
“He also obviously respects the judicial process and will not be saying anything further and we'll have to let the judicial process run its course,” said Insp. Ross.
Commentary by the Ottawa Mens Centre
McGuinty most probably gave the "thumbs up" order instructing "The CROWN" to
"WITHDRAW the charges", that is throw yet another private prosecution into the
trash as happens to EVERY other private prosecution.
The arrogance of former lawyers turned politician is unbelievable, its revolting, these are people "elected" by "the people"
In the United States, prosecutions are "the people" versus who ever is charged.
Canadian politicians, the former lawyers , are very very good at abusing their "fiduciary duty", that comes from many many years of looking proudly at their 12 pink slips to return calls to clients each morning and each little pink slip represents .2 of an hour, thats a very nice 2.4 billable hours that takes a hell of lot less than 2.4 hours to deal with.
"the Crown" in Ontario operate with very strict guidelines, any allegation by a woman against a man is almost automatically predetermined to go to trial.
"the Crown" in Ontario will take any allegation by a woman and have a man arrested, on almost ANY charge, and the charge will not be withdrawn because it contravenes very specific instructions to "the Crown".
There comes a time when Crown's need to stand up and do what is right by the public of Ontario.
One problem, those chosen to be "the crown" are chosen for their ability to be complient not to mention "corrupt" in the sense that they will follow without question, very obviously illegal orders from the government that are an insult the public's notion of justice.
At the end of the day, its the Corrupt Ontario Judiciary who do "the government's bidding"