SHOCKER: Police secret investigation collected evidence of misconduct by Ontario Superior Court Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy

 

Why are police investigating the Judicial Review of a Canadian Judicial Council decision? There are only a few possibilities – all troubling and some illegal.

Was Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy the target of the police investigation? Chief of Police refuses comment.

Durham Regional Police launched a secret investigation soon after Toronto lawyer Paul Slansky filed an Application for a Judicial Review of a Canadian Judicial Council decision regarding Superior Court Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy.

Internet records and correspondence with Chief of Police Paul Martin reveal that from at least May 31 to June 21, 2016, multiple Durham Regional Police investigators spent many days examining and downloading electronic evidence and legal documents filed in support of a judicial misconduct complaint by Donald Best against Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy.

Police investigators also collected evidence supporting Donald Best’s Application for Judicial Review of the CJC decision. At least three police investigators worked at the same time using different computers and mobile devices in a major investigation that lasted almost a month.

Several police sources and former law enforcement personnel (including this writer) confirm that this was a major deployment of investigative resources by the Durham Regional Police.

Police Detectives accidentally exposed major investigation

The secret investigation was discovered because the police detectives were apparently unaware that their computers were connected to the Internet through an ‘assigned Internet Protocol number’ that is registered to the Durham Regional Police. (IP number 66.163.5.113)

The police detectives were also apparently unaware that visitor records of the targeted website, DonaldBest.CA, would show their Durham Regional Police origin, the type of computer or other device used, operating system version, screen resolution, physical location & postal code, browser program version, Internet service provider, visitor activities, visitor history and much more.

Hide My Ass VPN Service

Durham Regional Police adopt ‘Hide My Ass’ VPN

After Best’s lawyer Paul Slansky wrote a letter of concern to Chief of Police Paul Martin on June 15, 2016, police detectives started using the ‘Hide My Ass’ VPN virtual private network service to disguise their activities. This is a paid service, so either the Durham Regional Police or an individual police detective purchased a ‘Hide My Ass’ account in an attempt to conceal the ongoing investigation.

The police failed to correctly configure their ‘Hide My Ass’ software. As a result the DonaldBest.CA website administrator was still able to identify Durham Regional Police computers and document the continuing investigation. During the same time frame, many similar visits were traced to an IP number assigned to The Regional Municipality of Durham.

Chief of Police Paul Martin

Durham Regional Chief of Police stonewalls questions

Lawyer Paul Slansky’s letter to Chief Martin included evidence of the police investigation, asked for an explanation and confirmation that the investigation was official and authorized. (Letter and attachments available below.)

Mr. Slansky wrote to Chief Martin:

“My client is concerned about why this is taking place. He has committed no crime. Why is the DRPS investigating him or his website? He feels intimidated by these actions. In light of the past ‘off the record’ investigation* by the DRPS, that he was advised of by Detective Rushbrook, my client is concerned that this may not be an official DRPS investigation.”

Chief of Police Paul Martin stonewalled Best’s lawyer and refused to provide any information at all. The Chief’s Executive Officer simply replied:

“Your client’s public website is easily accessible by any individual who wishes to view it. No further response to your letter will be provided.”

CJC Executive Director Norman Sabourin

Who ordered the police investigation of a Judicial Review of a Canadian Judicial Council decision – and under what authority?

Was the intent of the police investigation to impact, interfere with or subvert the Judicial Review? Was the intent to intimidate a CJC complainant and his lawyer?

Was Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy the actual target of the police investigation?

Superior Court Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy

There is no doubt that the Durham Regional Police initiated a secret investigation after Best’s lawyer served and filed an Application for a Federal Court Judicial Review of the decision of the Canadian Judicial Council regarding Donald Best’s complaint about the misconduct of Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy.

Best’s Application for a Judicial Review seems to have been the catalyst for the police investigation as for almost a year previously the DonaldBest.CA website published many articles about Justice Shaughnessy, his involvement in Best’s civil case and the CJC complaint against him. It was only when the Application for a Judicial Review was filed that the Durham Regional Police initiated their investigation.

Troubling Questions

  • What is the true purpose of the Durham Regional Police investigation? What were the investigation goals? How were the results intended to be used, and by whom?
  • Was Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy the target of the police investigation? Was the investigation assigned to the Durham Regional Police because they are the local agency in Oshawa where Justice Shaughnessy usually sits?
  • Who ordered the investigation and under what authority in law?
  • Who knew about the investigation?
  • Who received reports or briefings about the police investigation?
  • What were the results of the police investigation?
  • Which senior police officers authorized this major deployment of investigative resources?
  • Was this an official investigation with an occurrence number, document trail and retention of records? Or, was it an improper backroom use of police resources for a private purpose as happened previously in 2009 & 2010 as already documented in court records of Donald Best’s civil case?*
  • What government and police databases were accessed during the investigation? What information was exchanged with other agencies and law enforcement agencies? Were other law enforcement agencies involved?
  • Were Crown prosecutors consulted?

Parties served with the Application for the Judicial Review:

  • Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy
  • Attorney General of Ontario
  • Attorney General of Canada for the Canadian Judicial Council.

Did any of the served parties overstep their authority in ordering a police investigation?

Did anyone intend that the Durham Region Police investigation would be used to impact, undermine or subvert the Judicial Review of a Canadian Judicial Council decision – or to intimidate the complainant Donald Best or his lawyer Paul Slansky?

Who ordered the Police Secret Investigation? Some Possibilities…

Attorney General of Canada (AGC)
Canadian Judicial Council, Director Norman Sabourin

The first thought that occurs to this writer is that if the Attorney General of Canada or the Canadian Judicial Council wanted to use the police to conduct a secret investigation, they would naturally turn to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The RCMP is our national police service, and is headquartered in Ottawa near the AGC and the CJC.

On the other hand, either the AGC or the CJC could have requested an investigation by the Durham Regional Police – which is the local police service in Oshawa where Justice Shaughnessy usually sits.

If, however, the AGC or the CJC did order the police investigation, this raises extensive ethical and legal questions about the limits of each entity’s authority and mandate.

Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General (MAG)

As with the federal Attorney General, it seems reasonable that if the MAG wanted to order a police investigation of the Judicial Review, of Justice Shaughnessy or of the complainant to the CJC, Donald Best, that the MAG would have turned first to their own policing organization, the Ontario Provincial Police.

The Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General declared during a preliminary motion that it acts as Justice Shaughnessy’s personal lawyer, and not for the people of Ontario in this case. This again raises extensive ethical and legal questions if the Ontario Ministry of the Attorney General ordered the Durham Regional Police to conduct an investigation where the results could potentially be used in support of Justice Shaughnessy or to potentially impact the Judicial Review, the complainant or his lawyer in any manner.

Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy

If Justice Shaughnessy, upon learning of the Judicial Review of the Canadian Judicial Council’s decision regarding a complaint of misconduct against himself, ordered or caused the Durham Regional Police to investigate the Judicial Review, the complaint, the complainant or his lawyer – is this an abuse of position, against any law or established ethics, guidelines or conflict of interest rules for judges?

I would be very interested in hearing from legal scholars as to the boundaries of proper behaviour for a judge, the CJC, the MAG and AGC in this case where it is proven that the Durham Regional Police conducted a major investigation concerning a judicial review.

About the only thing that we know for sure is that the Durham Regional Police secretly conducted a major investigation shortly after lawyer Paul Slansky filed an Application for a Judicial Review of a Canadian Judicial Council decision about a complaint of misconduct against Justice Shaughnessy.

As to who ordered the investigation and its purpose, the police know – but they aren’t talking.

Paul Slansky’s letter and Chief Martin’s reply

June 15, 2016 Slansky letter to Chief Martin (PDF 379kb)

June 30, 2016 Durham Regional Police response letter (PDF 140kb)

Donald Best’s Complaint of Misconduct against Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy

See this article: Affidavit filed in action against Canadian Judicial Council, Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy

Previous Unofficial Police Investigations

*In 2009 a Durham Regional Police officer conducted an unauthorized and probably illegal ‘on the side’ investigation of Donald Best, apparently to assist defendants in a civil case where Best’s corporation was the plaintiff.

Read: Canadian Police Expertise, Information and Resources illegally sold to major law firms.

Photo Credits

‘Hide My Ass’ logo courtesy of Privax Ltd. / HideMyAss.com

Durham Regional Police logo & Chief Paul Martin released to the public domain in unrestricted DRPS Annual Report.

Public domain photo of Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy has been modified to remove others in the background and is a new work by Donald Best. The photo has been included to put context to the article. It’s use is the same as many Canadian news outlets that continue to publish photos of many Superior Court Justices who were or are under investigation by the CJC and other authorities.

Norman Sabourin, CJC Executive Director photo courtesy of The Lawyers Weekly

National Post bans Donald Best comment on article about Donald Best and lawyer Paul Slansky

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Detective, Toronto Police

Canada’s National Post newspaper ‘stealth banned’* comments by yours truly, Donald Best, on a newspaper article about my lawyer Paul Slansky, my legal case and me.

When I’m logged in as a registered reader I can read my own comments – but I’m not told that my comments are not visible to other readers, only to me.

The National Post published the same flawed Colin Perkel article as did the Toronto Star, which contains such deliberately limited information that it can only be called fake news. After Perkel’s first such article about my case in June 2016, he refused to interview me despite my offers. My recent post explains it all.

My comment at the National Post was polite and informative – but the editors apparently have marching orders from their masters. The news article names me, is about my case and my lawyer, and the reporter refuses to interview me – but the National Post doesn’t want the public to read my comments about the story.

Here are my words, apparently too dangerous to the National Post’s agenda for the public to read:

This is Donald Best, the former Toronto Police Sergeant (Detective) who is mentioned in this article. Paul Slansky is my lawyer. He is a man of integrity and courage to take my case when it was apparent from the start that the legal establishment was simply not going to allow my evidence to reach a civil jury of my fellow Canadians.

No judge in any court listened to the audio recordings that I secretly made (and that prove my case) – and that includes the two judges that the National Post article mentions. Nor was I allowed to cross-examine the lawyer-witnesses upon whose testimony I was convicted and imprisoned in solitary confinement for 63 days.

Think about that: I was not allowed to cross-examine the witnesses about their testimony that the court relied upon to send me to prison.

Canadians are universally appalled when they visit my website, listen to the audio recordings, view all the evidence that was never allowed to come to trial – and understand what really happened.

Unfortunately, journalist Colin Perkel did not include in his story that a Judicial Review is in progress, and that the Federal Court just released a decision in my favour. Nor did Mr. Perkel include various background that would allow readers to decide for themselves what happened, and to follow the story as it continues to unfold.

After his original article last June, Mr. Perkel did not take advantage of my offers to be interviewed. I remain available should any Mr. Perkel or any journalist be interested.

Donald Best
Barrie, Ontario
website: DonaldBest.CA

*Stealth Banning is the practice of rendering an individual comment invisible to everyone except the poster. (Wikipedia)

 

 

Colin Perkel – Toronto Star fake news hit piece targets lawyer Paul Slansky

Hired Gun Hit-Piece Journalist Colin Perkel

Colin Perkel’s new Toronto Star hit-piece targeting lawyer Paul Slansky contains such deliberately limited information that it can only be called fake news.

It is a real shame to see a career journalist like Colin Perkel writing agenda-driven propaganda at the behest of his corporate masters – when he must know that he is being used to deliver half-truths in furtherance of a cover-up of criminal behaviour by senior Ontario lawyers.

After his first hit-piece against my lawyer Paul Slansky, published June 21, 2016, Perkel did not reply to my offers to be interviewed.

At the same time, persons using the Toronto Star computer network downloaded from my website; court documents, audio files and exhibits that conclusively prove that Toronto lawyers Lorne Silver, Gerald Ranking and Sebastien Kwidzinski lied to the courts to convict me in absentia (while I was out of the country and unaware of the proceeding) of contempt of civil court.

Junior lawyer Sebastien Kwidzinski and senior Ontario lawyers Gerald Ranking, Lorne Silver deliberately lied to the courts.

The DonaldBest.CA articles that the Toronto Star reporters read also documented (supported by sworn affidavits and court transcripts) that no judge and no court has ever listened to the voice recordings that prove that I was convicted and jailed upon the deliberate lies, perjury and deception of corrupt Toronto lawyers Lorne Silver, Gerald Ranking and Sebastien Kwidzinski.

The judges who never listened to my audio recordings include Justice Susan Healey – whose comments Perkel loves to selectively quote in his articles. Perkel knows that truth, but the truth is not included in his commissioned hit-piece:

Justice Susan Healey made her decision and comments based upon the court record that excluded the voice recordings and other irrefutable evidence of illegal acts by the named lawyers.

Read more

Does Canada’s justice system hold any hope for common citizens?

A reader asks: With so many elements of Canada’s legal infrastructures failing its citizens, do you think there is hope for any real recourse for common citizens?

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Detective, Toronto Police

Dear ‘S’,

Thank you for your kind and supportive email.

At the moment there is no real access to justice for ordinary Canadians. It can be fairly said that never before in Canadian history have the people and the justice system been so far apart.

It could also be fairly said that the elites who crafted and run the system – both the lawyers and ex-lawyers now known as ‘judges’ – are completely divorced from the people.

The only question is what form the rebellion will take when it comes.

Increasingly I see a section of the population completely dismissing the justice system as irrelevant in any decision making process where they believe they have been wronged. There is also a realization that we have a class-based justice system where rule of law is scarcely remembered by the courts and not at all by the legal profession.

This is producing a dangerous undermining of the very foundations of Canadian society – and if not stopped will produce a society like many around the world, where the justice system is known as nothing but a corrupt and owned weapon of the upper-class elites.

When the Toronto Star can report without contradiction that the Law Society of Upper Canada covered up hundreds of cases where Ontario lawyers committed criminal offenses against their clients, little more need be said.

Yours truly,

Donald Best

Representing Yourself in Court 101 – Lesson #1: Walk away if you can.

Lady Justice Cheats

Lady Justice doesn’t like Self-Represented Litigants

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Detective, Toronto Police

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Detective, Toronto Police

So you want justice, and you want it badly enough that you are willing to represent yourself in court – without a lawyer.

What I really want you to understand is this: walking away from court is often the best decision you can make, whether you have a lawyer or not. If you are self-represented though, walking away is almost always the best decision.

There’s a tough reality to representing yourself that you don’t know about, even if you have previous experience in court with your lawyer beside you. As a self-represented litigant, you WILL be abused by opposing lawyers. You WILL be abused by court staff and by judges.

And, like the vast majority of self-represented litigants, you will likely lose your case. You may find yourself having to pay legal costs to the other side – sometimes tens of thousands of dollars or more. Or, like me, you may end up doing several months in prison even though your case is a civil lawsuit, not a criminal charge.

You have no idea about what you are getting into, but…

Maybe you are forced to represent yourself in court. Perhaps you are being sued and the other side won’t settle. Maybe your children or your home are at stake and you can’t walk away, but you have no money to hire a lawyer.

If you must represent yourself, you have a difficult path ahead. You’ll have to work hard to learn the law, and to learn the written and unwritten rules of litigation. Don’t let your case overwhelm  what is really important in your life.

Representing Yourself in Court 101

My new video series covers some of the general information you’ll need to represent yourself in court. We’ll also look at some topics the legal community doesn’t like to talk about, such as the common dirty tricks that abusive lawyers reserve for those who don’t have a lawyer.

Lesson #1 in the series is titled ‘Walk away – if you can’.

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

A handful of wise Canadian Judges urge lawyers to adopt a new business product: unbundled services

How lawyers can take pressure off the courts and earn new profits from assisting self-represented litigants.

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Detective, Toronto Police

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Detective, Toronto Police

If you have ever been involved in a lawsuit, whether personal or business, you are probably aware that for most Canadians, the cost of hiring a lawyer can easily exceed the loss or damages under dispute. In family law, it is not unheard of for the legal fees on both sides to equal the joint family assets. That is reality in our courts.

Yet, each year tens of thousands of Canadians hire lawyers in the hope that, after legal fees, they will be able to achieve some level of justice, even if greatly discounted. Harsh reality often awaits many who enter the world of paying lawyers $400 or more per hour – in a system that provides the greatest financial benefit to those lawyers who spend the most time achieving as little as possible.

I can almost hear the screams of indignant outrage from the senior benchers of the Law Society of Upper Canada. Except, I have been at social events and seen lawyers openly joke about exactly that; how the system is set up to benefit the legal profession, not ordinary Canadians. As one of the jokes goes: A good lawyer will take a year to accomplish a motion – an excellent lawyer takes much longer.

As the legal profession pushed the cost of justice out of reach of the majority of ordinary people, many Canadians are reluctantly having to represent themselves in the courts. This tsunami of self-represented litigants is overwhelming the justice system and tests the patience of many judges who find the once professional theatre of the court now more akin to an amateur hour talent show.

So the legal system is searching for solutions to the ‘problem’ of self-represented litigants. We’ve seen some good efforts that need to be continued. Chief Justice Michael MacDonald of Nova Scotia instituted an educational program for self-represented litigants. Across Canada, SRL advocacy groups and a few lawyers run workshops to assist those who are forced to represent themselves.

Unbundled Services: Quick and effective relief for the courts & opposing lawyers

What is missing though, is the willingness of mainstream lawyers and law firms to enter the business of providing legal research, legal document creation and case preparation for self-represented litigants who would happily pay for such assistance, but do not have the funds to hire a ‘full service’ lawyer to represent them in court. (‘Unbundled legal services’)

Many lawyers see the delivery of unbundled services as undermining the profession. Still others fear malpractice claims or professional insurance problems when self-represented litigants turn on the lawyer who assisted them.

Dr. Julie Macfarlane and the National Self-Represented Litigants Project continue to educate lawyers and law students about the SRL crisis – and now focus on untapped business opportunities for lawyers willing to add a new product: Unbundled Services to self-represented persons.

And, in the new NSRLP video (above) we see support for unbundled legal services from some heavy hitters including Chief Justice Robert Bauman of British Columbia, Chief Justice Michael MacDonald of Nova Scotia, and Associate Chief Justice Frank Marrocco of the Superior Court of Ontario.

Kudos to the Justices for their leadership, and to Dr. Macfarlane and the National Self-Represented Litigants Project for their excellent video.

Canadians respond to my Globe and Mail article about solitary confinement and Adam Capay

globe-mail-donald-best-590x220-private

Last Tuesday I was sitting in an examination room as a new doctor looked at my chart. (Like airline pilots, doctors seem to get younger every day.) When he flipped the pages to read my name again, he stopped, trying to remember something, and then said, “Donald Best… Donald Best. Did you write that column in the Globe and Mail yesterday?”

When I confirmed that I was the author, he called in a nurse, made introductions and the three of us spent the next 15 minutes discussing solitary confinement, my column and how a ‘nice man’ like me came to be housed with some of Canada’s most dangerous prisoners.

It is apparent that my Globe and Mail article ‘Solitary confinement is pure torture. I know, I was there“ touched many of my fellow Canadians who were unware of the horrors of solitary confinement in our prisons.

Prior to my own incarceration for 63 days, I too hadn’t thought much about solitary confinement, and when I did I had no idea about the reality – this despite three decades of service in public and private law enforcement.

But my article resonated with ordinary people, for which I am grateful – because solitary confinement is torture, nothing less. It is not what my Canada is about – or should be about.

In the last week, I received over one hundred emails and other messages of encouragement from all across Canada. My website saw an increase of several thousand additional visitors, and many journalists opened communication with me. I made guest appearances on two ‘talk-radio’ shows in Ottawa and Montreal. Several lawyers contacted me to inquire whether I would provide testimony to assist their clients who are incarcerated in solitary confinement.

(Sure I’ll testify to the truth about what I saw and experienced in solitary confinement. The truth does not have an agenda – it is just the truth.)

The catalyst for all this is, of course, Adam Capay, an indigenous 24-year-old man horrifically kept in solitary confinement for almost five years. His story splashed across the news media for a few days, but has disappeared now that Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne made some promises and moved Capay to a cell with a television.

Such is the fleeting attention of the public as new stories come and go.

17 Years in Solitary Confinement

Yet, as bad as Adam Capay’s case is – somewhere in Canada, if he is still alive, there is a prisoner who has spent over 17 years in ‘administrative segregation’.

Seventeen years.

This is not the Canada that I believe in. WE, you and I, need to make some changes happen.

Donald Best

Donald Best guest on Tommy Schnurmacher Show – CJAD 800 AM Montreal talk radio

cjad_tommy_schnurmacher-590x140

On Wednesday I was a guest on the Tommy Schnurmacher Show in Montreal. Producer Matt Guite contacted me after the Globe and Mail published my article ‘Solitary confinement is pure torture. I know, I was there

Yes, I was a little nervous about appearing live on air – it’s not something I have much experience with – but Tommy made me feel as if I was just having a conversation with an old friend. At least he seemed like an old friend from my Montreal days so long ago.

Sure, he’s a pro, but what I love about Schnurmacher is that he doesn’t care about convention. Fearless is the one word that defines him.

An honour to be on Tommy’s show.

You can have a listen to our conversation at CJAD’s website here.

Or, you can listen at my website…

Does Your Lawyer have a Criminal Record? That’s possible in Ontario, Canada.

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Detective, Toronto Police

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Detective, Toronto Police

Welcome to the Province of Ontario – where convicted pedophiles and proven thieves meet the ‘Good Character’ standard for licensing by the Law Society of Upper Canada.

Yet another convicted and jailed pedophile has been approved to continue as a licensed Ontario lawyer practicing in the area of ‘Family Law’.

Senior lawyer Martin Schulz will be allowed to continue to practice family law – despite being sentenced to 45 days in jail after pleading guilty to possessing child pornography. The Crown prosecutor dropped more serious charges as part of a plea bargain.

Schulz had hundreds of child sex photos and movies on his computer. Think of the ruined lives, the devastation, the pain of these little children – but the Law Society Tribunal decided about Schulz:

“We find no reasonable grounds for believing that a significant risk of harm to members of the public exists.”

September 14, 2016 Decision of Law Tribunal members Sabita Maraj, Susan T. McGrath (chair), Frederika ‘Freddy’ M. Rotter.

The tribunal found that Schulz could continue to practice family law with a restriction that he could not represent children and would not be alone with any person under the age of 18 years old.

As a spokesperson for the Law Society stated, a past criminal record – even for child sexual assault – doesn’t preclude someone from receiving a licence to practice law.

If that is the law society standard, then that is the standard. After all… lawyers alone regulate and set the standards for the legal profession.

The lesson for the Ontario public is this:

Your lawyer might have a criminal record. The Law Society won’t tell you… and you probably won’t know.

And, as was shown in the recent Toronto Star ‘Broken Trust’ investigation of the law society, your lawyer might be one of the hundreds of lawyers who in the past few years committed serious criminal offenses against their clients, but were never charged because the law society covered it up.

Law Society Tribunal members who approved licensing of pedophile Martin Schultz: (L-R) Sabita Maraj, Susan T. McGrath (chair), Frederika 'Freddy' M. Rotter.

Law Society Tribunal members who approved licensing of pedophile Martin Schultz: (L-R) Sabita Maraj, Susan T. McGrath (chair), Frederika ‘Freddy’ M. Rotter.

What are the Law Society’s senior benchers and Tribunal thinking to allow convicted pedophiles and other persons with criminal records to practice as lawyers? Have they lost touch with reality? They have certainly lost touch with Canadians.

By continuing to license persons with criminal records, and by covering up hundreds of crimes and other acts of wrongdoing by lawyers – the Law Society of Upper Canada is seriously undermining the reputation of Ontario’s legal profession.

For more, watch the above video and read these past articles at DonaldBest.CA:

Time for Independent Oversight of Canada’s legal profession

Ontario’s Law Society of Upper Canada approved & licensed known pedophile to be children’s lawyer – with predictable results.

Here is the Martin Schulz decision of the Law Society Tribunal (download pdf)

More to this story than being told: Toronto Police clerk charged with illegally accessing confidential files

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Detective, Toronto Police

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Toronto Police

In 1985, my squad executed a search warrant at the home of a member of organized crime and discovered that Chinatown’s Luen Kung Lok Triad gang was receiving confidential Toronto Police Intelligence Bureau surveillance reports shortly after they were filed – sometimes within hours of the report creation.

In that case, corrupt Toronto Police personnel were making thousands of dollars a month providing outsiders with illegal access to police information, resources and investigative techniques.

I was one of four officers quietly inserted into 52 Plainclothes squad with secret orders from Chief Marks to put a stop to the corruption. We worked in a station of several hundred police officers who were not aware of our undercover mission.

We spent almost a year pretending to be corrupt –  taking bribes, enjoying free meals, free booze and partying with organized crime while secretly recording everything for the big takedown.

We had to bring our own ‘girlfriends’ to the parties because otherwise it would look suspicious when we refused the gang offers of women. Our ‘girlfriends’ and ‘squad groupies’ were, of course, undercover female police officers playing the role. Although Julian Fantino (who went on to become Chief of Police and then Associate Minister of Defense) briefly covered the investigation in his biography ‘Duty’ – the project deserves it’s own book. I’ll put that on my do list.

Here is an October 26, 1988 Toronto Star report of one of the trials in that case. You’ll note that accused Wilson Wong named two Toronto Police “friends” at 52 Division (downtown) who “are no longer on the Metro force”. Yes, there is still lots to be told about Project Winky. (click photo for large)

1988-wong-trial-sml-private

Here we are thirty years later and the quest to illegally access and benefit from confidential police information continues.

Toronto Police yesterday charged a civilian employee with a total of 24 crimes involving illegal access to police databases, saying that the searches made by the accused, Erin Maranan 28 years old of Thornhill, Ontario, were not for “official police business”. (Toronto Star Toronto Police forensics clerk charged with illegally accessing files)

I only know what I’ve read in the news media, and the court has imposed a publication ban on the proceedings – but that doesn’t stop us from making some informed observations and analysis of the available information.

Much more to this case than presently being told

This case is possibly much more than a civilian employee looking up background on her lover or her husband’s mistress. Some indicators:

  • The accused worked as a clerk in the Forensic Identification Service. As such, she had access to special databases and information that are not even directly accessible to most police officers. She might even have had the ability to alter information. The duties of a forensic cleck include “processing, searching, comparing and identifying fingerprints for crime-scene identification and criminal record purposes, providing professional photographic and digital imaging services to all units, and maintaining section files.”
  • The accused is also charged with personation – pretending to be someone else to gain a benefit. I speculate that this involves logging into the system as another police employee, perhaps even as a police officer. As an alternative, she could have been accessing Identity Information and commiting fraud.
  • The accused is charged with perjury, although we don’t know under what circumstances. That is serious business – a straight indictable criminal offence with a sentence of up to 14 years in prison.
  • The accused is charged with 23 counts of Breach of Trust between February and September 2014. Whatever the circumstances, this means that her actions were planned, not spontaneous, and that she knew she was committing a series of criminal offences.

It is good to see the Professional Standards Unit of the Toronto Police taking this illegal access to confidential police data by an employee most seriously.

Former OPP Detective Jim Van Allen

Former OPP Detective Jim Van Allen

This is a different response than taken by the Ontario Provincial Police when one of their senior Detective Sergeants illegally worked as a private investigator for clients that included suspects in the threatening of witnesses. In that disgusting case involving now-retired Detective Sergeant James (Jim) Van Allen, the OPP Professional Standards Unit covered up and whitewashed lawbreaking by their long-time colleague. (See Canadian police expertise, information and resources illegally sold to major law firms)

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