Hamilton Councillor Sam Merulla ignores invitation to explain Police Investigation of reported Mafia Connections

Sam Merulla mugs for the camera with a custom-made ‘The Councillor’ shirt.

Sam Merulla’s lawyer sends ‘Cease & Desist’ letter to journalist Donald Best.

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Detective, Toronto Police

So far, neither Sam Merulla nor his lawyer A. Douglas Burns have responded to my reply to their ‘Cease & Desist’ letter emailed to me on June 11, 2019.

In my June 20, 2019 reply to Mr. Burns, I quoted from the cease & desist letter and offered my invitation to interview Councillor Merulla and/or Mr. Burns on camera so that Canadians will have Mr. Merulla’s side of the story for the first time.

To date, I have not received any response to my letter and must presume that Mr. Merulla has declined to be interviewed.

I’m sure that both Mr. Merulla and his lawyer understand that as an elected official, Councillor Merula’s listing in a leaked police document as an associate of members of organized crime is one of those stories that matter to ordinary Canadians.

In that context, I quote from my June 20, 2019 letter here, and provide copies below of both the June 11, 2019 ‘Cease & Desist’ letter and my June 2019 response – as well as links to my previous articles about Mr. Merulla.

Response by Journalist Donald Best to ‘Cease & Desist’ letter

Letter to A. Douglas Burns from Donald Best

June 20, 2019

1/ Councillor Sam Merulla ‘Cease & Desist’ letter, June 11, 2019.

2/ Invitation to Mr. Merulla to be interviewed on camera.

Dear Mr. Burns,

Thank you for your ‘Cease and Desist’ letter of June 11, 2019 on behalf of your client – Hamilton Ward 4 Councillor Sam Merulla, wherein you state:

“We act for Councillor Sam Merulla. In such capacity, we have been provided with a copy of your recent article.

Mr. Merulla is reluctant to respond to you directly but has requested that we write to you on his behalf that you cease and desist publishing articles replete with speculation and lack of fact or merit and that unnecessarily question the character of not only Councillor Merulla but the character of the late Bernie Morelli. Please govern yourself accordingly.”

I am delighted to hear that Councillor Sam Merulla read my articles, and that he asked you to respond on his behalf.

As you know firsthand from your client and after having yourself read my articles concerning Mr. Merulla, as part of my journalistic research and in the interest of accuracy and fairness, I sent article drafts to Mr. Merulla and invited him to respond prior to publishing.

As your letter confirms, Mr. Merulla did not take the opportunity to respond to my news stories or to clarify for the public how it is that he came to be listed in leaked police reports as a “known associate” of various members of organized crime including ‘Ndrangheta Mafia mob figures such as Antonio ‘Tony’ AGRESTA and the recently-murdered Angelo MUSITANO and his brother Pasquale of the Musitano Crime Family. 

I am currently traveling Canada with a professional film crew producing episodes for the forthcoming ‘Canadian Justice’ television series. In the last three weeks we’ve filmed and interviewed lawyers, law enforcement officers and ordinary citizens in Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto.

We will be in the Hamilton area in July and hereby offer you and/or Councillor Sam Merulla the opportunity to tell ordinary Canadians how it is that Mr. Merulla’s name is listed on an internal police organized crime report.

As to your intimidating warning to ‘govern myself accordingly’, as a journalist I shall continue to accurately and fairly cover stories that matter – and continue to do so without fear or favour.

I’m sure that you and your client understand that as an elected official, Councillor Merula’s listing in a leaked police document as an associate of members of organized crime is one of those stories that matter to ordinary Canadians.

Please contact me should you or Mr. Merulla agree to be professionally interviewed on camera for the Canadian Justice series.

Yours truly,

Donald Best [email protected]

Previous Articles about Hamilton City Councillor Sam Merulla

Leaked Police Report: Hamilton City Councillor Sam Merulla & Former Police Board Chair linked with Organized Crime, ‘Ndrangheta Mafia.

Hamilton Councillor Sam Merulla embraces police investigation of Mafia connections – with custom Godfather logo.

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Donald Best
Barrie, Ontario, Canada