Civil lawsuit alleges Canadian police expertise, information and resources illegally sold to major law firms

In Canada it is illegal for police officers to work as investigators for private interests.

The Criminal Code, Ontario Police Services Act, Ontario Private Security and Investigative Services Act and other laws prohibit police officers from working as private investigators. It is also illegal to hire a police officer as a private investigator.

Those laws, however, didn’t stop one senior Ontario Provincial Police officer from illegally working as an unlicensed private investigator ‘on the side’, nor did the laws stop a major Canadian law firm from illegally hiring him.

And those same laws didn’t stop other senior police officers from covering up their fellow officer’s crimes; even though their cover-up would send an innocent man to jail. This according to a recently filed civil lawsuit by a former police officer in Ontario, Canada.

Former OPP Detective Sergeant, criminal profiler Jim Van Allen (public domain photo)

Former OPP Detective & criminal profiler Jim Van Allen (public domain photo)

“According to Best’s lawsuit, James (Jim) Arthur Van Allen was a Detective Sergeant in charge of the elite Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) Criminal Profiling Unit when lawyer Gerald Ranking of Fasken, Martineau DuMoulin LLP illegally paid Van Allen $2,699.93 to illegally investigate Best and provide the results to Ranking and other lawyers and their clients”

How can we be confident that our justice system will not be undermined by rogue police personnel taking money ‘on the side’ to perform investigations for business interests or to support one side of civil disputes? If the police and lawyers don’t obey the laws, what is to prevent a divorcing husband or wife from paying a local police officer ‘on the side’ to gather information about their ex-spouse for a family law case?

What is to prevent your business rival from secretly hiring police officers to assist in a civil lawsuit against you?
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Donald Best secretly (and legally) recorded call with lawyers Gerald Ranking, Lorne Silver

In his Statement of Claim filed in Barrie, Ontario Canada, Donald Best alleges that on January 15, 2010, he was convicted of ‘Civil contempt of Court’ in absentia (in his absence) and sentenced to prison on the basis of false evidence presented to the Court by lawyers, including defendants Gerald Ranking and Lorne Silver.

Among other falsehoods, the lawyers assured the Judge that Donald Best had told them during a November 17, 2009 phone call that he had received a copy of the Court Order dated November 2, 2009.

Unbeknownst to the lawyers, Mr. Best had secretly recorded his phone call with them.

Compare what you hear in the November 17, 2009 secret telephone call recording with what the lawyers told the Court on December 2, 2009, both orally and in their written ‘Statement for the Record’.

What the Lawyers told the Court about the November 17, 2009 call with Donald Best

On December 2, 2009, the lawyers informed Justice Shaughnessy that Donald Best said during their November 17, 2009 phone call with him that he had received a copy of the Court Order dated November 2, 2009:

From the ‘Statement for the Record’ that Ranking / Silver provided to the Court:

MS. RUBIN: Just to be fair to Mr. Best, my notes say that he indicated that he hadn’t received a copy of Justice Shaughnessy’s November 2nd order, and that he had asked for a copy to be sent to him.

MR. SILVER: I don’t think that is right, actually. I think he said that he got it for the first time last night.

MR. RANKING: Well, I don’t want to really get into… my recollection is similar to Mr. Silver’s, that he, indeed, indicated that he had obtained the court order, and that he, in fact, called the trial coordinator to find out about the material.

(See page 12 of the Ranking / Silver ‘Statement for the Record’ PDF 1.7mb)

Ranking / Silver submissions to the Court, December 2, 2009

On December 1, 2009, Donald Best wrote to the Court and to the lawyers, accusing the lawyers of lying in their ‘Statement for the Record’. Mr. Best’s December 1, 2009 letters are here. (PDF 627kb)

In Court on December 2, 2009, the lawyers rejected Mr. Best’s version of events as detailed in his December 1, 2009 letters, calling his version of the November 17, 2009 phone call ‘defamatory’:

Ranking:  We can’t find Mr. Best and it’s one of those invidious, and I don’t use that word lightly, situations where Mr. Best at his will can write to counsel, can make frankly defamatory remarks about Mr. Silver and I to the court without any affidavit evidence, and yet hide away somewhere and yet then expect us to jump over hoops and bring motions and keep corning back and bothering this court and your valuable time, which is indeed, as I say in my respectful submission, invidious.

December 2, 2009 official court transcript, pages 4/5

After receiving Donald Best’s December 1, 2009 letters containing Mr. Best’s version of the November 17, 2009 phone call, the lawyers assured the court that they rejected Mr. Best’s version of the call. The lawyers didn’t know that Mr. Best had secretly recorded the telephone call, and that Best’s ‘version’ of events was backed up with an accurate voice recording:

Ranking: it goes without saying that we (Mr. Silver, Mr. Ranking and Ms. Clarke) categorically reject Mr. Best’s version of events that day.

December 2, 2009 official court transcript, page 41

What Really was said during the November 17, 2009 call with Donald Best

What did Donald Best really say during the November 17, 2009 call?

As claimed to the Court by lawyers Ranking and Silver, did Donald Best state that he had received a copy of the judge’s order?

Listen to the secret November 17, 2009 recording, read the certified transcript of the recording and then decide for yourself. Here are some excerpts from the certified transcript of the secret recording:

Ranking: The judge ordered you to attend. You have a copy of Justice Shaughnessy’s order dated November the 2nd?

Best: I do not Sir.

Ranking: Pray tell, how did you …

Best: I do not. As a matter of fact, the court reporter told me yesterday that there’s all sorts of documents I don’t have, and..

(Page 4 of Certified Transcript Primeau, YouTube recording starts at 6:55)  Read more

Donald Best v. Gerald Ranking civil lawsuit filed in Ontario Superior Court

Donald Best v. Ranking et al

On July 18, 2014, Donald Best, a former Toronto police officer and undercover investigator, filed a civil lawsuit in Barrie, Ontario, Canada alleging wrongdoing by various defendants; including some of Canada’s largest and most prestigious law firms.

None of the allegations has yet been proven in a court of law, and to our knowledge none of the defendants has filed a Statement of Defence. Visitors to this website are encouraged to examine the legal documents and other evidence posted here and to make up their own minds about the civil lawsuit known as ‘Donald Best v. Gerald Ranking et al’. (Superior Court of Justice, Central East Region: Barrie, Court File No. 14-0815)

The Statement of Claim issued July 18, 2014 can be downloaded in PDF format right here:

20140718 Statement of Claim ‘Best v. Ranking et al’  (pdf 1.3mb)

As time marches on DonaldBest.CA will be expanding the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) section and posting additional court documents and other evidence for consideration.

Visit our FAQ page to start.

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