Do we need a SIU ‘Special Investigations Unit’ to investigate criminal allegations against lawyers?

Ontario SIU

“Fostering public confidence by ensuring thorough and independent investigations that stand up to public scrutiny.”

For good reasons Canadians are reluctant to allow the police to investigate themselves when allegations of serious criminal offences by police officers surface. In Ontario we have the ‘SIU’ or ‘Special Investigations Unit’ to provide a level of public confidence that in the most serious cases, the police are not protecting their own over the public interest.

The SIU’s website states:

When police officers are involved in incidents where someone has been seriously injured, dies or alleges sexual assault, the SIU has the statutory mandate to conduct independent investigations to determine whether a criminal offence took place. The effective fulfilment of this mandate, with all of its associated challenges, remains critical to fostering public confidence in policing in the province by ensuring thorough and independent investigations that stand up to public scrutiny.

Even so, the SIU’s mandate and resources are far more restricted than many citizens would desire, but at least in the most serious cases there is independent investigation and oversight of the police.

That is not the case with the legal profession, where the lawyers themselves are tasked with investigating, charging, judging and sentencing of their fellow lawyers; the ones they went to law school with, articled and partied with and work and live with in the same professional and social circles.

How is ‘self-policing’ working out for Ontario’s lawyers?    Read more

(Legally Made) Secret Recording: Ontario Provincial Police Detective Sergeant Jim Van Allen retired in 2010, not 2008. The lie that put an innocent man in jail.

Former Toronto police sergeant Donald Best alleges in his recently filed civil lawsuit that the OPP Professional Standards Unit concealed their fellow officer’s crimes and in February of 2013 falsely told Best that Detective Sergeant Jim Van Allen had resigned from the OPP in 2008.

In fact, Detective Sergeant Van Allen did not resign from the Ontario Provincial Police until October of 2010, a full year after he had illegally worked as an unlicensed private investigator against the plaintiff, Donald Best.

According to Best’s lawsuit, the above (legally made*) secret recording of a December 30, 2013 telephone call with retired OPP Detective Sergeant Jim Van Allen confirms that Van Allen was a serving police officer in charge of the Ontario Provincial Police elite Criminal Profiling Unit when in October 2009 he illegally investigated Donald Best ‘on the side’ to benefit one side of a civil lawsuit in Ontario, Canada.

Van Allen swore a deceptive and false affidavit in October 2009 that was used to convict and sentence the Plaintiff Donald Best to 3 months in jail. Conspicuously absent in the affidavit is the fact that Van Allen was, at the time, a serving OPP Detective Sergeant, who was being paid ‘on the side’ to illegally work as an unlicensed private investigator for a major Toronto law firm.

The Plaintiff, Donald Best, alleges that Mr. Van Allen’s fellow police officers in the OPP’s Professional Standards Unit covered up Van Allen’s crimes even though it meant an innocent man would go to jail.

Mr. Best’s Statement of Claim states:     Read more

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?
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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