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.
“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?
Court documents show that plaintiff and former undercover police officer Donald Best alleges that a major International law firm illegally hired a senior Ontario Provincial Police officer to work illegally as an unlicensed private investigator to the benefit of one side of an Ontario civil lawsuit.
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 paid Van Allen $2,699.93 to illegally investigate Best and provide the results to Ranking and other lawyers and their clients; all of whom were involved in a civil lawsuit with Best’s Ontario company Nelson Barbados Group Ltd..
The court documents claim that Ranking and another Fasken lawyer, Sebastien Kwidzinski, assisted OPP Detective Sergeant Jim Van Allen to create a deceptive and false affidavit that was later used to convict and sentence Best in absentia (in his absence) to three months in prison for civil contempt of court. Van Allen’s affidavit also illegally published and distributed Best’s ‘Identity Information’ to the public, contrary to the Criminal Code of Canada and other laws.
Best served over two months hard time in solitary confinement in Lindsay’s Central East Correctional Centre before being released by an Ontario Superior Court judge in April of 2014.
The judge who originally convicted and sentenced Best to 3 months in prison was unaware that Van Allen’s affidavit was the product of criminal misconduct. The court was not told that the witness, ‘private investigator’ Jim Van Allen was in fact a serving Ontario Provincial Police Detective Sergeant, working illegally ‘on the side’ as an unlicensed private investigator.
The lawsuit also claims that in December of 2012 Donald Best complained to Bob Paulson, Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), that he suspected that OPP police officers had conducted an illegal ‘on the side’ investigation of him, including accessing the Canada-wide police computer system known as CPIC (Canadian Police Information Centre). RCMP Commissioner Paulson assigned Mr. Best’s complaint to the Professional Standards Unit of the Ontario Provincial Police.
Best alleges in his 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.
In his Statement of Claim, Best alleges:
“(Senior police officers in the Professional Standards Units) knew that the Plaintiff (Best) was facing 3 months in jail, and was in hearings before Justice Shaughnessy in January through May, 2013. They knew that Van Allen’s affidavit was illegal and deceptive, and that the court had used the Van Allen evidence to convict the Plaintiff. They knew that neither the court nor the Plaintiff was aware that Van Allen had been a serving police officer at the time he investigated the Plaintiff and swore the affidavit. They knew that the court had been deceived.”
“They knew or should have known that the truth about Van Allen was vital evidence to the Court in considering a just outcome in the Plaintiff’s contempt of court hearing. They knew, or should have known that had the Court been aware of the truth about Van Allen, his deceptive affidavit and improper secret police investigation of the Plaintiff, that the Court might not have convicted the Plaintiff in 2010, and might set him free in 2013. The police deliberately withheld this important evidence from both the Plaintiff and the Court.”
It was not until early 2014 that Best learned that the Professional Standards Unit of the Ontario Provincial Police had lied to him and covered up criminal activities and other law-breaking by their senior colleague.
Detective Sergeant Jim Van Allen was awarded the prestigious Order of Merit by Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada.
At Rideau Hall, Ottawa in early 2010, Ontario Provincial Police Detective Sergeant James (Jim) Arthur Van Allen was awarded the Order of Merit of the Police Forces by Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada. If Best’s allegations and evidence are true, it appears that during the nomination period for his award, Detective Sergeant Van Allen was engaged in criminal and other law-breaking activities contrary to his oath of office.
Best’s lawsuit also alleges that Ontario Probation and Parole Officer Tamara Jean Williamson was in 2009 and remains co-director with Van Allen of the Ontario corporation Behavioural Science Solutions Group Inc.. As an Ontario probation and parole officer, Williamson has access to confidential government information and databases. She has yet to file court documents explaining her role in a corporation engaged in illegally investigating Ontario citizens in exchange for payments of money.
None of the allegations has yet been proven in a court of law, and to our knowledge at the time of publication 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)
Additional information can be found at https://donaldbest.ca
Some of the relevant documents and evidence posted at DonaldBest.CA includes:
The February 14, 2014 Appeal Court Motion with the affidavit of honest Toronto lawyer Che Claire details the violations of the law. Large file offered in 3 parts:
- Part 1 – Motion with Che Claire’s affidavit (no exhibits) (18.4mb)
- Part 2 – Exhibits 1 – 26 (20.7 mb)
- Part 3 – Exhibits 27 – 58 (15 mb)
The July 18, 2014 Statement of Claim Donald Best vs. Gerald Ranking. (PDF 1.3mb)
Van Allen’s October 21, 2009 affidavit (PDF 600kb)
Van Allen’s invoices to Gerald Ranking: October 24, 2009 (PDF 95kb) and November 7, 2009 (PDF 85kb). (Note that the invoices have had certain parts redacted by the Fasken law office. The reason for the redactions and the missing content have never been explained or revealed.)
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