Did Superior Court Judge interfere with St. Michael’s College School sex assault investigation to protect his football coach son?

St. Michael’s College School teacher & football coach Kevin Shaughnessy with his father Ontario Superior Court Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy in promotional video.
  • Legal experts say an Ontario Superior Court Justice should not have involved himself in the ongoing sex-assault investigation at St. Michael’s College School.
  • Judge’s son is a teacher & football coach of students charged with gang sexual assault & making / distributing child porn video of the attack.
  • Two sources say that in November 2018, Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy attended St. Michael’s College School meetings during the sexual assault investigation where he called for the firing of principal Greg Reeves and school president Father Jefferson Thompson. The two school officials subsequently resigned on Thursday, November 22, 2018.
  • A source states that one of the meetings was ‘open’, but the other was a small private meeting that included various school board members, respected senior alumni and advisors who discussed with Justice Shaughnessy options in handling the scandal.
  • Justice Shaughnessy’s son Kevin Shaughnessy is a ten-year teacher at the school and was one of the teachers / coaches of the now-dismantled football team whose students were videoed in the school locker room (allegedly) sexually assaulting a boy with a broom handle.
  • Justice Shaughnessy is a St. Michael’s College School alumnus (1968) who has remained heavily involved in school affairs including law classes and mock trials. He founded and donated two longstanding student awards. His three sons also graduated from the school where one, Kevin, is employed as a teacher.
  • In May 2018 Justice Shaughnessy appeared in a promotional video for the school, associated with his receiving the ‘Order of St. Michael’. The video makes revelations about his involvement with other organizations, some of which are also involved with the courts and law enforcement in Durham Region where the judge sits on the bench – raising further questions about potential and/or perceived conflicts of interest.
  • Did Justice Shaughnessy have any contact whatsoever with law enforcement personnel concerning the St. Michael’s College School matter?
  • In an unrelated civil case, there are four known improper police involvements associated with Justice Shaughnessy. This raises strong suspicions of Shaughnessy’s improper use of, and relationship with, law enforcement. In 2017 Durham Regional Police launched major investigation into Donald Best immediately after Best’s lawyer filed legal documents about Justice Shaughnessy’s misconduct in a civil case. In 2009, a Durham Regional Police officer assigned to Justice Shaughnessy’s courthouse improperly conducted a secret investigation into Donald Best “in aid of the court”.
  • Justice Shaughnessy is already embroiled in separate litigation concerning his corrupt behaviour in a matter outside the St. Michael’s investigation. In the Donald Best civil case, Justice Shaughnessy – in a backroom after court closed – secretly and illegally doubled Best’s prison time for Contempt of Court without informing Best or placing any record of the judge’s secret order into the court record. Only the prison was notified of the increased sentence.
  • In the same Donald Best civil matter Justice Shaughnessy also backdated a court order by ten days to assist the opposing lawyers – and then convicted and imprisoned Donald Best for failing to deliver business records to opposing lawyers two days before Shaughnessy made and signed the backdated order that required Best to present the business records. (Yes, you read that correctly.)
  • Several senior lawyers and a retired Crown Attorney call Justice Shaughnessy’s behaviour in the Donald Best civil case “despotic”, “disgusting”, “reprehensible”, “malicious” and “worthy of his removal from the bench.” His corrupt actions earned Bryan Shaughnessy the monikers ‘Backroom Bryan’ and ‘Canada’s Backroom Judge’ with both the public and (quietly) in the legal community.
Ontario Superior Court Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy in May 2018 promotional video for St. Michael’s College School.

How Involved is Teacher & Football Coach Kevin Shaughnessy?

by Donald Best, former Sergeant, Detective, Toronto Police

The scandal at St. Michael’s College School exploded in November 2018 and is only partially about the horrific behaviour of some members of the school’s football team who (allegedly) sexually assaulted a fellow student with a broomstick, videoed the attack and then distributed the child pornography.

Seven students now stand criminally charged involving multiple incidents on school property over a number of months.

In a breach of professional ethics and perhaps even the criminal code, for at least two days senior school administrators (and probably some teachers, board members and parents) failed to report the horrific sex attack and existence of the child-sex video to the police or Children’s Aid. Some possessed copies of the child-sex video during this time and distributed it to others.

It was not until the police were notified by the news media and came to the school that principal Greg Reeves surrendered the video to the police and informed them of the sexual attack – some two days after he knew and first possessed the child-sex video.

Why did so many senior members of the St. Michael’s College School community fail to report the existence of the child-sex video and horrific sex-attack to the police? 

Were the school staff and board members honestly just overwhelmed and unprepared to deal with such events? Were they naïve about their duty to protect a child at risk?

Or… was it an attempted cover-up? Were the staff and board trying to find some way out to protect the international reputation of the school? Did the worldwide revelations about child sexual abuse and coverups by the Catholic Church and clergy influence the St. Michael’s College School individual and corporate decisions?

Roster showing Kevin Shaughnessy as a football coach with St. Michael’s College School. From the OFSAA Team Rosters – St. Michael’s vs Cardinal Newman

What did Justice Shaughnessy know and when did he know it?

It would be only natural for Justice Bryan Shaughnessy and his son Kevin Shaughnessy to discuss the sexual assaults the moment either of them learned of the events. 

As a ten-year St. Michael’s teacher and football coach, Kevin Shaughnessy might have been worried about the school image and about his own career. He would naturally inform and ask advice of his father who is both a senior justice in the Ontario Superior Court and a respected member of the St. Michael’s College School community.

“(There should be) a full accounting of coaches, clergy and staff members assigned to sports teams. Where were they when that kid was screaming for help?”

Toronto Sun journalist Joe Warmington November 23, 2018

Both Justice Shaughnessy and his son Kevin would have known that public questions were bound to be asked about the school’s athletic and football team culture, why the assault was not prevented and when each staff member became aware of the assaults and videos. The public and parents would also want to know if anyone had knowledge of this type of behaviour happening in the past and what the response of the school was at the time. (Note: At least one former student has gone public claiming that hazing and assaults at the school have been part of the school culture for decades.)

Justice Shaughnessy should have recused himself from any involvement whatsoever.

In this situation, it would be a natural instinct for senior school officials, staff, board members and parents to contact Justice Shaughnessy for advice – perhaps not even considering that contacting a senior judge during a criminal investigation was improper. 

Bryan Shaughnessy, however, is no ordinary person, no ordinary alumnus or parent – ‘Bryan’ is Ontario Superior Court Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy whose public and private statements on anything carry real influence and the heavy credibility of a senior judge. 

Further, Justice Shaughnessy’s son Kevin is a teacher and football coach and therefore directly involved at the very least as a witness – and potentially as the subject of investigations into the school’s staff and football culture.

“It was up to Justice Shaughnessy to recuse himself from the picture, but instead he deliberately chose to become involved.

Upon learning of the sexual assault at the school, as a sitting Ontario Superior Court Justice who is the father of an involved teacher and football coach, Bryan Shaughnessy should have immediately recused himself from any discussion, communication or any role at all in the school.

Further, he had a duty imposed by law to report any incidents himself unless he was absolutely sure they had already been properly reported.” (Senior Law Society of Ontario lawyer to Donald Best.)

There are recognized limitations on what a judge may or may not do both officially and in private life. According to several senior lawyers and a law professor I consulted with during the writing of this article, Justice Shaughnessy crossed the line when he made recommendations to the school in the middle of a criminal investigation – whether he made those recommendations in public at the general meeting or in private with school officials.

As a senior Ontario Superior Court Justice, Bryan Shaughnessy should not have involved himself in any way in a criminal matter likely to go before the courts.

According to the senior lawyers, Justice Shaughnessy’s actions during the criminal investigation crossed the line even before considering the obvious conflict of interest created by his son’s employment as a teacher and involved football coach at the school. 

Parents, staff and members of the public would naturally wonder if Justice Shaughnessy’s recommendation that St. Michael’s College School fire principal Greg Reeves and president Father Jefferson Thompson was intended to take the heat away from Shaughnessy’s son and his son’s fellow teachers and football coaches.

Too many unanswered questions.

Did Justice Shaughnessy’s teacher-son have a copy of the video or know of it and not report it to the police? Did anything that Kevin Shaughnessy do or failed to do influence his father to call for the firing of the school principal and director?

Exactly when and how did Justice Shaughnessy learn of the sexual assaults and of the existence of the video? Did he immediately call the police to report the crime himself? Did Justice Shaughnessy see or possess a copy of the child-sex video?

When sitting judges insert themselves or allow themselves to be inserted into criminal investigations – at the very least this causes public doubt about the judiciary and the rule of law. At worst, such actions bring the administration of justice into disrepute.

Add to that the fact that Justice Shaughnessy’s own son is at the very best a potential witness and at the worst an involved teacher and football coach.

Justice Shaughnessy made a deliberate choice to insert himself into an ongoing criminal investigation despite his obvious conflicts of interest.

He knew or should have known that his involvement had the potential to cause doubt about the integrity of both the internal and police investigation and to bring both his personal judgment and the administration of justice into disrepute.

Yet, Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy chose to become involved in the St. Michael’s College School scandal.

Coming in Part II…

  • Update on the St. Michael’s College School criminal charges, including known timeline.
  • Analysis of the Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy promotional video for St. Michael’s College School.
  • Discussion of what public activities are permissible for sitting judges. Is fundraising for organizations permitted? What if the organizations have an acknowledged role with the police or the courts in the judge’s jurisdiction?
  • Details of all police involvement associated with Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy in the Donald Best civil case.

Further Reading

CBC Toronto, Nov 22/18 St. Michael’s College School principal and president resign amid student sex assault scandal

Toronto Star, Dec 19/18 What we know and don’t know about the scandal at St. Michael’s College School — and what we can’t report

Dec 2/15 Ontario Superior Court Justice J. Bryan Shaughnessy secretly increased prisoner’s jail sentence – in a backroom, off the court record, without informing the prisoner.

Jan 1/18 News media censorship of Julian Fantino’s Canadian Judicial Council Intervention Crumbles as Toronto Star Publishes bombshell article.

Notice to readers, including Persons and Entities mentoned in this article

As always, if anyone disagrees with anything published at DonaldBest.CA or wishes to provide a public response or comment, please contact me at [email protected] and I will publish your writing with equal prominence. Comments left on articles are moderated at least once a day. Or, of course, you can sue me and serve my lawyer Paul Slansky. You can find Mr. Slansky’s information here.

Readers are also encouraged to thoroughly study all the evidence available here at DonaldBest.CA, to perform independent research on the Internet and elsewhere, to consider all sides and to make up their own minds as to the events reported on DonaldBest.CA.

Photos have been included to put context to the article. Their use is the same as with other Canadian news outlets. With the exception of Kevin Shaughnessy who is a legitimate subject of this news article, all other members of Justice Shaughnessy’s family have been edited out of the photos.

Donald Best
Barrie, Ontario, Canada

Donald Best is a former Toronto Police Sergeant (Detective) who is now an independent journalist, documentary filmmaker and an anti-corruption advocate. He is the recipient of the 2018 Ontario Civil Liberties Award, and has been called “One of Canada’s most methodical and well documented whistleblowers.”

Domenic Violi arrest a reminder that Organized Crime has penetrated Canadian police for decades

Toronto Police clerk Erin Maranan charged in Mafia takedown (left) Corrupt OPP Detective Jim Van Allen (right)

  • Long History of Corrupt Hamilton & Toronto Police selling out to the mob.
  • Toronto Deputy Chief’s relative arrested for obtaining police data.
  • Toronto lawyers used corrupt Ontario Provincial Police detective to illegally access police records.

A four-year long joint RCMP/FBI project came to fruition last week with the arrest of Hamilton mobster Domenic Violi and a dozen other organized crime figures in Ontario and New York. Arrest warrants have been issued for several others on the run – including Violi’s younger brother Giuseppe (Joe) Violi. The brothers are the sons of former Calabrian Montreal boss Paolo Violi who was murdered by the Rizzuto mob in a 1978 hit.

Also making an appearance in Project OTremens are members of the New York-based Bonanno and Gambino crime families, including Bonanno capo Damiano Zummo and Gambino made man Paul Semplice.

Overshadowed by the high-profile Mafia types, however, is the connected arrest of former Toronto Police Forensic Identification clerk Erin Jade Maranan, who faces 24 criminal charges for providing confidential police information to organized crime.

Two of the people that Toronto Police clerk Erin Maranan provided information about to the mob were later murdered.

While there is no evidence that Maranan knew anything about the murders, it is reasonable to assume that any police employee would know that criminal organizations don’t seek confidential police information so they can send people Christmas cards.

If Erin Maranan is convicted she should be imprisoned for many years as a deterrent to other corrupt police personnel. As I revealed in my first article about her arrest, ‘More to this story than being told’ organized crime has always sought to gain inside information about police knowledge and operations.

“Organized Crime will never cease paying corrupt police to provide information and protection.”

Right from the start of my law enforcement career in 1975, I saw that there were always a few corrupt police officers and civilian employees willing to trade confidential information for money or other benefits. And the money is huge. Back in 1985 the Toronto Kung Lok Triad was paying my squad over a hundred-thousand dollars a year to protect a single gambling den from police raids. (We were in deep-cover pretending to be corrupt, took the money and then later arrested the mobsters. See here.)

That was 32 years ago and something tells me that the price of inside police information hasn’t gone down since then.

Hamilton Police on mob payroll

A few days ago Oakville-based private investigator Derrick Snowdy published on the internet several pages of a July 24, 2002 Halton Regional Police confidential intelligence report detailing how mobsters Domenic VIOLI and Paul GRAVELLE had a number of police officers on the payroll, including Hamilton cop Richard WILLS. (You can read the documents below – click to enlarge. I’ve redacted the Identity Information even though the full documents are out there in the wild on the internet. I cannot vouch for their veracity. My source is Derrick Snowdy’s Twitter account @jdsnowdy )


In 2010 Hamilton Police Inspector Richard ‘Rick’ Wills pleaded guilty to stealing $60,000 of drug bust money but was sentenced to 2 years ‘conditional’ house arrest – a kiss of a sentence for a corrupt senior cop who violated a position of trust.

Wills is also a defendant in a 2016 lawsuit by former Hamilton undercover cop Paul Manning. Manning – who penetrated the Hamilton mob as a deep cover police investigator under the alias ‘Paul Wright’ – alleges that Wills sold out and notified the mob that Manning was an undercover cop.

Manning’s lawsuit also alleges that several Hamilton police officers have ties to organized crime and that a Toronto cop was selling guns to Toronto gang members. A Toronto Star article laid it all out: Hamilton cop alleges betrayal by his force

Manning’s Twitter account: @mobinfiltrator   Website: mobinfiltrator.com

Toronto Police employee Davita Federico charged with illegally accessing police databases

In October of 2016 Toronto Police civilian Davita Federico, 30, was charged with breach of trust and other criminal offences for conducting unauthorized searches of police databases. News reports confirmed that Federico is related to then Deputy Chief of Police Mike Federico.

The case resurfaced last week as it was revealed that Toronto Police clerk Erin Maranan who was arrested at about the same time as Federico, was working for organized crime. There is no indication in news reports as to whether the Maranan and Federico cases are related in any way.

Corrupt Ontario lawyers Sebastien Kwidzinski, Gerald Ranking & Lorne Silver lied to the courts.

Toronto Lawyers hired corrupt Ontario Provincial Police detective to illegally access police information, resources

In October of 2009, Faskens lawyers Gerald Ranking and Sebastien Kwidzinski contacted and hired a corrupt Ontario Provincial Police Detective Sergeant to investigate the writer, Donald Best, in aid of Ranking’s clients and associated defendants in the ‘Nelson Barbados Group Ltd. vs. Cox’ civil case before the Ontario courts.

James ‘Jim’ Arthur Van Allen, the manager of the OPP’s elite Criminal Profiling Unit, secretly and illegally worked as an unlicensed private investigator for clients like lawyers Ranking and Kwidzinski who obviously appreciated his access to confidential police information, resources, contacts and investigative techniques.

And here, things get really corrupt and dirty. In 2007 it was reported to the Ontario Provincial Police that unknown persons, likely defendants in the Nelson Barbados Group Ltd. vs. Cox’ civil case, were threatening witnesses, lawyers and their family members in order to deter them from seeking justice in the courts.

Ranking and Kwidzinski’s clients and fellow defendants had been reported to the OPP as possible suspects involved in threatening witnesses, lawyers and their family members. Considering a lawyer’s family was being threatened, the reports probably even made their way to Van Allen’s Threats Assessment and Criminal Profiling Unit.

Nonetheless Detective Sergeant Jim Van Allen took money to perform illegal investigations against the victim – in assistance to the suspects.

How dirty and corrupt is that?

Former OPP boss Julian Fantino

Former OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino swears affidavit

Jim Van Allen’s boss at the time, former OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino, recently swore an affidavit wherein he refers to Detective Sergeant James Van Allen and his illegal activities. Evidence in Julian Fantino’s sworn affidavit includes (summarized except verbatim excerpts in quotes):

  • “The prosecuting lawyers hired and submitted an affidavit from Mr. Van Allen. They claimed that he was a private investigator and failed to disclose that he was a serving police officer with access to police resources. This police officer obtained confidential information not available to the public which was then used by the Judge to convict, sentence and imprison Mr. Best for contempt.”
  • “Although the lawyers regularly referred to Van Allen as a ‘private investigator’ in their legal documents and on the court record in verbal submissions and discussions with the Judge, Jim Van Allen was not a licensed private investigator. James ‘Jim’ Arthur Van Allen, was in fact a serving Ontario Provincial Police Detective Sergeant and manager of the OPP’s Criminal Profiling Unit who was working secretly and illegally as an unlicensed private investigator.”
  • “From my examination of the evidence that is already filed in court and was easily available to the courts and the CJC had they examined it, it is reasonable to conclude that OPP Detective Sergeant Jim Van Allen’s inappropriate employment as a private investigator, his access to confidential information and the distribution of the same, and the very creation of his affidavit in order to benefit private parties in a civil lawsuit, represents a flagrant violation of various Provincial and Federal laws including the Police Services Act, the Private Security and Investigative Services Act, the Criminal Code and the Freedom of Information Act.”
  • “In no small way, Detective Sergeant Jim Van Allen violated his oath of office.”
  • “Detective Sergeant Van Allen’s conduct and behavior in relation to this case occurred while I was OPP Commissioner. Had I known about it at the time, I would have immediately ordered an investigation to gather all evidence to determine the details, extent and duration of his activities with a view to possible provincial and/or criminal charges against Van Allen and, potentially, charges against other involved persons.”
  • “It is inconceivable that all the involved lawyers and Judge were unaware that ‘private investigator’ and expert witness Jim Van Allen was an OPP police officer. Considering many factors, including Detective Sergeant Van Allen’s high public profile, the rules and normal vetting practices by lawyers and judges concerning Expert Witnesses, and the fact that Van Allen’s affidavit and redacted invoices were clearly suspect on their face to any ordinary person let alone lawyers and judges, it is unbelievable that nobody in that courtroom knew the truth about Van Allen or otherwise cared to find out.”
  • “I notice that Van Allen’s two redacted invoices are numbers 11 and 12 for the year 2009, which to me raises serious questions about how many other illegal investigations he had performed and which lawyer clients might have retained him previously. Had I known of his transgressions, I would have acted immediately as OPP Commissioner to deal with his rogue conduct.”

Notice to readers, including Persons and Entities mentoned in this article

As always, if anyone disagrees with anything published at DonaldBest.CA or wishes to provide a public response or comment, please contact me at [email protected] and I will publish your writing with equal prominence. Comments left on articles are moderated at least once a day. Or, of course, you can sue me and serve my lawyer Paul Slansky. You can find Mr. Slansky’s information here.

Photos have been included to put context to the article. Their use is the same as with other Canadian news outlets.

Readers are also encouraged to thoroughly study all the evidence available here at DonaldBest.CA, to perform independent research on the Internet and elsewhere, to consider all sides and to make up their own minds as to the events reported on DonaldBest.CA.

Donald Best
Barrie, Ontario, Canada






Mike Sweet and Eddie Adamson died together – 25 years apart.

Eddie Adamson & Michael Sweet

It was 37 years ago today that my station-mate Mike Sweet was shot down by the Munro brothers during a robbery at a Queen Street bar in Toronto’s downtown. As Mike lay bleeding out on the floor begging for mercy, the murderous Munroe thugs did more heroin and taunted the police officers surrounding the building. They threatened to kill Mike if anyone approached.

They tortured Mike. The press went easy on those details to spare the family and to not inflame potential jury members.

Outside stood Eddie Adamson and his ETF Emergency Task Force team – yanking at their leashes to go in and rescue Mike.

Senior Officers on scene gave orders for Eddie and his squad to stand down. For over an hour everyone listened to Mike dying; crying, screaming, begging. Then just low moans. Then silence.

The men were outraged at the idiocy of the senior officers who wanted to ‘negotiate’ while Mike was bleeding out. Some were crying. In frustration, one officer smashed out a car window with the butt of his shotgun.

Still the senior officers ordered no action. They held a press conference while Mike lay dying…

And in the middle of that press conference, Eddie Adamson and his ETF breached the building, shot the hell out of Craig and Jamie Munroe, while some of the uniform guys dragged Mike up the stairs and to the hospital.

But it was too late for Mike. The Munroe brothers lived because they were jacked up on drugs. My friends could have been excused for finishing off each Munro with a shot to the head – but – they were disciplined police officers who served the rule of law first even in this horrific situation. It must have taken every bit of self-control and discipline to not murder the Munroes.

If I had been there in that basement, I might have murdered them.

Haunted like all of us, but perhaps worse because of his rank, twenty-five years later Eddie Adamson rented a hotel room, spread out newspaper articles about Mike, put his pistol into his mouth and pulled the trigger. The Munroe brothers taunted Eddie and his family from prison both before and after his death.

Eddie was right. We should have gone in way sooner no matter what the idiots in charge said.

And therein is the lesson of March 14, 1980: When authority is wrong, disobey and do the right thing no matter what the personal consequences. All the brass hat senior police officers and dignified second-guessing judges won’t bring back Mike or Eddie.

May God bless both of them, and their families.