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In order to clear up the misinformation, rumours and outright lies about the OPP investigation, spreading on social media by some candidates and among the angry bloggers, let me set the record straight.
Here’s what we know:
- Approximately eighteen months ago, someone local went to the police and and filed a formal complaint. The police opened an investigation.
- The police have not interviewed the Mayor, Deputy mayor, Councillors Lloyd, Cunningham, West, Edwards or myself in that time.
- After more than 18 months, no one has been charged with anything. No one has gone to jail. No one has been in court.
- The police have not made any public statements about the details of the investigation.
- The police are competent enough to know when dirty politics are presented to them.
Here’s what we don’t know:
- What the police are or were investigating (the police refuse to divulge this information).
- Who the police are or were investigating (the police refuse to divulge this information).
- What allegations have been made (the police refuse to divulge this information).
- When the police will issue a public report on the investigation.*
Those are the facts. Period. All the rest is rumour, gossip and allegation. Mostly malicious.
The CBC reporter who first broadcast this did not confirm any of these details with the OPP, simply broadcast allegations.
The CBC reported that one person on council went to the police. That person was not named in the broadcast. No one on council admitted to doing so. That remains an unproven allegation.
The EB asked each member of council if that was him or her who went to the police. All but one member replied, “no.” The other member refused to comment, allegedly because of legal advice.
When or if the police formally provide any results or publicly say the investigation is closed, there will be several FOI requests filed to get the name of the person who filed the complaint.
It has been more than 18 months since the complaint was filed, and to date nothing has happened. Nor is anything expected to happen, outside of a statement of closure. If anyone had done something illegal, he or she would have been charged by now. Instead, this council has been able to continue doing ‘business as usual.’
And here’s the final thing: no one on council did anything wrong. There is no basis for any charge of any sort. Simply because someone doesn’t like what council does, simply because someone doesn’t like the way a decision was made, or the way a vote went doesn’t mean it was wrong, illegal, immoral or improper.
Everything done by this council has been aboveboard, open and transparent, completely legal and democratic.
* Update: OPP Sergeant Peter Leon stated on Sept. 23, four days after this post had been written, that the investigation is still ongoing and the OPP will release a statement when the investigation is finished. He did not speculate on when that would be.
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