Julian Fantino the top cop in Ontario is now facing criminal charges stemming from his handling of the Caledonia native protest.
Fantino has had a distinguished career as a cop but certainly not without controversy.
While he was in London Ontario there was a bust of what was claimed to be a child sex abuse ring. Several charges resulted from the investigation but absolutely none of them for child abuse. Some drug trafficking and some men were busted for having sex in public places.
Later while he was chief of police in Toronto there was a case of several male officers busting a Lesbian party in a local bath house. There were investigations into drug squads under his command although no convictions were ever registered, and there was a controversy about his wrapping up of the investigation into his own force while complaints were still left to be dealt with. There have also been complaints about his treatment of any officer that dared to disagree with him.
Now as the commissioner of the OPP he has been found to send an e-mail to councillors in Caledonia threatening to halt OPP policing there if they continued to show support for a protestor against the native blockade. In our system the police are supposed to answer to elected officials not tell them what and who they can support.
The facts are serious enough that an Ontario justice has ordered the case to proceed. Fantino has certainly not been convicted of anything yet and innocence should be presumed till the trial is over although it galls me to say so in his case. It is common however that when a police officer has been charged with anything nearly this serious they are placed on paid leave until the matter can be properly dealt with by the courts.
Dalton McGuinty has so far refused to suspend Fantino. The government of Ontario at first refused to lay the charges and then actually appeared in court to fight against the case going forward. Now having been ordered by a judge to proceed the government says it will assign another crown attorney who has had no connection with the case so far to prosecute the chief policeman in the province.
How would you like to put yourself in that position, prosecuting the police you will have to rely on for support in almost every other case you ever take to trial.
McGuinty should appoint a special prosecutor from another province to handle this. It is the only way to ensure that the prosecution is actually free from influence from the government or the police force. Fantino should be placed on leave. This charge is serious in the extreme and to allow him to continue in his position while under this charge is a disservice to him, and to every policeman in the province.
Finally I can’t help wonder just what it is about Fantino that warrants such supposed loyalty. It smacks a great deal of J Edgar Hoover who it is said had so much dirt on so many politicians that no one dared to rein him in while he broke laws in the US while carrying out his duties as head of the FBI.
I would like to say though that I personally have no knowledge of any picture Fantino might have of McGuinty, a goat, a transvestite and a priest and I think it is scurrilous to even suggest such damning evidence exists at all.