Hearings resume at 0930 hours (9:30 am) this morning, Tuesday, 09 December 2008. Retired Detective Inspector Pat Hall will return to continue his scarce begun cross-examination.
I swear I am living in La La Land. I can’t believe my ears. Or my eyes.
It seemed to me Pat Hall took the stand with a bit of an attitude yesterday. By day’s end there was attitude throughout the Weave Shed. Lead commission counsel was at the end of his rope trying to get anwers out of Hall or make sense of the answers he did get. Diane Lahie (OPP) was doing the yo-yoing today objecting to this and that while dramatically and emphatically advising Justice Glaude that this witness has been on the stand for SIX DAYS in examination in chief and she certainly hopes there will be ample time for cross-examination. The commissioner assured Lahaie they have until end January and “depending on how you folks organize your time maybe we won’t hear from the Attorney General but we’ll do everything as we go through. And then we’ll let the cards fall where they might.”
So, Lahaie can cross examine till the cows come home.
The OPP is of course part of the Ontario government’s Ministry of Safety and Correctional Services. Lahaie could turn this into a governmental institutional double whammy. She can fiddle about and work at polishing up Hall’s tarnished halo. And she can fiddle away to get the OPP off any hooks on which Hall may have inadvertently hung it out to dry. And all the while Lahaie fiddles and faddles and fixes and polishes the clock ticks. The more fiddling and faddling and fixing from Lahaie, the less time for AG witnesses and AG bombshells.
A governmental win-win. The truth is that the less time available for bombshells the better. Excessive institutional primping and preening may become the goverment instutions order of the day.
Glaude is truly caught between the devil and deep blue here for sure.
Funny, but this reminds me a little of Shelley Hallett. I do believe Hallett naively thought things were going swimmingly at the Leduc trial – until the OPP stuck the dagger between her shoulder blades.
I looked at Glaude yesterday when Lahaie was jumping up and down, and something about the way things were playing out for Glaude reminded me of Shelley Hallett at the Leduc trial. Something about it all seemed so familiar. One of those déjà vu moments
I could be wrong on that. I’m not even quite sure what it is. As I say, just one of those déjà vu moments. We shall see 🙂
Anyway, more La La Land stuff today. As the clock ticks.
Some of today’s “highlights,” or lows, or whatever you call the testimony which has me scratching my head wondering what are the pre-requisities for promotion to the rank of Detective Inspector in the Ontario Provincial Police:
(1) What’s it all about?
Hall claims that both the Dunlop-Fantino brief and Perry’s letter to the Attorney General was the basis for the Project Truth mandate. All Project Truth “investigations” were presumably conducted as a consequence of the allegations contained and persons named in those materials. The allegations against Father Charles MacDonald were presumably a priority because Charlie had already been charged and his preliminary hearings were under way.
However, Hall has also admitted that, for example, before they were even really off the ground, he/Project Truth took on the sex abuse allegations of Claude Marleau against multiple abusers even though not one of Marleau’s real and “alleged” abusers was referenced in any of the materials.
I don’t offhand recall a rational explanation for that early digression from the mandate, I do recall Hall saying that when Claude first contacted them they were in the process of getting themselves sorted out, and still sifting through Perry’s materials and clipping things onto clip boards.
Hall has also admitted that, for example, his team did NOT take the sex abuse case against Roman Catholic school teacher Marcel Lalonde even though Marcel Lalonde WAS mentioned in Perry’s materials because Lalonde had previously been charged and was under investigation by OPP and the OPP officer involved was a Project Truth officer. They did however take on the allegations of Father Charles MacDonald who had previously been charged by OPP and as of Project Truth was under investigation by OPP Project Truth.
And we know that the team took on the allegations of David Petepiece and then downstream decided that they didn’t fit the Project Truth mandate and that was the end of that.
I believe this afternoon Hall also said the “investigation” of allegations of conspiracy and cover-up was restricted to those persons identified in the Dunlop materials and connected to the $32,000 pay-off because as far as he was concerned that’s what the allegations of cover-up were all about. If I heard that right, that of course narrows the “investigation” into allegations of conspiracy/cover-up rather significantly.
I am now totally lost as to what Project Truth was truly all about. It seems impossible to get a straight answer from Hall, at least one which is not amended or contradicted in later testimony. It’s like pinning jello to the wall.
(I must check, but am quite certain the text of Perry’s letter to the AG in April 1997 was the same as this one to the Sol Gen/Minister of Correctional Services.)
(2) What makes a ring?
When it gets down to Pat Hall telling us what what constitutes a ring and/or conspiracy/cover-up things get really convoluted.
Hall had previously testified he had trouble defining what constitutes a ring. He obviously pondered his past response over the weekend and came back yesterday refreshed and anxious to explain.
This one is a dandy, but difficult. If I understand the machinations here correctly, as far as Hall is concerned if an “alleged” paedophile was not convicted at trial then Hall could not refer to him as paedophile and hence as a memer of a paedophile ring!!!!
Hall then gave as example the Claude Marleau allegations and said that there were no convictions and therefore da, da, da, da.
Engelmann interjected to say that Father Paul Lapierre was convicted.
Hall said that was in Montreal.
I don’t know if this implies that Hall thinks that Lapierre is a paedophile exclusively in Quebec and therefore not in Cornwall, Ontario? and that therefore for Project Truth’s purposes Lapierre is not a paedophile? and that therefore Lapierre can not possibly be considered a member of a padeophile ring?
Sounds like it to me.
But, the bottom line is that Hall decided there was no ring because presumably no one he/Project Truth was looking at in the Claude’s allegations was convicted – Father Paul Lapierre included!. And according to Hall Claude Marleau remains an “alleged” victim!
Convoluted logic or what?
But presumably the team was looking at allegations contained in the materials in the Dunlop-Fantino brief and Perry’s letter to the AG?
Therefore, if paedophile rings are restricted to convicted paedophiles – the ones who don’t mange to make it through the paedophile-friendly courts – who all might Pat Hall have been looking at when it came to talking the possibility of a ring? I’m not sure who all was named in those materials but believe I can safely say the following:
(i) Father Paul Lapierre – convicted. Friend of deceased “alleged” molesters Fathers Don Scott and Hollis Lapierre .
(ii) Jean Luc Leblanc – convicted. Friend of deceased “alleged” molester Malcolm MacDonald.
(iii) Nelson Barque – convicted. Ex seminarian turned probation officer. Friend of “alleged” molester Ken Seguin.
(iv) Marcel Lalonde – convicted. Roman Catholic school teacher. Friend of “alleged” molester Father Charles MacDonald.
(v) Milton MacDonald – convicted. Father of Cornwall Crown attorney Murray MacDonald. Allegedly around Ken Seguin’s home.
(vi) Early Landry Jr. – convicted. Son of former Chief of Police Earl Landry Sr.
(vii) Father Gilles Deslaurier – convicted. Chaplain at La Citadelle. Friends with various clergy.
If the measure was convictions and being referenced in Perry’s materials, did Hall ever seriously look for connections between any of the above convicted molesters?
And what about Richard Hickerson? Hickerson admitted, and then committed suicide. Does an admission equal a conviction? If yes, what efforts did Hall make to see what connections existed between Hickerson, an ex priest and violin virtuoso and the above?
What of Roman Catholic school teacher Robert Sabourin. He was convicted. The allegations against Sabourin perhaps could have been turned over to Project Truth? Sabourin was a great friend of Bishop Adolphe Proulx. What efforts might Hall have made to see what connections there were between Sabourin, and Gilles Deslaurier and who know who?
I do believe Perry could have sorted this out and known what to look for and what questions to ask. I think he still could. Give him Hall’s salary and the Project Truth budget and see what he can do. I think the Cornwall mess would be sorted out in pretty short order and those involved in any “alleged”rings or coverups identified – dead or alive!
(3) Speaks volumes
Did I hear right? In the synopsis in his Crown brief on the conspiracy allegations did Hall say something about Perry’s “crusade”? If yes, that speaks volumes for me. Volumes that Hall would choose such demeaning language, and volumes more that he would feel comfortable enough putting that in black and white in a brief for the Crown.
(4) Didn’t know he had the notes
Yet again, I wasn’t sure if I heard this one right. I just checked. I had to 🙂 The transcripts are up. I heard it right.
Listen to this.
Hall was trying to get some notes from CPS officer Ron Lefebvre. Lefebvre couldn’t find the notes. The notes related to Lefebvre’s initial 28 January 1993 interview with David Silmser.
At “trial” in May 2002 Michael Neville (Father Charlie) used non-disclosure of those notes as one of his arguments to get Charlie off. Charlie, as we all know only too well, “walked.”
Here’s the clincher. Hall/Project Truth had those notes all along. Well, at least for sure he had them from 31 July 1998. That’s when Perry gave Hall copies of all the documentsincluding those related to his, Perry’s, Police Service Act charges.
Those are documents Hall was supposed to have had but apparently didn’t get with his copies of the Dunlop-Fantino brief, and they’re the same documents which were among the pile which were never forwarded to him by the AGs office which had the notes and everything else!
Imagine! Hall had those notes on 31 July 1998.
The Lefebvre materials were part of the package.
I just checked. There are eight pages of Lefebvre notes in Perry’s materials from the Police Service Act charges. Eight pages: pp 440 – 448.
And Hall didn’t know he had them?
And Neville wrapped Charlie in the Charter using, in part, non-disclosure of those notes!
And Pat Hall had the audacity to call Shelley Hallett a liar and sink a knife into her back? because as far as Hall was concerned Hallett was lying when she said the hadn’t heard of the Perry –C-16 mother contact? and because, as far as Hall was concerned, Hallet had Perry’s Will State and there was a line in it about the contact in the Willstate?
And Hall missed eight pages of Lefebvre notes. He didn’t miss a line or two. He missed eight pages. EIGHT pages!
(5) Sarcasm and insults
Sarcasm and insults seem to flow freely from the mouth of retired Detective Inspector Pat Hall. Carson Chisholm was another one who got the brunt of his sharp tongue today:
MR. HALL: I think the main proponent of a ring of paedophiles was Detective Carson Chisholm, who was blowing his horn continuously about paedophiles, and I met with him personally and I audiotaped the interview, and he didn’t — all he had was hearsay and innuendo. He knew nothing.
(6) Words for victims
Hall had a few word for victims:
MR. HALL: … I’d like to address victims. I would like to address those victims of sexual assault who are unable to come forward with allegations due to the adverse publicity surrounding Project Truth. I say to them, I would have had the opportunity to assist you in the criminal process. I hope you are able to deal with your abuses and get on with your life.
What can I say? What oh what can I say to that?
(7) Hall’s personal Impact Statement
My personal impact. This Inquiry has affected me more than any investigation I have ever done, but cannot be compared to the anguish sexual assault victims have suffered. This Inquiry was called in November of 2004. I had retired in April of 2004. I obviously knew I would be called to testify due to my involvement.
Interviews commenced in October 2005. I had additional interviews in May, June and October of 2006.
My wife and I spend the winters in Texas from November to April for the past four years. Interviews continued in 2007 and in October, as we were about to leave for Texas, Mr. Engelmann requested to interview me prior to Mr. Guzzo’s testimony.
This took place the first week of November 2007 over a four-day period. At that time, I was asked if I would return in January or February 2008 to testify, if required.
I said I would. He further indicated my evidence would be complete no later than April/early May. Nothing happened.
Various dates were given, such as July, August, October.
Again, nothing happened. My travel plans have been curtailed and our lives are put on hold. I am sure other witnesses have felt the same thing. During the past week, I have been continually asked why various investigations took so long.
Mr. Commissioner, why is this Inquiry taking so long? Is it possible your mandate was too broad and you didn’t stay within it? I believe you were told so by a court.
Why did you choose a labour lawyer as your lead counsel when all the matters surrounding this Inquiry are criminal in nature?
It’s nothing personal, Mr. Engelmann.
Why is it that 27 OPP witnesses were identified and less than half are being called?
When do we hear about the good work and interaction of my officers as they were the backbone of Project Truth?
It is obvious that you are on a fact — fault-finding mission. It is clearly evident that you’re in a sprint to the finish line with this Inquiry at a time when the most factual evidence could be heard.
It’s a sad day when politics calls for an Inquiry and politics shuts it down. There should be an inquiry into the conduct of this Inquiry.
I just have one more item to mention. This is a matter that is near and dear to my heart. It is Detective Constable Don Genier, one of my investigators on Project Truth. I would be remiss if I did not comment about him. He put his heart and soul into this investigation. He was responsible for identifying most of the members of the clergy and made many trips to Montreal regarding the Quebec prosecutions and working with our Quebec counterparts. We would not have accomplished the success that we did without his efforts, particularly in the French language.
He is presently on sick leave and has been for some time. He is unable to testify at this Inquiry. He is in the fight of his life as he has been diagnosed with ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease. The prognosis is not good.
I can’t help but wonder if the Project Truth investigation and the stresses associated with it had any bearing on his present condition.
And what oh what can I say to that?
Helen Daley (Citizens for Community Renewal) has barely started her cross-exam and, by the sound of it, already she’s got a gun pointed at Perry’s head.
As it stands and unless things change Daley has saddled Perry with the blame for the two years it took the Crown to “join” C-2’s allegations to the other raft of allegations against Charlie.
I do believe Daley knows full well that C-2 didn’t want to be involved and Perry was not going to divulge his name without his consent, but, more to the point, I do believe Daley knows that the Crown could and should have gone ahead with Charlie’s trial. There was no need to join those charges – that was sheer foolishness.
To blame that delay on Perry is reaching another of the many lows reached in the Weave Shed these days. That was absolutely not Perry’s doing. It was the Crown’s choice. Why? That of course is the question. Why did the Crown decide to join those charges? Why?
I may be heading out for a while today. If so, I will be back at the computer in evening 🙂
Enough for now,