Hearings resume at 0930 hours (9:30 am) Monday morning, 12 January 2009. Justice Peter Griffiths will take the stand. Griffiths was Director of Crowns attorney for the Eastern Region throughout the Cornwall scandal and cover-up.
The schedule for next week is posted:
Week of January 12 to January 16, 2009*
The Honourable Mister Justice Peter Griffiths – Ministry of the Attorney General
Lorne McConnery, Assistant Crown Attorney – Ministry of the Attorney General
Cosette Chafe, Victim Witness Assistance Program – Ministry of the Attorney General
Shelley Hallett, Crown Law Office – Criminal – Ministry of the Attorney General
Things are moving at break neck speed now. Major witnesses from the office of the Attorney General are on and off the stand in the twinkle of an eye. Yes, it’s absoultley ridiculous, but that’s the way Premier Dalton McGuinty and his current henchman AG Chris Bentley conveniently orchestrated the falling of the ax.
Note too that Cosette Chafe will take the stand to tell us about the Victim Witness Assistance Program. That one is sheer damage control. At a time when time is at a premium we are going to hear what a great job the AG’s office is doing. I personally believe Victim Assistance business belongs and should have been done way back at the beginning, back in early 1996 when Glaude was framing his inquiry with “expert” witnesses. That’s where it belongs. I believe too that as the clock ticks down the paltry hours left for numerous key witnesses would have been better spent trying to get to the truth. Silly thought I suppose, but, for example, I’d say time could have been better spent leaving Murray MacDonald on the stand for a few more hours. Or Don Johnson. Or Curt Flanagan. But, that’s not the way it will be. At this “impartial” and “independent” inquiry the AG is pulling the strings, so, as the clock goes Tick Tock, a day or so earmarked for AG damage control, with focus on the AG’s evolving victim assistance policies, practices procedures.
I am going through the transcript to clarify a few things. I also have a few thoughts to share on a number of matters related to Flanagan’s testimony. For now I will stick with the testimony regarding Justice Colin McKinnon.
McKinnon you may recall was brought in to take the Project Truth sex abuse trial of lawyer and Church canon lawyer Jacques Leduc. Leduc had also been party to brokering the $32,000 pay-off of David Silmser.
McKinnon was called in presumably to ensure impartiality at a Project Truth trial. Six weeks into the trial however he was obliged to recuse himself, this when he was confronted with proof of his prior legal involvement with Claude Shaver, the former Cornwall Chief of Police. Then and then only did McKinnon ‘recall’ his prior involvement in having Perry Dunlop charged under the Police Services Act.
All bad enough. We have since learned more of McKinnon’s Cornwall connections, including but not limited to the fact that he was also Father Charles MacDonald’s lawyer for a spell.
Anyway, the fact is that despite his multitude of conflicts McKinnon was called in – and took the bench! – as an “outside” judge. The public was led to believe that McKinnon on the bench would ensure impartiality!
Now more connections. …
We have learned that McKinnon and Brockville Crown attorney Curt Flanagan know each other, and worked together – and are probably friends.
Flanagan it turns out was far more involved in Cornwall than I had thought. It turns out he was called in or consulted as an “outside” Crown on a number of Project Truth files. He was also, as we have long known, the “outside” Crown who handled the prosecution of former Cornwall Crown attorney Malcolm MacDonald on charges of obstruction of justice in relation to the illegal clause in $32,000 pay-off of David Silmser.
More on all of this later, but, for now, a look at the transcript and the pulling of teeth by Frank Horn (Coalition) to get the Flanagan-McKinnon connection, specifically that Flanagan articled at the same firm where Colin McKinnon worked back in 1982.
I will simply post the excerpt from the transcript, but as your read note the following: (1) Darrell Kloeze (attorney General) was quick on his feet to protest Horn’s line of questioning as irrelevant; (2) Flanagan doesn’t “believe” that Claude Shaver was at the roast, but doesn’t recall; (3) for whatever reason Flanagan threw in that Jake Dunlop was at the roast ( I think actually that should be Dunlap, the former football player turned lawyer? ); (4) Justice Glaude was anxious to advise that invitees to Chief Flanagan’s roast would have been friends of Chief Flanagan and not his son Curt; (5) when Glaude eventually asked Flanagan if he socialized with McKinnon the reply was: “ Well, I have to say this. I articled at a firm where Mr. McKinnon was a lawyer”; and (6) Glaude did not follow through with the next obvious question: ‘Did you socialize with Claude Shaver?’ – nor, unfortunately, for that matter, did Frank Horn.
So, here’s the transcript:
MR. HORN: …Your father is the — was the former Chief of Police of Ottawa?
MR. FLANAGAN: My father is deceased.
MR. HORN: Pardon?
MR. FLANAGAN: My father is deceased and he is the former Chief of Police of Ottawa, yes.
MR. KLOEZE: I don’t think any of this is relevant. I don’t see —
THE COMMISSIONER: Well, I don’t know. Where are we going?
MR. HORN: Well, it’s relevant to this extent. There was a — from what I understand, there was a roast.
Your father had a roast back in 1990?
MR. FLANAGAN: A function, you mean? Yes.
MR. HORN: A function.
MR. FLANAGAN: Yes.
MR. HORN: And you were involved and your father was there?
MR. FLANAGAN: I spoke at it, yes. I was one of the roasters.
MR. HORN: Okay. And at the roast were a number of people. Was Claude Shaver there?
MR. FLANAGAN: I don’t believe so but I don’t recall.
MR. HORN: What about Colin McKinnon?
MR. FLANAGAN: Yes, he was there.
MR. HORN: He was there.
MR. FLANAGAN: Jake Dunlop was there.
MR. KLOEZE: Mr. Commissioner, from what I understand, Mr. Horn is maybe examining connections between Mr. Flanagan, Sr. and other people. I’m not sure how this is relevant to this witness.
MR. HORN: Were you one of the organizers of that roast?
THE COMMISSIONER: Just a minute, Mr. Horn.
MR. HORN: Yes.
THE COMMISSIONER: There’s an objection.
MR. HORN: All right.
THE COMMISSIONER: So you have to answer to it before you can continue to ask questions.
MR. HORN: All right.
THE COMMISSIONER: So he’s saying — Mr. Kloeze is saying, “What’s this got to do with anything?”
MR. HORN: From what I understand, Mr. Flanagan was the one that organized the roast.
THE COMMISSIONER: Yes.
MR. HORN: And he would be the one involved in inviting these people.
THE COMMISSIONER: M’hm.
MR. HORN: Not his father.
THE COMMISSIONER: M’hm.
MR. HORN: So that he’s the one that has these connections; not his father.
THE COMMISSIONER: Connections?
MR. HORN: To these people who are involved in what we allege are a cover-up here in Cornwall — Mr. Shaver and Mr. McKinnon.
THE COMMISSIONER: So —
MR. HORN: Back at that time.
THE COMMISSIONER: Slow down.
So like if you’re having an official function, you know, for our next police chief, you know you have the “have to invite” list, you know — the lawyers, whether you like them or not; you know, whether you know them or not. It’s all going to involve about who the person retiring, who is being honoured or whatever, who he knew.
MR. HORN: Even though he may have been the one organizing it —
THE COMMISSIONER: Well.
MR. HORN: — for his father. May be doing the inviting.
THE COMMISSIONER: So what? I mean if you’re going to invite somebody to your father’s roast it’s not going to be all your friends. It’s going to be the people that worked with your father. But okay, so he knows these people.
Okay, give me your line of questioning.
Where else are you going to go?
MR. HORN: I’m just suggesting and I’m asking this witness if the —
THE COMMISSIONER: No, no, ask me first.
MR. HORN: Okay. Mr. Shaver, Mr. McKinnon, were people that he socialized with, he knew them. That’s why they were invited.
THE COMMISSIONER: Did you socialize with Justice McKinnon?
MR. FLANAGAN: Well, I have to say this. I articled at a firm where Mr. McKinnon was a lawyer.
THE COMMISSIONER: Fine.
MR. FLANAGAN: I was a lawyer there for a year, year and a half, but I can tell you I didn’t organize the roast. The roast wasn’t for my father after he retired. It was a roast about three years before he retired and it was organized by the Ottawa Police Service and I was invited to be a roaster because I was the family roaster in relation to my dad.
MR. HORN: Okay, it’s explained.
THE COMMISSIONER: Great.
Former Chief of Ottawa police Thomas G Flanagan died 18 November 2002.
A posting on the Internet is listed as “Notes for Mr. Thomas G. Flanagan, S.C.
Military Police Complaints Commission to the Annual Conference of the Canadian Association for Civilian Oversight of Law Enforcement.” The conference was held in St. John’s, Newfoundland, 19 September 2002
In the notes the former Ottawa Chief had this to say:
There is no denying that there is a kind of bond among police officers everywhere, in the sense that, “if you attack one of us, you attack all of us.”
It’s important to understand however, that this feeling goes both ways, as in, “if you do something to dishonour your uniform, you dishonour us all.”
Food for thought…..
enough for now,