Tuesday February 1, 2000

Scott Magnish

p. 7.

Boothby orders charges

Cop union execs face discipline over True Blue standoff

Chief David Boothby says he's preparing charges against police union boss Craig Bromell and other union executives for refusing to halt the controversial True Blue fundraiser.

Bromell refused comment last night except to say he hasn't been charged yet under the Police Services Act. If found guilty, penalties range from a reprimand to outright dismissal.

Earlier in the day, the police association said it was continuing its fundraiser, but would no longer issue windshield decals to donors. However, it also said it would sue the police services board for "significant damages" unless it rescinded a bylaw which made the fundraising drive illegal.

Chief Boothby told reporters at a news conference later at police headquarters the union stand was unacceptable.

"It's quite clear to me the association has no intention of following my cease-and-desist order," Boothby said.

I have spoken to my trials preparation office and I have asked them to begin preparing charges of discreditable conduct . . . for all members o the association executive."

Boothby ordered the union to stop their fundraising drive last Friday after the services board passed a bylaw making it a violation of the police act to solicit for the "purpose of engaging in political activity" or to offer donors a decal, insignia, button or any other object that identifies the bearer s a supporter.

Under the True Blue program, donors were rewarded with bronze, silver or gold windshield decals. That raised questions about whether those who have stickers on their windshields will receive preferential treatment from the cops.

Ultimatum issued

While the union stopped giving out decals yesterday, it also gave an ultimatum to the police services board: rescind the bylaw within 48 hours or face a lawsuit seeking "significant damages" for alleged violation of its members 'rights.

Board chairman Norm Gardner said he'd do no such thing. "We're going to hang tough and see this through," Gardner said, accusing the union of "not getting the message."

At Queen's Park, Attorney General Jim Flaherty said only that he was monitoring the dispute. "It's not for me to interpret legislation. That's for the courts to do," he said.

Meanwhile, Mayor Mel Lastman's normally outspoken manner was cramped by the association's decision to hire his son Dale's firm, Goodman, Phillips and Vineberg.

Lastman refused comment on yesterday's development, saying he can't make any public statements as long as he has a conflict of interest in the matter.

Toronto Police clippings… [Fiona Stewart]

Created: October 11, 2000
Last modified: October 11, 2000
J.D. Jane Doe, c/o Walnet Institute
Box 3075, Vancouver, BC V6B 3X6
Tel: +1 (604) 488-0710