Crime & Punishment

Crime and justice comment and analysis

And on it goes

with 10 comments

In the days since I first reported on the Calgary Chief Constable’s outrageous use of the civil courts to stifle criticism of his administration, the mainstream media seem to have gotten the whiff of scandal in their nose.
Broadcast media stories have appeared on Calgary’s A Channel and CBC as well as the CBC National has picked it up. Conspicuous in their absence on this story is the Calgary Sun and Global TV.
In the interim, the Chief has come out of hiding and given an interview to CBC’s Rick Boguski in which he said he was just trying to protect the morale of the police service.
Really? If that was his aim, then why won’t he lift the stifling traffic ticket quota of 20 “stats” per month off the patrol division? Because I can tell you that one thing has got the rank and file perpetually angry at the management of the CPS. But that is such a small thing really. Unless of course, you are on the receiving end of a cheap ticket issued so a patrol officer doesn’t get “negative attention” from his supervisor.
But there’s so much more affecting morale in the Calgary Police Service that using that as the driving factor for attacking the publisher of a website critical of the Chief is laughable.
This whole sordid chapter in the history of the once-proud force would be laughable were it not such a serious breach of the fundamental freedom of speech inherent in any democracy. But this Chief would trample that right and he must be stopped. And that is no laughing matter.
Tomorrow, lawyers for various media outlets will be making application to the courts to have the offensive order sealing the civil documents lifted. Let’s hope the courts have more sense in hearing that application than the judge who actually enabled Chief Jack Beaton to make mince meat of the Charter.

-Leo Knight

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Written by Leo Knight

April 17, 2005 at 9:29 pm

Posted in Crime & Punishment

10 Responses

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  1. Leo is right. The actions of Jack Beaton need to be challenged in court immediately. If it is correct what Leo says, and it becomes proven that Chief Beaton or any of his subordinates in this mess acted improperly or even unlawfully, Chief Beaton needs to be fired, at the very least.

    Anonymous

    April 18, 2005 at 4:17 am

  2. The Chief said in the last CBC interview that he’s never seen anyone gone after for coming forward, I found that interesting because it would seem to me that he’s going after the woman who ran the websites with a pretty big stick….the rumour I’ve heard is that the CHiefs lawyers are using all sorts of back handed tactics to try and force the people in question to give up thier contributers list……

    Anonymous

    April 18, 2005 at 3:15 pm

  3. I thought stuff like this only happened in third world countries like Chile……seems awfully reminicint of some of the things the nazis’s did to silence thier crtics in Germany between 33′ and 39’…and we all know where that lead…..

    Anonymous

    April 18, 2005 at 3:37 pm

  4. As a senior serving police officer, I find Chief Jack Beaton’s recent actions to be reprehensible. I have seen great amounts of corruption in the management of this service in the past, but Jack’s behavior in the last week takes the cake!

    The Chief and his legal team have committed a gross abuse of process in their attempts to root out any voices of dissension, irregardless of the fact that these websites were probably acting in the public interest. For Chief Beaton to claim that he cannot speak about the case because of the so-called “gag order” is ridiculous – it was Jack who directed his lawyers to get the gag order in the first place!

    I can tell you from what I know, that the architect of this scheme to get the Anton Piller order was an ex-Calgary cop named Bruce Dunn (who works for the Bennett-Jones law firm – the firm that is on retainer by CPS to handle the case). He no doubt used some very covert means to obtain the information to persuade a judge to grant this monstrosity. As a cop, I am told, Dunn had a tendency to embellish the truth a bit in order to get search warrants. This may explain why he is no longer a cop.

    Instead of raiding the homes of law abiding citizens and carrying off their computers, the Chief needs to be looking into his own headquarters and cleaning up the dirt piling under the rug of his own office. I applaud the officers that had the courage to come forward on the CBC the other night, as I applaud the courage of Jan Vahey for standing up for the rank and file officers that she tried to help. I do hope that other members will show their own “core values” and start speaking out about what is going on in their service.

    It is also my sincere hope that when the gag order is innevitably lifted and the truth concerning the application to obtain this warrant comes out, that a proper examination of the information will come to light. If it shows what I believe it will, you will probably see a horrific case of obstruction of justice and perjury on the part of the applicants. Perhaps Jan Vahey should launch her own multi-million dollar civil suit against Jack Beaton and Bruce Dunn. Until then, lets hope that the Chief gets dragged through the legal and media mud.

    How long will it be before the Calgary Police Commission and Solicitor General finally wake up and see Jack for the tyrant that he truly is? How many more lawsuits, how many more officers leaving, how many more cover-ups? Beaton has truly disgraced himself and his profession this time. When will the city finally wake up and get rid of this bad apple?

    Anonymous

    April 18, 2005 at 9:36 pm

  5. It does not surprise me that Dunn would be involved with this, thou last I heard he was trying to get Colin Thatcher off. What I find more interetsing is that he and Jack Beaton used to be partners and if I understand this Jack is now using tax payer dollars to pay his “old partner” to conduct his personal witch hunt……….So how is what Jacks doing different then what the fed. liberals did with Adscam ………I mean come in iot’s friends spreading the wealth around right?

    Anonymous

    April 22, 2005 at 3:11 pm

  6. What we could have here is a case of Breach of the Public Trust on the part of Jack Beaton.

    Any time a public official (like a police chief), or one entrusted with a public office, uses public money for his own personal use – such as in this case, a personal vendetta of revenge – the public office holder can be charged with an offence under section 336 of the Criminal Code of Canada.

    Beaton may be indemnified if he is a defendant in a lawsuit or criminal charge. But, not as a plaintiff. Jack Beaton has clearly used taxpayers money to pursue his own personal agenda – revenge via civil process. He has converted public dollars for his own personal use! This makes him chargeable under section 336 of the code.

    I hope that there are people in the Justcie Department or Crown’s office that are intellectually astute enough to see this. Jack Beaton, in this particular case, has not only acted shamefully, but also criminally.

    Anonymous

    April 22, 2005 at 9:26 pm

  7. The tactics used by Jack Beaton are not a surprise at all.I have witnessed some other very serious attrocities by CPS administration in all the years I have been a citizen of Calgary.Saddly, anonymity is a must to avoid the backlash of this “midevil” minded old boys club.What strikes me as a shear embarrasment is the fact that judges, politicians and others in positions of power, in this province, have pulled up their Lazy Boy recliners and have elected to take their front row seats as mere spectators to watch the “Jack Beaton’s guilitene justice on the citizens of Calgary show”.These very people lack the intestinal fortitude to step up to the plate and not only envoke but preserve the rights of all citizens outlined in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms!

    Their lack of interest to stop this tyrannical behavior is a clear indication of their lack of respect and understanding of both the law and order required to maintain dicipline in a democratic society.Perhaps they would better understand the impact of this tragedy if the citizens of this province were to unlawfully force their way into their homes and strip them of their expectations of privacy, freedom of speech and, ultimately,courage to assist those in despair.

    I tip my hat off to Jan Vahey and the officers that have come forward to make a stand against this ridiculous show of force and bullying.I should hope that others take the same stand and display the nobility and courage to stand up to these good old boys!!

    Common sense has taken a back seat to the labrynth of political mindlessness!! Fortunately the world is watching.

    Anonymous

    April 24, 2005 at 3:54 am

  8. People, be careful. I know Jan and sometimes things take on new and amazing looks once seen through her eyes. If the Chief seems to be coming down hard it may be because he has nothing to fear except the public perception..not the so called “facts”.

    Anonymous

    April 30, 2005 at 2:59 pm

  9. I as well knoe Jan, I believe that her peceptuion has very good in regards to this. I saw the CBC report where one of the cops wives came forward…….why has’nt the Chief gone after her? maybe he’s afraid og the public perception and thats where he comes undone…if he was acting in the right the public would all out support his actions…..but I think he knows that this is being watched very closely. I even talked to 2 friends today who want to wriye letters to the Herald asking about Jacks use of tax payer dollars for his little crusade, BUT they are afraid that if they do, the Chief will put his ex-partner the P.I. on them next…a pretty said statement when people are afraid to voice thier concerns because of what they fear the Chief of Police might do to them. By the way how much money has this cost us?…I am hearibg figures like 250,000 …….for a 5,000 dollar return?…….

    Anonymous

    May 1, 2005 at 8:52 pm

  10. —“People, be careful. I know Jan and sometimes things take on new and amazing looks once seen through her eyes. If the Chief seems to be coming down hard it may be because he has nothing to fear except the public perception..not the so called “facts”.”

    I can’t help but wonder what “things take on new and amazing looks once seen through her eyes” means. I wonder if you could qualify that statement as you know me as well as you purportedly do?

    I appreciate your comment with respect to public perception and not the “so called” facts and it’s good to see you offering balance but I have to tell you that I did not “create” the “so called facts” nor was this intended in any way shape or form to be “Anonymous, malicious,
    deliberate falsehoods calculated to damage the reputation of the Service are not. This is not a freedom of speech issue. You cannot spread lies about people and call it freedom of Speech” as stated by Chief Beaton in his press release of Friday.

    My belief was then and is now that any communication was done *for* the police not against the police. I do not for the life of me see how it could be construed as otherwise and I resent the implication that I was trying to take down the Calgary Police Service. That misconception begs the question of why.

    Why would any right thinking person who is pro-cop and has been her entire life undertake, as it has been positioned, such a negative and calculated act that is unconscionable? To what end? What was her personal gain?

    Again in your comment you segregate the Chief and you make this about him. It was not about Chief Beaton although it morphed over time to put him center stage. I don’t know how much more clear I can be on that.

    In that I authored Code 200 I feel more comfortable speaking to that. It was about processes that were deemed to be failing in accordance with the voices of the members.

    Have you read the survey released November 2004? There are 35 pages of members comments. Did I manufacture those? Some estimated 400 voices saying basically the same thing.

    It is my belief that this should never have come to a Mexican stand-off of good vs. evil. To lose the whole point of the exercise in a settlement agreement is to deny the voices of the members and in turn denies the ability to implement positive change in a system that appears to require it.

    To my mind, reconciliation and healing is also a requirement internally and for that to happen members must take responsibility for their own voices and vote with their consciences on whether or not to pass through the door that has been opened on their behalf. Failure to do that resigns them to their own fate.

    Thank you to everyone who has offered support during these difficult times.

    jann@rjconsulting.ca

    Jann

    May 1, 2005 at 10:18 pm


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