Crime & Punishment

Crime and justice comment and analysis

Using a sledgehammer to swat a Gnat

with 2 comments

With the gag orders in place it is hard to get any information on what is happening with the outrageous action by Chief Jack Beaton in searching and seizing a computer from Jann Vahey who ran a website critical of his management.
Even normally loquaicious lawyers are behaving like Trappist monks.
However, if one diligently keeps one’s ear to the ground, it is usually possible to at least get a glimpse into the situation. It is after all, a police department and cops do like to talk.
With the pressure from the media heating up, including a lead editorial in the National Post headlined Calgary’s Strongman, my sources tell me a move is afoot from within the Police Commission to get Jack to put this matter to bed. And promptly too, I’m told. The black eye the Service is getting arising from this sordid affair, is getting darker with each media hit.
Negotiations are apparently ongoing, with Beaton pushing for a quick closure and admission of wrongdoing by way of an apology to the Service at large. Considering Vahey was defending the Police Service from the ham-fisted management of Beaton, that is rich indeed. I also believe, though I can’t get anyone to confirm it with all the respective gag orders in place, that Beaton has demanded Vahey appear before a select group of police officers and answer their questions.
If I were Vahey, I sure as hell wouldn’t do it. A bunch of Beaton sycophants would no doubt be assembled who would then grill Vahey on the identity of any serving police officer who may have helped her or emailed support comments to her. The expression ‘Star Chamber’ comes to mind.
No, instead, if Beaton had a shred of respect for the Service he claims to be protecting, he would offer any officer who wishes to attend such a session, the opportunity to show up and participate. I suspect Vahey and her lawyers would jump at that chance to settle this then. But that wouldn’t serve Beaton well now would it? He might actually have to listen to the very police officers who have lost all confidence in his leadership and spawned the original website critical of him at the outset.
Equally, he would also invite members of the media to demonstrate that he is actually doing something positive and cathartic instead of destructive and vengeful. But then, that would actually take a real leader and Beaton has clearly demonstrated with his actions in this that he has precious few real leadership qualities.
Beaton has also been taking heat from the media for using public money to fund his witchhunt. I’m betting his next move will be to claim he will recover any and all public money, including that paid to his old pal Bruce Dunn to “investigate” this matter. Here comes that sledge hammer to swat at that nasty gnat again.
My sources in the department also tell me that the guys are all walking on egg shells, while trying to keep their heads down to avoid the withhunt being conducted. Meanwhile, media lawyers are getting their heads and cases together to get the order sealing the application for the Anton Piller order lifted. Other media outlets are taking steps to protect their source information and identities as the witchhunt inevitably spreads from inside the department, out.
This sordid mess isn’t getting any better as it ages.
Leo Knight
leo@primetimecrime.com
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Written by Leo Knight

April 27, 2005 at 10:06 pm

Posted in Crime & Punishment

2 Responses

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  1. Here is what is currently happening in Calgary. In the last week, Chief Beaton and his legal team has tried to get court orders against the CBC National, trying to force them to give up their footage tape of Rick Boguski’s interview with the 4 officers who came forward to report internal corruption. This is Beaton’s attempt to identify the whistleblowers – the same ones that he said would never be retaliated against if they came forward. Obviously, Beaton lied in his interview with the CBC. When CBC opposed this demand, Beaton’s lawyers then threatened to get a search warrant on CBC reporter Boguski’s home in order to get his sources and research information.
    Its bad enough when a chief of police misappropriates tax dollars
    to go on a personal witchhunt, but Beaton is now trying to zero-in on journalists trying to gather and report the facts. Beaton’s behavior is now going beyond abusive, and into the realm of insanity. This is more than an abuse of process now. This is outright madness. Beaton is going way too far and needs to be immediately removed from his office. Enough is enough! My tax dollars are supposed to put police officers on the street, not fund a tyrant’s bullying of honest citizens and police officers. Leo Knight is correct when he says that Chief Beaton needs to go. If Beaton had any human decency left in his rapidly degenerating mind (which others have told me Beaton is losing over this thing), he would resign before he causes any further disgrace to the City of Calgary and its police service. Does Beaton honestly believe that the courts are his personal tool to play with and manipulate to his own advantage? Someone needs to put a stop to this before Beaton causes any more harm to innocent people.

    Anonymous

    April 28, 2005 at 8:30 pm

  2. Has anyone else noticed the striking similarities between Calgary under Jack Beaton with his attempts to muzzle the media and any criticizm of his regime and the former regimes of Adolph Hitler and Saddam Hussien?

    His actions have once again done nothing more then proved the content of the Code200 web site to be accurate.

    I wonder who Jacks next victim will be?…what law abiding citizen will be swept up in his rampage of revenge?.

    As a former member of the Calgary Police Service I look forward to bringing my evidence forward in a public forum…….I will not be steamrollered by the bull in a china shop that Jack Beaton has become……..

    Where are our elected officials in all this?

    Anonymous

    April 29, 2005 at 12:39 am


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