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Fantino to face music

OPP boss accused of influencing Caledonia officials


Last Updated: 1st January 2010, 4:14am

Toronto Sun

An Ontario Superior Court judge has ruled the province's top police officer must face allegations he illegally influenced municipal officials.

The allegations against provincial police Commissioner Julian Fantino were brought by Gary McHale, who has led a number of rallies decrying what he calls two-tier justice in the policing of an aboriginal land occupation in Caledonia.

McHale alleges that Fantino influenced municipal officials in the town when the commissioner sent an e-mail telling the mayor and councillors not to attend McHale's rallies.

Influencing or attempting to influence a municipal official in municipal activities is an offence under the Criminal Code and carries up to a five-year prison term if convicted.

A justice of the peace who heard McHale's complaint refused to issue a summons or warrant against the commissioner.

However, a Superior Court justice who reviewed the case ordered the justice of the peace to issue such an order, saying in a decision released yesterday that it is his duty to do so.

Lawyer Andrew Bell, who represented the Attorney General of Ontario in the case, says yesterday's ruling is not a finding of guilt but rather means there's a charge before the court that will have to be dealt with.

Bell say it's more likely a summons will be issued for Fantino rather than an arrest warrant.