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Fantino issued summons

court: Influencing elected officials alleged

By KEITH LESLIE, THE CANADIAN PRESS

Last Updated: 9th January 2010, 4:19am

Posted London Free Press

TORONTO -- A summons was issued yesterday against Ontario Provincial Police Commissioner Julian Fantino on allegations he illegally influenced elected officials in Caledonia, the site of a long-running aboriginal occupation.

Activist Gary McHale has pressed to have Fantino charged after the commissioner sent an e-mail allegedly telling the mayor and councillors in Caledonia not to attend McHale's rallies.

McHale led a number of rallies to protest what he called two-tier justice in the policing of the land occupation in the town south of Hamilton.

The Ministry of the Attorney General confirmed a justice of the peace "issued process" against Fantino on one count of influencing or attempting to influence municipal officials. Issuing process was a legal step required before the charges could be officially laid and court dates set.

"I've been advised by the Ministry of the Attorney General that a process was issued late this afternoon by a justice of the peace," Insp. Dave Ross, a provincial police spokesperson, said last night. "At this particular time, we haven't seen the process nor has the commissioner been served with any process."

The ministry said it had sent a letter to McHale, but refused to release the contents.

However, McHale sent the media copies of the letter, signed by lawyer Ken Campbell on behalf of Attorney General Chris Bentley, which said the Crown will move immediately and assume prosecution of the case.

It also assures McHale a special prosecutor will be assigned from the Justice Prosecutions Unit, which was set up to handle cases involving police or other justice officials and is made up of senior Crown counsels with extensive experience in criminal cases.