You are on page 1of 82

OCPC-INQ #14-05

ONTARIO CIVILIAN POLICE COMMISSION

_____________________________________________________________

IN THE MATTER OF A HEARING UNDER S. 25 OF THE


POLICE SERVICES ACT, R.S.O. 1990, C.P.15, AS AMENDED,
INTO THE CONDUCT OF MAYOR DARYL BENNETT, MEMBER
OF THE PETERBOROUGH LAKEFIELD POLICE SERVICES
BOARD
____________________________________________________
DECISION
____________________________________________________
Panel:

David C. Gavsie, Associate Chair


Zahra Dhanani, Member

Hearing Dates:

March 5, 2013
June 26, 2013
September 18, 2013
October 28, 2013 (conference call)
December 16, 2013
January 6-10, 2014
February 3, 6, 7, 10 and 21, 2014
March 19, 20 and 24, 2014
April 7, 8, 9 and 28, 2014
May 2, 15 and 16, 2014

Submissions:

Final written submissions received August 20,


2014

Hearing Locations: Peterborough and Toronto, Ontario


___________________________________________________
Ontario Civilian Police Commission
250 Dundas Street West, Suite 605
Toronto, ON M7A 2T3
Tel: 416-314-3004
Fax: 416-314-0198
Website: www.ocpc.ca
1

OCPC-INQ #14-05

Appearances:
Richard Taylor, Counsel for Daryl Bennett
Prabhu Rajan and Melanie Goren, Counsel for the Ontario Civilian
Police Commission
Background
1.

Daryl Bennett is a member of the Peterborough-Lakefield


Police Services Board (the Board). Mr. Bennett is also the
mayor of Peterborough (Mayor Bennett or the Mayor).

2.

The City of Peterborough is located in east central Ontario


with a population of approximately 135, 000 people.

3.

Policing in the community is provided by an amalgamated


municipal police force, the Peterborough Lakefield Police
Service (the Service), headed by Chief Murray Rodd (or
the Chief).

4.

The events that gave rise to this hearing took place


primarily between March 2011 and September, 2012. The
events included a protracted dispute over the Services
proposed budget for 2012.

5.

The composition of the Board for most of the relevant time


period was:
Chair - Nancy Martin
Vice Chair - R. Kenneth Armstrong
Mayor Daryl Bennett
Reeve Mary Smith
Robert Lightbody
The Administrative Assistant to the Board was Niquel
Pritchard Pataki.

OCPC-INQ #14-05

6.

On April 16, 2012, the Ontario Civilian Police Commission


(the Commission) received a letter from a Peterborough
businessman requesting an investigation into the conduct
of Mayor Bennett in relation to his role as a member of the
Board.

7.

On June 1, 2012 the Commission asked for the Boards


position on whether an investigation was necessary. In a
letter dated June 20, 2012 the Commission received a
response from the Board that included a lengthy
chronology of Mayor Bennetts actions while on the Board.

8.

As per section 25 (1) (a) of the Police Services Act R.S.O.


1990, c.P.15, as amended (the Act), on September 4,
2012, at an in camera meeting of its members, the
Commission decided on its own motion to conduct an
investigation. As a result of its investigation, the
Commission decided to hold a hearing into the conduct of
Mayor Bennett as a member of the Board.

9.

Mayor Bennett was charged with engaging in conduct that


discredits and compromises the integrity of the Board or
the Service, contrary to Sections 2, 5, 6, 8, and/or 13 of
the Members of Police Service Boards - Code of Conduct,
O. Reg. 421/97 (the Code of Conduct), enacted under the
Act.

10. An amended Notice of Hearing1 dated December 23, 2013


(the Notice) alleged that Mayor Bennett had engaged in
conduct that discredits and compromises the integrity of
the Board or the Peterborough-Lakefield Police Service.
The following 11 specific allegations of misconduct were
listed in the Notice:

The original Notice of Hearing dated January 31, 2013, was amended by way of a Ruling on Motion,
dated December 19, 2013, to add 2 additional allegations to the 9 allegations that had been set out in the
original Notice of Hearing.

OCPC-INQ #14-05

1)

On receiving a confidential complaint about the


conduct of Chief Murray Rodd, he did not keep the
matter confidential among members of the Board
but shared the complaint with members of
Peterborough City Council and a member of
Peterborough City staff;

2)

On receiving a confidential complaint about the


conduct of Chief Murray Rodd, he did not
immediately bring the complaint to the Board for
action;

3)

While negotiating the budget for the Peterborough


Lakefield Police Service for 2012, he attempted to
negotiate directly with Chief Murray Rodd rather
than, as a member of Council, with the Board;

4)

He publicly expressed disagreement with a


decision by Chief Murray Rodd to hire a civilian to
the position of Police Service Communications
Coordinator which decision was supported by the
Board;

5)

He authored and sent a letter to the Minister of


Community and Safety and Correctional Services
(the Minister) advocating that Board Chair Nancy
Martins term not be extended after the Board had
voted down his motion not to support her term
being extended;

6)

He authored and sent a letter to the Minister


alleging that Board Chair Nancy Martin had
committed misconduct while not bringing the
allegation to the Board for action;

7)

He authored and sent a letter to the Minister


alleging unsupported allegations of misconduct
against Board Chair Nancy Martin;

8)

He
publicly
condemned
the
Commissions
investigative process, describing it as a farce
4

OCPC-INQ #14-05

and anti-democratic, and he compared the


Commissions investigative powers to those which
existed in pre-war Germany;
9)

He refused to be interviewed by the Commission


during its investigation of this matter;

10) On receiving an email from the Board about a


confidential meeting, he shared the email thread
with the members of City Council; and
11) He made a number of disparaging and/or
disrespectful remarks regarding the Chief, the
police, the Board and the Commission.
Issues
11. The issues to be decided in this matter are as follows:
1)
2)
3)

Have any of the allegations against Mayor Bennett


as set out in the Notice been proven on a balance
of probabilities?
If so, do any such allegations constitute a breach
of any of s. 2, 5, 6, 8, or 13 of the Code of
Conduct?
If so, do any such breaches lead to the conclusion
that Mayor Bennett is guilty of misconduct or is
not performing or is incapable of performing the
duties of his position as a member of the Board in
a satisfactory manner?

Introductory Comments
12. Section 27(1) of the Act requires that there be a police
services board (a PSB) for every municipality that
maintains a police force. Such PSBs are commonly called
Section 31 Boards in that their responsibilities are set out
in s. 31 of the Act. When used in this decision, the term
PSB refers to section 31 PSBs. The Board is a section 31
Board in that it has responsibilities over the Service.
5

OCPC-INQ #14-05

13.

The Service serves the City of Peterborough and the


Township of Selwyn. The size of the population served sets
the make-up of the Board which in this case is set out in s.
27(5) of the Act, altered by the amalgamation agreement
signed in 1998. Pursuant to s. 27(5)(a) the head of
Peterborough City Council, Mayor Bennett, and the Mayor
of Selwyn Township, Reeve Smith, are automatically
members of the Board. The Province appointed two Board
members, namely Nancy Martin and R. Kenneth Armstrong,
and Peterborough Council appointed Robert Lightbody as a
community representative.

14. It is to be noted that neither Mayor Bennett, nor Reeve


Smith, exercised their rights as the heads of their
municipal councils, under s. 27(5)(a) to choose not to to sit
on the Board. This was their right. Each of them could have
chosen not to be on the Board, in which case another
member of their council would have been appointed in their
place.
Mayor Bennetts Overarching Positions
15. Mayor Bennetts actions and responses to this hearing were
guided by the following positions:
1)

A mayor who sits on a PSB is not always bound by


the
Act
because
his/her
obligations
and
responsibilities as mayor supersede or trump the
requirements of any other role he or she takes on.

2)

The Charter of Rights and Freedoms2, protects his


right to free speech and association and that the
application of the Code of Conduct to his
behaviour is an infringement of these rights.

Part I of the Constitution Act, 1982, being Schedule B to the Canada


Act 1982 (UK), 1982, c 11. (the Charter).
2

OCPC-INQ #14-05

16. Because these two positions were taken generally


throughout Mayor Bennetts arguments we address them at
the outset of our reasons.
MAYORS WHO SERVE AS MEMBERS OF A PSB
17. In his testimony Mayor Bennett repeatedly made
comments that his role as mayor was more significant than
his role as a Board member. He made comments that his
role as mayor was paramount, that the mayors hat sits
on top of all other hats and he consistently stated that I
am head of Council and Mayor. That trumps many aspects
of what I do.
18. While we understand Mayor Bennetts commitment to his
role as mayor, we find that this demonstrates a
misunderstanding of the Act and the obligations it places
on all Board members.
19. Counsel for Mayor Bennett argued that his role as mayor
supersedes and overrides the obligations placed on Mayor
Bennett by the Act.
20. We do not accept this argument. The Code of Conduct and
more generally the Act applies to all members of the
Board, regardless of appointment status or other
obligations the Board member may have.
21. All Board members are required to carefully reconcile their
roles and responsibilities without compromising their
obligations under the Act.
22. The legislature in providing for PSBs ensured that no one
level of government would control a PSB. This is reflected
in the composition of PSBs. Members are appointed by both
municipal
councils
and
the
Province.
Municipal
appointments consist of both council members and a

OCPC-INQ #14-05

community representative who is neither a member of


council nor employed by council.
23. This tripartite mix of appointments is tailored to achieve
balance and representation of the goals, needs and
interests of the community, the municipality and the
Province.
24. In reality, being a member of a PSB is not generally a fulltime occupation. In setting up PSBs comprised of part-time
members, the legislature clearly understood that members
would occupy other roles. Indeed, there is no requirement
that a mayor sit on the PSB for his or her municipality. It is
a choice that the mayor makes. Section 27(5)(a) of the Act
states that the PSB shall consist of:
the head of the municipal council or, if the head
chooses not to be a member of the board, another
member of the council appointed by resolution of the
council;
25. While a PSB is funded by the municipality it is not a
committee of Council. It is a separate and distinct entity
with responsibilities set out in s. 31 of the Act and in other
provisions of Part III of the Act.
26. Municipal Councils are governed by The Municipal Act,
2001, S.O. 2001, c. 25. PSBs are governed by the Act.
Both are provincial statutes. The legislation is separate but
equal in force and effect. One Act is not more important
than the other. Neither Act trumps the other.
27. All PSB members are bound by the obligations and
responsibilities of the Act as long as they are members of
the PSB. There is no exception or distinction in the Act.
Therefore, when a mayor is a member of a PSB he or she is
bound to abide by the Act and relevant Regulations.

OCPC-INQ #14-05

28. While Mayor Bennett is the head of the Peterborough


municipal council, there is no requirement for the Board to
report to him or to follow any of his individual directives.
29. In his affidavit (Exhibit 79) at paragraph 3 Mayor Bennett
stated that:
Pursuant to the Police Service Act, I indicated my
desire that I would be the only elected representative
of the Corporation of the City of Peterborough, on the
Peterborough Lakefield Police Services Board.
30. Mayor Bennett could have exercised his right under s.
27(5)(a) to choose not to be a member of the Board and
thereby have allowed City Council to appoint someone else
from City Council to sit on the Board. He did not exercise
this right. He chose clearly and deliberately to sit on the
Board.
31. In the hearing and in closing submissions Mayor Bennett
described the positions of being mayor and a member of
the Board as akin to wearing two separate hats and that
the mayors hat was higher and always sat on top of his
Board member hat. This analogy does not fully represent
the situation that Mayor Bennett is in. Unlike wearing a hat,
once appointed to the role of a PSB member, the role, is
not freely adorned or discarded as a member wishes.
32. Mayor Bennett, in choosing to serve as a Board member
while he was mayor, chose to fulfill two important roles.
33. While he could have decided not to act as a member, once
he took on that role he could not shirk his responsibilities.
Instead, it was incumbent upon him to find a way to fulfill
his
obligations
as
mayor
and
Board
member
simultaneously.

OCPC-INQ #14-05

34. A major part of these obligations include the responsibility


of abiding by the provisions of the Code of Conduct.
35. The Act gave Mayor Bennett the option of choosing not to
be a member of the Board so that the City Council could
appoint another member of City Council to the Board. Once
he chooses to be a member of the Board, the Act does not
give him the option of choosing his role as mayor over his
role as a member of the Board.
36. We find therefore that Mayor Bennetts argument that his
role as mayor trumped his role as a Board member is
unsupportable and incorrect. This is not a defense for his
conduct.
THE CHARTER AND ITS APPLICATION TO BOARD MEMBERS
37. Mayor Bennett argued that these proceedings, in so far as
they sought to assess whether the mayors comments
violated the Code of Conduct, were unconstitutional as they
constitute a restriction on the mayors freedom of
expression as protected by s. 2 (b) of the Charter.
38. Mayor Bennett also argued that the Code of Conduct
restricted his freedom of association as guaranteed by s. 2
(d) of the Charter. He suggests that his right to associate
freely with his City Council colleagues has been impeded.
39. We summarily dismiss Mayor Bennetts argument that his
s.2 (d) rights have been infringed. The Code of Conduct
does not limit Mayor Bennetts ability to establish or
maintain an association. There is no evidence of this before
the Panel and no case law has been presented that
supports this proposition.
40. The Code of Conduct prescribes that the standard of
conduct that PSB members must meet is higher than that
of the general public standard of conduct. Mayor Bennett is
10

OCPC-INQ #14-05

free to associate with his City Council colleagues, but there


are limits on what information he can share about Board
business. The limits prescribed in the Code of Conduct are
limits of conduct not association.
41. We acknowledge that the Code imposes restrictions on free
expression. These restrictions are however justified in a
free and democratic society by the limits expressed under
s. 1 of the Charter.
42. Section 1 of the Charter states:
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
guarantees the rights and freedoms set out in it subject
only to such reasonable limits prescribed by law as can
be demonstrably justified in a free and democratic
society.
43. We conclude that a PSB members limits to free speech are
justified by the importance of public confidence in policing
as well as confidentiality and security concerns related to
the position of a PSB member: see R v. Oakes 1 S.C.R.
103.
44. The limits to speech of the PSB member are minimal and
are directly related to the legislative intent and the
obligations of a board member under the Act. The Ontario
Court of Appeal held in Browne v. Ontario Civilian
Commission on Police Services, [2001] O.J. No. 4573 that
the legislative purpose of the Act is to increase public
confidence in the provision of police services.
45. Most importantly, the limits do not prohibit a PSB member
from expressing his or her opinion. Indeed the Code of
Conduct explicitly states at para. 6 that a board member
who expresses disagreement with a decision of the board
shall make it clear that he or she is expressing a personal
opinion.
11

OCPC-INQ #14-05

46. The limits on this right are balanced by the power and
privilege one assumes by choosing to serve on a PSB. It is
also balanced by the impact of boundless comments made
by someone in this position of power.
47. There is a rational connection between the limit and the
legislated intent behind the limit. The intent behind the Act
and the Code of Conduct is to increase public confidence in
policing. The limit on PSB member conduct acts to ensure
that PSB members will conduct themselves in a manner
that will not bring disrepute to policing or compromise the
integrity of the PSB or the police service it oversees.
48. We find that the benefit derived from the Code of Conduct
outweighs the minimal infringement of the s.2(b) right of
PSB members.
49. Finally, we find that this infringement is an infringement
that is consciously adopted by anyone who chooses to
serve as a member of a PSB. People are not forced into
sitting on the PSB. It is a choice that they take on with full
knowledge that they will have to adhere to the obligations
of the Act and Regulations enacted thereunder. Section 32
of the Act requires that Board appointees take an oath of
office in which they promise to perform their duties
faithfully, impartially and according to the Police Services
Act.
50. In the Inquiry into the Conduct and Performance of Duties
of Norman Gardner of the Toronto Police Services Board
(March 1, 2004, OCCPS, hereinafter Gardner), the
Commission laid out the importance of a PSB members
role:
In a very real way they act as public stewards in
ensuring that police forces are representative of and
accountable to the communities they serve...(emphasis
added)
12

OCPC-INQ #14-05

51. Stewardship is defined as the conducting, supervising or


managing of something: especially the careful and
responsible management of something entrusted to ones
care. (Merriam-Webster Dictionary, 2014 online edition)
52. PSB members are responsible for the careful and
responsible management of a police service which deals
with the publics liberty and safety. Members must
understand that to be a public steward, is to first and
foremost serve the public, not ones own self-interests. This
requires limits at times to ones behaviour, as is provided in
the Code of Conduct.
53. We find these limits to be justified and reasonable for a
PSB member given his or her responsibility.
54. Therefore, we find that Mayor Bennetts arguments that his
Charter rights provide him with the authority to say and do
whatever he wanted is a flawed understanding of his
entitlements under the Charter and a mischaracterization
of the limits that he chose to be constrained by.
Standard of Proof and Legal Test
55. The standard of proof is the civil law standard, namely
proof on a balance of probabilities. The Commission must
be satisfied on the basis of clear, cogent and compelling
evidence that the allegations have been proven. The
Commission must consider all evidence properly before it.
Hearsay evidence may be accepted and considered, but it
must be carefully weighed: see Burrows and Ontario
Provincial Police, (August 13, 2012 OCPC).
56. The balance of probabilities test is elucidated in the
Supreme Court of Canada decision F.H. v. McDougall,
[2008] S.C.J. No. 54, where the court held that the trial
judge must scrutinize the relevant evidence with care to

13

OCPC-INQ #14-05

determine whether it is more likely than not that an alleged


event occurred.
57. The balance of probabilities standard is less onerous than
the criminal standard which requires that the case be
proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
58. The burden to prove the case rests on the Commission as it
is the party that has brought the application.
59. F.H., supra, provides us with further guidance on the
standard we must meet with our findings. In their decision
the Supreme Court held that when the correct standard
was applied even if not expressly stated, the reviewing
court would not intervene. The Supreme Court affirmed
that an appellate court should only intervene with factual
findings if the decision being reviewed contains findings of
fact that are clearly wrong, unreasonable or unsupportable
by the evidence.
60. The F.H., supra, decision upholds the very well established
principles of evidence that an appellate court will be hard
pressed to find a palpable and over-riding error where
there is some evidence to support the conclusion drawn by
the trier-of-fact: see also H.L. v. Canada, (Attorney
General), [2005] 1 S.C.R. 401, 2005 SCC 25, and Housen
v. Nikolaisen, [2002] 2 S.C.R. 235, 2002 SCC 33.
61. In the Matter of an Inquiry under s. 25 (1) of the Act Into
the Conduct and Performace of Duties of Greg Oliver, A
Member
of
the
Stirling-Rawdon
Police
Services
Board,(October 7, 2014, OCPC) (hereinafter Oliver), the
Commission confirmed the origins of the legal test to
determine if Board member misconduct took place:
The tests adopted and applied by the Commission in
inquiries pursuant to section 25(1)(a) of the Act have

14

OCPC-INQ #14-05

been derived from inquiries into the conduct of police


officers.
62. This test in turn emerged from the Act which establishes a
duty on police officers not to bring any discredit to a police
force. In our view, this duty and expectation extends to all
responsible for the effective operations of policing in
Ontario, including PSB members.
63. The Commission in Gardner, supra, stated:
In many respects, the obligation on Board appointees
not to act in a manner likely to compromise the
integrity of the Board or the police force is similar to a
corresponding duty imposed on police officers not to
act in a manner [...] likely to bring discredit upon the
reputation of the police force.
64. There are many cases dealing with misconduct of police
officers. They articulate some helpful principles but the
most often relied upon and quoted legal test for
misconduct was first fully articulated in Girard v. Delaney,
(1995) 2 P.L.R. 337, at p. 349, where the Ontario Board of
Inquiry held:
1.

The test is primarily an objective one.

2.

The Board must measure the conduct of the


officer by the reasonable expectations of the
community.

3.

In determining the reasonable expectations of the


community, the Board may use its own judgment,
in the absence of evidence as to what the
reasonable expectations are. The Board must
place itself in the position of the reasonable
person in the community, dispassionate and fully
appraised of the circumstances of the case.

15

OCPC-INQ #14-05

4.

In applying this standard, the Board should


consider not only the immediate facts surrounding
the case but also any appropriate rules and
regulations in force at that time.

5.

Because of the objective nature of the test, the


subjective element of good faith (referred to in the
Shockness case) is an appropriate consideration
where the officer is required by the circumstances
to exercise his discretion.

65. In the case of Gillespie v. P.C. Shockness (October 4, 1994,


Board of Inquiry), referred to in the test above, the Ontario
Board of Inquiry held that a subjective finding of good faith
on the part of the officer could defend against a technical
breach of the law.
66. The Board of Inquiry in Girard v. Delaney, supra, was very
direct in response to this, concluding that while good faith
can be considered as part of the assessment the test is
objective with a high level of importance placed on the
requirements of the applicable rules and regulations. It
was held that:
An officers neglect of duty, without any element of bad
faith or recklessness, can [still] bring discredit upon the
reputation of the police force.
67. Further, in Mancini v. Courage, (August 12, 2004), OCCPS,
hereinafter Mancini) the Commission elaborated on the
application of the test and how to measure the reasonable
expectation of the community:
The measure used to determine whether or not conduct
is discreditable is the extent of the potential damage to
the reputation and image of the service should the
action become public knowledge.

16

OCPC-INQ #14-05

The Evidence
68. The documentary evidence in this case is generally not in
dispute.
69. There were 80 exhibits entered into evidence.
70. There were 8 witnesses called by Commission Counsel:
-Warren Korol (Investigator for the Commission),
-Niquel Pritchard-Pataki (Administrative Assistant to the
Board),
-Nancy Martin (former Chair of the Board),
-Camile Parent (author of the written complaint to the
Commission about the conduct of Mayor Bennett),
-Brent Whetung (author of the email to Mayor Bennett
about the Chiefs use of language in a news interview),
-Paul Thompson (Police Services Advisor with the
Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional
Services) and
-Mayor Mary Smith (of the Township of Selwyn and
member of the Board).
71.

There were 6 witnesses brought by counsel for Mayor


Bennett:
-Mayor Richard McGee (Mayor of the City of Kawartha
Lakes),
-Patricia Lester (City Solicitor for Peterborough),
-Darren
Locke
(System
Administrator
with
Peterborough Utilities),
-Robert Hall (Peterborough City Councillor),
-Robert Lightbody (Board member from January 2011
to 2012) and
-Mayor Daryl Bennett.

17

OCPC-INQ #14-05

72. We do not find it necessary in this decision to make general


findings of credibility relating to each of the witnesses that
have testified, or to summarize their testimony. We have
opted where appropriate to state the credible evidence that
we rely on, its weight and why it is relevant to the specific
allegation.
73. In assessing credibility of witnesses testimony, we take
guidance from the well-established principles set out in the
traditionally applied British Columbia Court of Appeal
decision Faryna v. Chorny, [1952] 2 D.L.R. 354 (B.C.C.A),
in which it was held that:
In short, the real test of the truth of the story of a
witness in such a case must be its harmony with the
preponderance of probabilities which a practical and
informed person would readily recognize as reasonable
in that place and in those conditions.
74. Testimony that is consistent, without ulterior motive,
without embellishment and corroborated and/or confirmed,
tends to be credible: see Shah v. George Brown College,
2009 HRTO 920 (CanLII). Credible testimony can be
demonstrated by witnesses who: have a clear ability to
understand and recollect events, have no reason to
manipulate evidence, and who will not benefit from a
certain accounting of the evidence: see Shah, supra.
75. In the Commissions recent decision of Constable Michael
OReilly and The Ottawa Police Service, (December 5, 2014,
OCPC), the Panel confirmed that credibility determinations
should not be made on assessments of demeanor alone.
The decision affirmed the specific credibility questions
asked in Pitts and Director of Family Benefits Branch of the
Ministry of Community and Social Services, 51 O.R. (2nd)
302 (Div. Ct.), including:

18

OCPC-INQ #14-05

-does the witness exhibit any partisanship or any


leaning towards the side that called him?
-did his evidence make sense?
-was the evidence of the witness contradicted by the
evidence of another witness whom the adjudicator
considers more worthy? and
-was a previous statement given that is inconsistent
with his evidence given at the hearing?
76. In the case of Loomba v. Home Depot Canada, 2010 HRTO
1434 (CanLII) it was held that a finding of lack of
credibility with respect to one aspect of a witnesss
testimony does not automatically render the entirety of the
witnesss evidence as incredible.
77. Finally, credibility assessments are not an exact science. In
R. v. Gagnon 2006 SCC 17 (CanLII), the Supreme Court of
Canada stated that:
It is very difficult...to articulate with precision the
complex intermingling of impressions that emerge after
watching and listening to witnesses and attempting to
reconcile the various versions of events.
78. In the matter before us, a significant number of allegations
can be assessed with reference to documents. Where
possible the Panel relies primarily on undisputed
documentary evidence.
79. While we have decided not to make general assessments of
credibility on all of the witnesses, we do make comment
here on the testimony of Mayor Bennett. His testimony is
relevant to all of the allegations and therefore to avoid
repetition of our assessment of his testimony we provide it
initially.

19

OCPC-INQ #14-05

MAYOR BENNETTS TESTIMONY


80. Mayor Bennetts testimony was not consistent. He was
evasive, guarded and often would not answer simple direct
questions. He often began with blanket denials that he
later qualified or completely contradicted. For example, he
stated that he had no direct contact with the Chief
regarding the 2012 budget for the Service. Later in his
testimony, he admitted that he made two phone calls
directly to the Chief.
81. The Mayor had a hard time recalling some significant
matters, including how it came to be that he gave Mr.
Lightbody a copy of the confidential Commission
investigation report into his conduct.
82. Frequently, he would not answer questions in crossexamination without some display of resistance or
avoidance, whether that being some form of nonresponsiveness or giving irrelevant answers.
83. On several occasions the Panel had to remind Mayor
Bennett of his duty to answer the questions truthfully and
to the best of his knowledge.
84. We find on a balance of probabilities that the Mayors
testimony on a whole was not dependable or credible. We
find however that some aspects of his testimony could be
relied on when consistent and corroborated by other
credible witnesses or documentary evidence.
The Allegations
85. There are two questions that we must answer for each of
the allegations:

20

OCPC-INQ #14-05

1)

Whether the allegation against Mayor Bennett has


been substantiated with clear, cogent and
convincing evidence; and

2)

Whether the conduct alleged has been proven on


a balance of probabilities.

86. We find that all 11 allegations against Mayor Bennett have


been substantiated and the conduct alleged proven on a
balance of probabilities.
87. We now turn to our findings on each individual allegation.
Allegation #1: On receiving a confidential complaint about the
conduct of Chief Murray Rodd, Mayor Bennett did not keep the
matter confidential among members of the Board but shared the
complaint with members of Peterborough City Council;
88. The first allegation (or Allegation #1) against Mayor
Bennett relates to an email Mayor Bennett received from
Brent Whetung, a member of the public, on December 7,
2011.
89. In the email, Mr. Whetung requested an apology from the
Chief as a result of comments that were made by the Chief
on Chex News, where the Chief stated we have real bad
guys firing real bullets at us, we dont need politicians firing
arrows at us.
90. Mr. Whetung deemed these comments offensive and yet,
he also testified that he had no interest in his complaint
becoming a big issue in the media.
91. Mayor Bennett is alleged to have replied to Mr. Whetungs
email on December 8, 2011, copying members of
Peterborough City Council. This email included a copy of
Mr. Whetungs complaint along with the Mayors suggestion
that Mr. Whetung direct his concerns to the Chief. Mayor
21

OCPC-INQ #14-05

Bennetts email can be found in Exhibit 6: Commission


Counsels Book of Documents (Commission Counsels
book) at Tab 31. The email reads, in part:
Thank you for your email. I saw the same reference
and I appreciate your concern. The Chief of Police
reports to the Police Services Board, and not to City
Council; if you are seeking an apology, I would suggest
that you direct it to the Chief of Police who can be
contacted at mrodd@city.peterborough.on.ca.
92. The email demonstrates that the Mayor had copied the
other members of City Council as their names and email
addresses appeared in the CC line of said email. The
Councillors that were copied include: Andrew Beamer, Bob
Hall, Bill Juby, Dan McWilliams, Dean Pappas, Henry Clarke,
Jack Doris, Keith Riel, Lesley Parnell and Len Vass.
93. Chief Rodd testified that he made the comment Mr.
Whetung took offence to, when a local reporter phoned him
and asked him if he wanted to respond to Mayor Bennetts
comments about the Chiefs salary. The Chief stated that
his comment was taken directly from Shakespeare and he
did not intend to offend First Nations people. He stated
that he was trying to express that he felt attacked by the
municipal politicians involved.
94. Mr. Whetung testified that he sent the email to Mayor
Bennett because he was also a member of the Board.
Mayors who sit on PSBs are often perceived as having the
most influence on that PSB. It makes sense that Mr.
Whetung would send his complaint to Mayor Bennett as a
highly visible and influential representative of the Board.
Mr. Whetung also testified that he wanted the email to be
kept private and confidential.
95. Mayor Bennett admitted to sending the email to Mr.
Whetung and to members of City Council.
22

OCPC-INQ #14-05

96. When asked by the Panel how he decides if an email from


the public is confidential, Mayor Bennett stated, I dont
feel the need to make that decision. If someone indicates
that theyre looking for my personal response, I would treat
my response as being of a personal nature.
The
requirement for confidentiality is quite broad. He advised
the Panel that he copied council members because he
wanted them to know how he responded to Mr. Whetungs
email.
97. Mayor Bennett stated in his email response to Mr. Whetung
that the Chief reports to the Police Service Board. Indeed,
one of the key functions of a PSB is to act as the employer
of the chief of the police services in their municipality.
Therefore the Board employs and supervises the Chief.
98. The duties and responsibilities of PSBs are clearly
articulated in the Act. Subsection 31 (e) states that the
Board shall direct the chief of police and monitor his or her
performance
99. As an employer, the PSB is responsible for the supervision
of the Chief. Personnel matters for a variety of reasons are
kept confidential between an employer and an employee.
Not only is this just common sense business practice this is
also the legal obligation of government employers. As a
Board member Mayor Bennett is a member of the employer
of the Chief and as such he is bound by privacy restrictions
related to the Chiefs employment.
100. The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act,
R.S.O. 1990, c.F.31, as amended, and the Municipal
Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act,
R.S.O. 1990, c.M.56, as amended, articulate the privacy
rights of employees who work in government institutions.
Both acts require that government employers take
measures to ensure privacy for public employees personnel
information. These acts dictate that personnel files should
23

OCPC-INQ #14-05

be limited to authorized staff who need access to personnel


information to carry out their duties. Complaints about
employees would constitute private personnel information.
101. Therefore, we find that Mr. Whetungs email complaint to
Mayor Bennett (as a Board member) was a confidential
personnel complaint about an employee of the Board.
102. We can see no reason why City Councillors should have
been privy to this complaint prior to the Chiefs employer or
at all for that matter.
103. Counsel for Mayor Bennett argued in closing submissions
that since the municipality funds the police, City Councillors
should be informed of issues related to the Chief and
policing. Giving Council general reports at Council meetings
of general policing issues is not at issue here. It is very
specifically the release of information to Council that would
only be in the purview of the Board as the employer of the
Chief. City Councillors are not the employers of the Chief.
They do not supervise him or have any direct authority
over his performance. That is solely the function of the
Board.
104. Mayor Bennett gave several other reasons why he thought
it was appropriate to share this matter with the rest of City
Council. We find those reasons not to be supported.
105. We found that Mr. Whetungs, the Chiefs and the Mayors
testimony with respect to this allegation to be credible. We
find that the documentary evidence supporting this
allegation to be clear, cogent and convincing. This evidence
is highly relevant as it speaks directly to whether or not the
conduct alleged occurred.
106. Following an assessment of the evidence and the testimony
of the witnesses, the Panel has determined that the

24

OCPC-INQ #14-05

conduct alleged in Allegation #1 has been proven on a


balance of probabilities.
Allegation #2: On receiving a confidential complaint about the
conduct of Chief Murray Rodd, Mayor Bennett did not immediately
bring the complaint to the Board for action;
107. The second allegation (or Allegation #2) speaks to the
same email exchange detailed in Allegation #1.
Commission Counsel alleges that Mayor Bennett, upon
receiving Mr. Whetung's email, did not send the email
immediately to the Board.
108. Commission Counsel alleges that instead of sending it first
to the Board as would be his obligation as a member of the
Board, the mayor first sent it to City Council, "waited
almost 24 hours and then had his assistant pass it on to
the Board."
109. According to Commission Counsel, on December 7, 2011,
Mr. Whetung emailed Mayor Bennett. On December 8,
2011, Mayor Bennett emailed Mr. Whetung and copied City
Councillors and a member of City staff. On December 9,
2011, Mayor Bennett emailed his assistant, Ms. Watson,
and asked her to forward Mr. Whetungs email to the Board.
Ms. Watson emailed Ms. Pataki the same day and asked
Ms. Pataki to forward the email to the Board. Copies of all
of these emails are in Commission Counsels book at Tabs
31 and 34.
110. It is very clear from the three emails above that Mayor
Bennett did not send the complaint about the Chief first to
the Board.
111. The three emails included in Commission Counsels book,
also provide the times and dates when Mayor Bennett
responded to the email (copying members of the City

25

OCPC-INQ #14-05

Council) and the date and time he requested his assistant


to send the email to the Board.
112. Mayor Bennett asserted that no temporal obligation to
bring the complaint immediately to the Board exists in the
Code of Conduct or in the Act.
113. According to Mayor Bennett, a three business day time
limit applies to the Board's processing of complaints
involving police chiefs. However, he states that this is a
Board obligation and he was not acting on behalf of the
Board.
114. We note here that the Mayor was acting on behalf of the
Board. The email was sent to him as a Board member, he
did not respond to the email saying his response was his
personal opinion and even if he did that would not be a
likely defense given that this was so evidently a Board
matter and he was being contacted in that regard.
115. Mayor Bennett stated that even if the above rule applies to
his handling of Mr. Whetung's email, he complied with this
rule by directing his assistant to send the email to Ms.
Pataki on the day immediately following his receipt of the
email.
116. Commission Counsel argued that as a Board member the
Mayor was obligated to send matters about the Chief first
to the Board and not any other body as the Chief is
employed by the Board.
117. The question to be asked here is what would constitute
immediate? The Oxford Dictionary (Oxford University
Press, 2014 ed.) defines immediately as done at once;
instantly.
118. We can see from the chronology of events that Mayor
Bennett did not email the Board with the complaint about
the Chief immediately, at once or instantly:
26

OCPC-INQ #14-05

-Mr. Whetung emailed Mayor Bennett at 6:24 pm on


December 7, 2011.
-Mayor Bennett replied to Mr. Whetung (copying City
Council members) on December 8, 2011 at 9:38
am.
-Mayor Bennett emailed his assistant Ms. Watson
requesting that she send Mr. Whetungs email to the
Board on December 9, 2011 at 9:19am.
119. We find that in most cases it would not have been a
concern that Mayor Bennett forwarded the complaint to the
Board within one business day. The problem arises because
at the first instance when he addressed this complaint he
did not include the Board.
120. In the email quoted above Mayor Bennett states that the
Chief reports directly to the Board and not City Council
and yet he proceeds not to report this issue first to the
Board that supervises the Chief. In doing this he clearly
demonstrates that he does not feel accountable to the
Board in the way he feels accountable to City Council. This
matter however was not for City Council to deal with. It
was a confidential issue which should have been dealt with
by the Board.
121. The problem arises under this allegation because Mayor
Bennett sent this confidential complaint to others before he
informed the Board.
122. We find that immediate in this case would be the first
available instance in which Mayor Bennett dealt with the
email that was sent to him by Mr. Whetung.
123. To make a determination on this allegation the Panel need
only rely on the documentary evidence as it is directly
relevant to the determination and Mayor Bennett did not
provide any evidence that would disprove the email
chronology above.
27

OCPC-INQ #14-05

124. We find that based on the clear, cogent and convincing


documentary evidence before us Allegation #2 has been
proven on a balance of probabilities.
Allegation #3: While negotiating the budget for the
Peterborough Lakefield Police Service for 2012, Mayor Bennett
attempted to negotiate directly with Chief Murray Rodd rather
than, as a member of Council, with the Board;
125. The Commission alleges that Mayor Bennett contacted the
Chief on more than two occasions to discuss the budget.
126. According to the Commission, prior to the 2012 budget
being approved by City Council, Mayor Bennett called the
Chief twice to ask if the Chief could reduce the budget. The
Chief advised Mayor Bennett that he should have this
conversation with the Board.
127. The Chief testified that he told the Board Chair about the
conversations initiated by the Mayor and told her that he
had advised the Mayor that any conversations about the
budget should be directed to the Board.
128. The Mayor initially denied having any one-on-one contact
with Chief Rodd regarding the budget. He stated that it
was during a budget meeting, that he asked the Chief to
consider a $300,000 reduction.
129. However, Mayor Bennett later testified that he called the
Chief twice to follow up on the request.
130. Chief Rodd testified that the Mayor also sent Mr. Armstrong
to speak to him about the budget. It was clear to the Chief
that Mr. Armstrong (while still a member of the Board) was
speaking to him on behalf of the Mayor. The Chief stated
that, during his discussion with Mr. Armstrong, Mr.
Armstrong pulled out a spreadsheet with historical costs
and told the Chief that he would have to reduce the budget
28

OCPC-INQ #14-05

to a 4% increase from the year before or the Mayor would


go after Lakefield to do an OPP costing.
131. Chief Rodd testified that he perceived this as an attempt to
intimidate him. Chief Rodd stated that he told Mr.
Armstrong that the discussion would have to happen at the
table between Council and the Board.
The Chiefs
testimony of this was corroborated by the Board Chair at
the time, Ms. Nancy Martin.
132. Mr. Armstrong did not appear as a witness. We do not
impute any negative inferences from this.
133. Mayor Bennett denied having sent Mr. Armstrong to the
Chief to negotiate the budget. He recalled meeting with Mr.
Armstrong, discussing the budget and discussing his
opinion about how to resolve the budget dispute. He
recalled showing Mr. Armstrong a document with variations
of police budget increases and how that would affect the
City Council budget.
134. Mayor Bennett testified that he told Mr. Armstrong that his
preference would be for a police budget increase from the
year before of 4% to bring it to a total of no more the 10%
of the City budget. This would amount to a serious
reduction in the increase that the Chief had proposed in his
budget.
135. Mayor Bennett testified that this was his preference and
not a formal proposal.
136. Mayor Bennett testified that he did not think it was
inappropriate for Mr. Armstrong to share the information
from their discussion with the Chief. He testified that if Mr.
Armstrong thought it was appropriate to go to the Chief
with this information, he did not have an issue with that.

29

OCPC-INQ #14-05

137. There are elements of the testimony of both Mayor Bennett


and Chief Rodd that are consistent and corroborative.
Based on that evidence, it is clear that:
-Mayor Bennett phoned Chief Rodd directly on two
occasions and spoke about the 2012 Service budget.
-Mayor Bennett called the Chief these two times,
subsequent to a meeting where the Service budget
was discussed. He called specifically to follow up on
the discrepancy between the proposed number by the
Board and the expectations of City Council.
-Mr. Armstrong (while a member of the Board) had a
meeting with Mayor Bennett, where Mayor Bennett
expressed that he would like the Service budget to be
increased by 4% only.
-Mr. Armstrong subsequently met with Chief Rodd and
informed him of Mayor Bennetts preference.
138. The Chief testified that he understood from these
conversations that the Mayor was trying to negotiate with
him directly about budget matters.
139. The Mayor denies this.
140. Given that the facts have been admitted in this allegation,
the issue revolves around whether these forms of contact
between the Chief and Mayor Bennett were intended by the
Mayor to be attempts to resolve City Councils concerns
about the Service budget.
141. The Panel finds that proving this allegation comes down to
an assessment of credibility.
142. We find the testimony of Chief Rodd to be more credible
than that of Mayor Bennett.

30

OCPC-INQ #14-05

143. As stated above Mayor Bennett directly contradicted his


own evidence on this issue.
144. Chief Rodds testimony was logical and corroborated by the
documentary evidence and by the testimony of several
other witnesses. He withstood cross-examination and
recalled everything he spoke of clearly, consistently and
convincingly. We find his testimony to be reliable and
dependable and on a balance of probabilities likely to be
truthful.
145. Chief Rodds testimony was corroborated by Ms. Martin,
who as discussed below we found to be a highly credible
witness.
146. Furthermore, when assessed against the facts, Mayor
Bennetts assertion that his conversations with the Chief
and Mr. Armstrong, were merely informal conversations
cannot be accepted. Mayor Bennett cannot divorce his role
as both the Mayor and a Board member, from the contents
of his conversations on the highly contentious budget issue
or from the roles of the people he is having those
conversations with.
147. On the face of it, it is clear that these were conversations
where about different budget scenarios/compromises. That
is a negotiation. He had two of those conversations directly
with the Chief and one indirectly with the Chief through Mr.
Armstrong.
148. Therefore, we find that on a balance of probabilities Mayor
Bennett attempted to negotiate directly with the Chief
about the Service budget for 2012. This is supported by the
clear, cogent and convincing evidence of Chief Rodd.
Allegation #4: Mayor Bennett publicly expressed disagreement
with a decision by Chief Murray Rodd to create and hire for the
position of Police Service Communications Coordinator, which
decision was supported by the Board;
31

OCPC-INQ #14-05

149. The fourth allegation (Allegation #4) relates to comments


that Mayor Bennett is said to have made in local media
about his dissatisfaction with the hiring of a Police Services
Communications Coordinator.
150. On April 12, 2011, during his annual performance review
by the Board, Chief Murray Rodd stated that one of the
organization's goals was to hire a professional with
communications
skills/experience
to
handle
media
relations.
151. Chief Rodd noted that this position would enhance public
communications for the organization and stated that hiring
a civilian would reduce costs.
152. The Commission asserts that Mayor Bennett, who was
present at this Board meeting, did not oppose Chief Rodd's
suggestion. This is confirmed in the minutes of the April 12,
2011 Board meeting minutes in Commission Counsels book
at Tab 26.
153. Chief Rodd subsequently hired a skilled professional to fill
this position. He testified that this has resulted in cost
savings and that the contribution of the person hired in this
position has been tremendous.
154. On December 7, 2011, Mayor Bennett was quoted in local
media stating that he disagreed with the creation of a
media relations role. At Tab 114.8 of Commission Counsels
book there is an audio-visual recording of this interview
with CHEX TV.
155. Mayor Bennett is quoted saying, they put their money into
spinning it and that offends me Weve been requested to
bolster the force to assist with all these heinous crimes
going on in the city and here we are hiring a
communications officer or a communications person. If
32

OCPC-INQ #14-05

that doesnt send a message to the city, I don`t know what


will.
156. This interview was played at the hearing and Mayor
Bennett was questioned about it. He confirmed that he
made this statement. He testified that he did not think
these comments would hurt the Service and he gave an
incomprehensible explanation of why he used the word
spin in his statements to the press.
157. Mayor Bennett commented that he thought it was an
unnecessary expenditure to hire someone for this role.
158. Ms. Martin who was the Chair of the Board at the time that
these events took place testified that Mayor Bennett did
not raise any objections at the Chiefs performance review
or ever at a Board meeting.
159. Ms. Martin stated that this was an operational police
services matter and that it was the Chiefs decision to make
and not the Boards. This is supported by the Act.
160. Section 31(3) and (4) of the Act delineate the reporting
framework:
(3) The board may give orders and directions to the
chief of police, but not to other members of the
police force, and no individual member of the
board shall give orders or directions to any
member of the police force.
(4) The board shall not direct the chief of police with
respect to specific operational decisions or with
respect to the day-to-day operation of the police
force.
161. Ms. Martin testified that if any Board member had an issue
with this they should have brought it up in the in-camera
33

OCPC-INQ #14-05

portion of a Board meeting because it is a confidential


matter relating to a personnel issue. She testified that the
Chief does not spin things; the Chief provides public
information to the community.
162. We find Ms. Martin to be a credible witness. She is no
longer a member of the Board and has nothing to gain
from these proceedings. In the past, she supported Mayor
Bennetts campaign for mayor, and there is no evidence
that she is biased against the Mayor. Ms. Martin provided
testimony in a measured and thoughtful manner. When she
was unsure of the answers to a question, she did not
answer it, and she provided evidence that was consistent
throughout her testimony.
163. We have reviewed the media interview with Mayor Bennett
and find that he did express public disagreement with the
Chief`s decision to hire a Communications Coordinator for
the Service.
164. We find that Allegation #4 has been proven on a balance of
probabilities.
Allegation #5: Mayor Bennett authored and sent a letter to the
Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services (the
Minister) advocating that Board Chair Nancy Martins term not
be extended after the Board had voted down his motion not to
support her term being extended;
165. The fifth allegation (Allegation #5) relates to a motion
made by Mayor Bennett during the February 14, 2012,
Board meeting, to not reappoint Chair Nancy Martin to the
Board. Mayor Bennett is said to be the only person who
voted in favour of the motion - consequently, the motion
was defeated.

34

OCPC-INQ #14-05

166. Niquel Pritchard Pataki verified in her testimony that Mayor


Bennett was the only one who voted in favour of his
motion.
167. Mr. Lightbody testified that he voted against the motion.
Ms. Martin testified that she did not vote in favour of it and
Mayor Mary Smith confirmed that she did not vote to pass
that motion either.
168. It is alleged that, on February 15, 2012, Mayor Bennett
then sent a letter to the Minister which stated that Nancy
Martin should not be reappointed to the Board.
169. This letter was sent on city letterhead but stated that he
was providing his opinion "as a member of the board".
170. The letter from Mayor Bennett to the Minister is located at
Tab 37 of Commission Counsels book. The letter states:
While I fully respect the right of your Ministry to grant
such an extension, I want to suggest to you, as a
member of the Board, that a decision to grant an
extension of [Ms. Martins] term would cause significant
governance difficulties for the Board.
I would urge you to consider rejecting the request for a
term extension for the Chair, and taking the necessary
steps instead to appoint a new member of the Board. I
have made this position known to the Board, and
advised them that I would be communicating my
concern to you.
171. Mayor Bennett testified that he told the Board that he
would be sending a letter to the Minister requesting that
she not re-appoint Nancy Martin to the Board.
172. No other members of the Board who testified recall being
told by Mayor Bennett that he would be sending a letter
about this issue to the Minister.
35

OCPC-INQ #14-05

173. Mayor Bennett testified that he was sharing his view with
the Minister as the mayor of Peterborough, not as a Board
member.
174. After being asked a number of times, the Mayor admitted
that he never shared this letter or his intention to send it,
with the Board.
175. Allegation #5 is proven by the production of the letter.
Mayor Bennett confirmed that that was the letter he sent to
the Minister. Therefore, the conduct alleged in this
allegation has been proven on a balance of probabilities
supported by clear, cogent and compelling evidence.
Allegation #6: He authored and sent a letter to the Minister
alleging that Board Chair Nancy Martin had committed
misconduct while not bringing the allegation to the Board for
action;
176. In the sixth allegation (Allegation #6), Mayor Bennett is
said to have sent another letter to the Minister dated April
12, 2012, stating that he was writing again regarding "the
same matter with an additional concern."
177. This letter is produced in full at Tab 44 of Commission
Counsels book. The Mayor confirmed that he sent this
letter and that he did not share it with any other members
of the Board.
178. The letter asked the Minister to investigate Ms. Martin's use
of authority of her office "to require that matters be dealt
with in closed session, when they should not have been."
179. Mayor Bennett concludes the letter by writing, I would
request that you urgently investigate the propriety of these
actions. I would also request that there be no decision on
36

OCPC-INQ #14-05

the extension of the appointment of the Chair until such


time as these matters are resolved.
180. The letter from Mayor Bennett to the Minister alleges that
Ms. Martin used her position as Chair of the Board to make
unilateral and unsupported decisions.
181. Whether the allegations made by Mayor Bennett against
Ms. Martin are true or not, they are not relevant for the
purposes of making a finding on this allegation. The only
relevant evidence relates to whether Mayor Bennett sent a
letter to the Minister alleging that Ms. Martin was guilty of
misconduct. The other relevant evidence relates to whether
he brought this issue to the attention of the Board for the
purposes of having it dealt with.
182. Mayor Bennett testified that he wrote the letter and sent it
to the Minister. He also testified that he did not bring the
concerns expressed in the letter to the Board for resolution.
He confirmed that he wrote this letter while he was on the
Board and while he was mayor of Peterborough. The letter
tendered as evidence was on city of Peterborough
letterhead.
183. We find that Allegation #6 is proven on a balance of
probabilities and is substantiated by clear, cogent and
convincing evidence.
Allegation #7: Mayor Bennett authored and sent a letter to the
Minister alleging unsupported allegations of misconduct against
Board Chair Nancy Martin;
184. The seventh allegation also relates to Mayor Bennett's April
12, 2012 letter to the Minister.
185. The letter is said to have contained unsupported allegations
questioning the Chair's propriety, the use of her authority

37

OCPC-INQ #14-05

to keep meetings closed when they should have been open,


and her making unilateral decisions.
186. In his letter, Mayor Bennett noted two occasions where Ms.
Martin held closed meetings - one relating to the award of
a contract after a Request for Proposal (RFP) and the
other relating to the 2012 budget negotiation - which he
believed should have been held in open sessions.
187. Ms. Martin, who we have found to be a credible witness,
testified that the RFP was discussed in the in-camera
portion of the Board meeting because the RFP proposals
included confidential financial information about the
companies who bid which could not be released to the
public. To do so would have revealed sensitive corporate
information.
188. Mayor Bennett also claimed that the decision to hold the
second meeting in camera was a unilateral decision by the
Chair and that four councilors refused to participate in this
joint meeting between City Council and the Board because
of the decision to hold it in a closed session.
189. At Tab 2 of Commission Counsels book there are May 10,
2011 Board meeting minutes that show there was a
unanimous vote to hold the special information sharing
budget meeting between City Council and the Board in
private. The Mayor even voted in support of this. Therefore,
this was not a unilateral decision by Ms. Martin but a
decision supported wholly by the Board.
190. Mayor Bennett testified that he raised his concern about
both closed meetings to Ms. Martin and he was advised
that the meeting was closed for "expediency". The evidence
above provides that there were other reasons why both of
these meetings were held in closed session.

38

OCPC-INQ #14-05

191. There was no evidence before this Panel that Mayor


Bennett ever brought these allegations against Ms. Martin
to the Board for discussion or for any kind of resolution.
192. Mayor Bennett testified that he sent this letter. There were
no other Board members aware of this letter or the
allegations contained therein and he was not authorized by
the Board to send this letter. Therefore there was no
support for the allegations made in the letter.
193. When asked why he didnt tell the Board about this letter,
he testified that he didnt feel the need to tell them about
it.
194. We find that Allegation #7 is substantiated and proven on a
balance of probabilities.
Allegation #8: He publicly condemned the Commissions
investigative process, describing it as a farce and antidemocratic, and he compared the Commissions investigative
powers to those which existed in pre-war Germany;
195. The Mayor is alleged to have made offensive and incorrect
remarks about the Commission and its investigative
process in the local media.
196. On September 20, 2012, the Mayor released a media
statement on the City of Peterborough letterhead outlining
his belief that the Commission had not provided him with
disclosure of "particulars of any alleged conduct which
would invite the initiation of such an investigation".
197. He also stated that he had not been contacted by the
Commission to provide a response to the allegations and he
had not received "any communication as it would relate to
a potential or possible Hearing".

39

OCPC-INQ #14-05

198. He concluded this release by noting that he remained


"dismayed by the heavy handed, arbitrary and secretive
manner adopted by the Police Services Board in dealing
with those who find honorable disagreement with it." This
Statement in full can be found at Tab 77 of Commission
Counsels book.
199. On October 11, 2012, Mayor Bennett appeared on TV
Cogeco, on a show called Local Matters. On this television
show, Mayor Bennett stated the following about the
Commission's investigative process:
I have never been so perturbed about a situation in all
my life. It makes me question the society in which
we're living right now, quite frankly...No knowledge at
all as to what the true allegations are against me and
that is very, very offensive...There is, it is the worst
piece of legislation to be, to work under in my
estimation. There is absolutely nothing in it that is
definitive that I can see or that Richard Taylor can
find...This would be the Provincial Police Services Act, a
part of it. It's very frustrating...It's just a farce, to be
very, very clear. The process that is used is antidemocratic, it is anti-everything that I was brought up
to believe in, quite frankly...It's just not in keeping with
fair play...
200. In response to a question by the interviewer about what
Mayor Bennett would do following the Commission's
process, Mayor Bennett stated, "Get even. Don't get
mad. Just get even". (emphasis added)
201. On October 26, 2012, Mayor Bennett appeared once again
on TV Cogeco, Local Matters, and made statements about
the Commission's process. Mayor Bennett stated, "I would
hope that these people have more to do in life than to
chase down some ghost-like creature that creates
difficulties for them."
40

OCPC-INQ #14-05

202. He also made the following comments:


It's very disheartening, quite frankly...we're not living
in pre-war Germany. We're living in 2012 in the city of
Peterborough...Ontario, Canada, and you'd like to think
that we've grown considerably since the pre-war days
but it certainly smacks of difficulties...I can tell you at
the end of the day I'll be as guilty as sin because I
spoke my mind.
That's what I've done in my
estimation.
I've not done anything beyond the
normalcy that flows from wearing the two hats, the
mayor of the city of Peterborough and a member of the
police services board and it's very, it's a tough
balancing act but I err on the side of being
representative of the constituents within this
community who elected me, not the people who
assume because I'm appointed that I'll fall on that side
of the tracks. So I'll continue to represent the folks
who elected me.
203. On December 17, 2012, Mayor Bennett was quoted in the
Peterborough Examiner as labeling the amount of time the
Commission was taking to bring the matter to a resolution
an "abuse of authority".
204. On September 4, 2013, Mayor Bennett was quoted as
commenting on the Commissions ability to direct elected
officials as saying, "I find it repulsive, actually."
(emphasis added)
205. Following this
Newswatch:

Mayor

Bennett

stated

on

CHEX

TV

They finally decided they should have a hearing, but


they didn't bother to tell us what the date would be so
of course Richard Taylor who I have representing me
isn't available on the date that they chose. They didn't
bother to check with him first, which is not
41

OCPC-INQ #14-05

very...doesn't show much courtesy on their behalf. We


have some jurisdictional issues with how they've
approached where they've gotten to at this point and
we still have not got any back up information to what
the nine points that they've raised that they seem to
feel are in violation of something. Okay, I see what
you're asking but tell me what the violation is. I hurt
somebody's feelings perhaps?
206. On February 4, 2013, Mayor Bennett released another
media statement on City of Peterborough letterhead. The
media release reads, in part, as follows:
My belief that the procedures of the Commission
flout the democratic process remains intact.
I believe that these causes fail to properly
distinguish and recognize my responsibilities as
Mayor.
I do not accept that my status as a
member of the Police Services Board should
prohibit me from speaking on certain policing or
budgetary matters as Mayor. I head a Council that
is responsible for the expenditure of taxpayer
dollars on the police service, and I take that
responsibility seriously.
I also believe that some of these causes overstep
what should be the proper jurisdiction of the
Commission. It is inappropriate in my view, to
attempt to undermine or chill the right to the free
expression of views by elected officials, and
particularly those views having to do with the
powers
and
procedures
of
an
appointed
Commission. It is surely inappropriate that an
investigative body, having refused to provide
information to the accused on the nature of an
accusation, should then view criticism of its
procedures as a form of punishable misconduct.
42

OCPC-INQ #14-05

207. On February 7, 2013, Peterborough this Week published a


letter written by Mayor Bennett in which he wrote:
In the matter of the proposed hearing by the
Ontario Civilian Police Commission into my conduct,
(Our Opinion, Feb 6, 2013), you are right to
suggest that "until the inquiry delves into the
investigation, the public won't know how much
truth there is to the allegations". A lack of public
knowledge has been a sorry feature of this matter
for many months. The reasons for the hearing are
stated by the Commission in terms so brief and
curt that they do a disservice to the practice of
public disclosure; and they were presented without
the benefit of any substantiating documentation or
even an investigator's report. The only reason they
were made public is because I chose to release
them.
208. All of the statements above are found in Commission
Counsels book. There was no evidence provided by Mayor
Bennett that he did not make these statements or that the
reports are untrue.
209. We find that Allegation #8 is proven on a balance of
probabilities and supported by clear, cogent and convincing
evidence.
Allegation #9: Mayor Bennett refused to be interviewed by the
Commission during its investigation of this matter.
210. The Commission alleges that between the dates of
September 20, 2012, and December 2012, Mayor Bennett
was asked a number of times to participate in interviews
related to the investigation.
211. According to the Commission, correspondence was sent
from the Commission to Mayor Bennett on nine occasions.
43

OCPC-INQ #14-05

212. Mayor Bennett and/or his counsel would not attend an


interview unless it was on Mayor Bennett's terms.
213. Mayor Bennett asked for disclosure from the Commission
prior to being interviewed.
214. There are dozens of pieces of correspondence between the
Commission, Mayor Bennett and his counsel Richard Taylor.
These requests and responses can be found in Commission
Counsels book of documents from Tab 54 to Tab 102.
215. As a final attempt, Warren Korol (the Commissions
investigator) advised Mayor Bennett that if he did not
participate in an interview by the end of the business day
on December 7, 2012, the Commission could decide to
move to an inquiry without his responses to the interview
questions.
216. It was submitted that while the Commission was trying to
get Mayor Bennett to attend an interview, Mayor Bennett
discussed the investigation in the local media and emailed
city councilors about the investigation. He was clearly
aware of the Commissions desire to interview him.
217. In response to one of Mayor Bennetts requests for full
disclosure prior to attending any interview at the
Commission, Thomas Bell (legal counsel at the
Commission) replied in writing providing clarification that
disclosure would not be provided before an interview. This
letter can be found at Tab 58 of Commission Counsels
book. The letter states:
Mayor Bennett has received adequate information
about this preliminary investigative stage. In
accordance with its standard process under section
25 (1) of the Police Services Act, after collecting the
relevant information through its investigation the
Commission will consider the information and
44

OCPC-INQ #14-05

decide whether to proceed to a public inquiry. The


Commission would prefer to have the Mayors
information prior to deciding whether to proceed to
a public inquiry into his conduct as is described
generally in the Terms of Reference. If the
Commission does decide to proceed to a public
inquiry, at the appropriate time it will provide full
disclosure.
In addition, as a Member of the Board who is
subject to the provisions of the Police Services Act
and the Members of Police Services Boards - Code
of Conduct, O.Reg. 421/97, Mayor Bennett should
make himself available to be interviewed by the
Commissions investigators.
218. According to Mr. Korol's testimony, Mayor Bennett did not
attend an interview by the deadline of December 7, 2012.
He had also not attended an interview by the time the
hearing had commenced.
219. We find that Allegation #9 has been proven on a balance of
probabilities and is supported by clear, cogent and
compelling evidence.
Allegation #10: On receiving an email from the Board about a
confidential meeting, Mayor Bennett shared the email thread with
members of City Council.
220. The tenth allegation (Allegation #10) relates to an email
that was sent to Mayor Bennett by Niquel Pritchard Pataki
on May 22, 2012, advising Mayor Bennett that he was not
entitled to attend an upcoming Special In-Camera meeting
of the Board. This email can be found at Tab 47 of
Commission Counsels book of documents.
221. Since this was a confidential matter, Ms. Pataki's email
included a confidentiality clause, which stated that the
45

OCPC-INQ #14-05

email was "...directed in confidence to the person named


above and may not be otherwise distributed, copied or
disclosed." The purpose of the Special In-Camera meeting
was to discuss Mayor Bennett's conduct.
222. On the same day, Mayor Bennett sent an email to Ms.
Pataki telling her that she had violated procedures and that
48 hours notice was required to call a special meeting.
(Tab 48 of Commission Counsels book)
223. On May 23, 2013, Mayor Bennett emailed Ms. Pataki,
copying Board members, asking for "...a copy of all the
information for discussion at today's meeting". (Tab 49 of
Commission Counsels book)
224. Mayor Bennett sent another email to Ms. Pataki on May 25,
2014, asking for a reply for the information he requested in
his earlier email. In that email, he stated, "There is a time
to graciously accept the will of council and this is it." (Tab
50 of Commission Counsels book)
225. On the same day, Ms. Pataki replied to Mayor Bennett's
email and advised him that the Board was waiting for legal
advice and would respond to him once they had received it.
(Tab 50 of Commission Counsels book)
226. Mayor Bennett responded to Ms. Pataki on May 25, 2012,
copying the Board and all City Council members. This made
public to the City Council members confidential information
about the special in-camera meeting and Mayor Bennetts
request for the agenda and reports for this meeting. (Tab
54 of Commission Counsels book)
227. The Commission alleges that the email exchange between
Ms. Pataki and Mayor Bennett regarding the meeting was
included in the email and the confidentiality clause had
been removed.

46

OCPC-INQ #14-05

228. Mayor Bennett made several statements about why he cut


out the confidentiality clause from Ms. Patakis email, the
last being that he did not think that the confidentiality
clause was pertinent information. These statements
demonstrate that he did indeed remove the confidentiality
clause from Ms. Patakis correspondence.
229. It is clear from the documentary evidence that Mayor
Bennett shared the confidential Board email with members
of City Council. We find that Allegation #10 has been
proven on a balance of probabilities.
Allegation #11: Mayor Bennett made a number of disparaging
and/or disrespectful remarks regarding the Chief, the police and
the Board.
230. The final allegation (Allegation #11) against Mayor
Bennett is that he made several disparaging and/or
disrespectful remarks regarding the Chief, the Police, the
Board and the Commission.
231. At a public meeting where the media were present, Mayor
Bennett made comments that the Chief submitted a report
that was unprofessional and that the Chief acted
unprofessionally. The Mayor acknowledged in his
testimony that he made these comments. In his testimony
Mayor Bennett did not retract those comments and he
maintained his belief that his comments were appropriate.
He testified that he did not think his comments would
impact the community negatively.
232. Mayor Bennett accused the Board of keeping a secret file
about him in public. This has been repeated in several
news articles. This was written about in an article by the
Peterborough Examiner entitled Mayor Daryl Bennett not
allowed to attend two police board meetings, dated April
25, 2014. (Exhibit 69 of Commission Counsels book)

47

OCPC-INQ #14-05

233. The article goes on to quote Mayor Bennett who stated


that:
Its become very personal from my stand-point It is
very troubling that the board has adopted a practice of
maintaining secret files on those with whom it
disagrees...I am hopeful that board members will do
the right thing and, like all other public agencies focus
their energies on serving people rather than attacking
them.
234. The Mayor often publicly accused the Board of being
secretive. On October 10, 2012 in a Peterborough
Examiner article about the police budgeting process, Mayor
Bennett was quoted as saying Why are we having budget
discussions in closed sessions...whats so secretive? This
article can be found at Tab 102 of Commission Counsels
book.
235. Mayor Bennett spoke to media outlets and City Council on
several occasions about the Chiefs salary. At a public
meeting of City Council where the police budget was being
discussed, Mayor Bennett stated that it was an
embarrassment that the Chief was on the sunshine list.
(Tab 114.13 of Commission Counsels book)
236. Mayor Bennett publicly accused the Chief of putting the
worst possible light on crime statistics, see the
Peterborough Examiner article entitled Police Slanting
Crime Stats for Budget Request: Mayor. (Tab 82 of
Commission Counsels book)
237. Mayor Bennett focused his talk to the Peterborough Rotary
Club, on January 9, 2012, on policing. Mayor Bennett took
the opportunity to suggest that the Chief and the Board
were trying to get an increased Service budget by fear
mongering. (Transcript of speech at Tab 82 of Commission
Counsels book)
48

OCPC-INQ #14-05

238. This speech was quoted in several media outlets. (Tabs 8489 of Commission Counsels book)
239. Mayor Bennett testified that he believed that the Chief was
bartering in fear to get an increase in the Service budget.
He testified that he believed that the public had the right to
this information.
240. On numerous occasions Mayor Bennett spoke publicly
about his negative view of the Boards decision to hold
some meetings privately. In one radio interview he stated:
I am extremely disappointed that we couldnt come to
some arrangement to allow this to occur in public. As
you know the city tries to conduct most of its business,
unless its of a touchy nature in public and certainly the
Police Services Board is compelled to act under the
same rules and regulations. (Tab 114.16 of Commission
Counsels book)
241. Mayor Bennett has stated in public that he believes that the
Act is archaic. He was quoted in the Sun News stating
Well see if we cant promote some positive changes to a
piece of legislation that I think is archaic. (Exhibit 40)
242. The Panel also relies on all the statements already stated in
Allegation #8.
243. Based on the statements evidenced above, a review of all
of the documentary evidence and testimony we find that
Allegation #11 is proven on a balance of probabilities,
substantiated by clear, cogent and convincing evidence.
Does the Conduct of Mayor Bennett Result in Breaches of
the Code of Conduct
244. All of the allegations against Mayor Bennett have been
proven. The Panel will now determine whether that conduct
49

OCPC-INQ #14-05

results in a breach of s. 2, 5, 6, 8 and/or 13 of the Code of


Conduct?
245. In this section we will review the five enumerated sections
of the Code of Conduct and examine Mayor Bennetts
conduct against those provisions for PSB members
behaviour.
246. There is little jurisprudence on the subject of the Code of
Conduct. There is some limited case law however, that has
helped the Panel to ascertain whether there has been a
breach. We begin our analysis by providing some of the
relevant principles from these decisions that provide
guidance.
247. PSBs in Ontario are creatures of statute. PSBs lay the
foundation for civilian oversight of policing and are a
cornerstone of ensuring police are accountable to the public
and to the communities they serve.
248. A Hearing Under Section 25 of the Police Services Act into
the Conduct and Performance of Duties of the Members of
the Wallaceburg Police Services Board (June 19, 1996,
OCCPS), herein called Wallaceburg, was a very significant
Commission decision on PSB member conduct. It
underscored
the
fundamental
importance
of
the
discernment required of PSB members. At page 25 the
Commission states:
We can sympathize with the great difficulty, frustration
and even anguish that may arise in dealing with serious
financial constraints. However, this can never be an
excuse for lawless behaviour. Rather, it calls for careful
thought, a proper understanding of the law, creativity,
cooperative effort, a willingness to accept advice and
the highest levels of honesty and integrity. As hard as
this may be in some situations, the safety of the public
calls for no less. [emphasis added]
50

OCPC-INQ #14-05

249. Wallaceburg supra, provides important guidance to all PSB


members across the Province. All of the board members in
Wallaceburg, supra, were removed from the board by the
Commission because they failed to follow the provisions of
the Act and because they conducted board business in a
particularly aggressive and confrontational manner.
250. The above principles are given further expression in the
Code of Conduct for PSB members.
251. In a case involving a statement by a board member to the
media, Ontario Civilian Commission on Police Services and
Arnold Minors (December 19, 1994, OCCPS) hereinafter
Minors, the Commission held that:
In the Commissions opinion, it was hard pressed to
imagine any situation where a member of a board could
be asked to comment to the media on a policing related
matter and divorce the comments made from his or her
role as a member of a police services board. Members
of police services boards, as is the case with all other
persons in highly visible positions of power and
authority, must be mindful of the possible unintended
consequences and effects of their words and actions.
Commenting on sensitive and serious issues requires
great care, thought, sensitivity and tact and the use of
appropriate words and images. (emphasis added)
252. Mayor Bennett often distanced himself from the Board. He
positioned himself in his statements and conduct as if he
were not a member of the Board, but rather an outsider
observing a dysfunctional system that he would
aggressively critique.
253. There are many things wrong with that position. The first
and the most obvious being that he is not a marginalized
person looking into a system. He holds one of the most
powerful positions in that system.
51

OCPC-INQ #14-05

254. Were he an everyday citizen without the power of the office


he holds, he would not have the platform that he does that
allows him to be heard by every citizen of Peterborough,
and beyond.
255. Mayor Bennett cannot accept such a platform without
accepting the legal responsibilities that come with it.
256. The same holds true with regard to the role of any PSB
member. When people serve as a member of a PSB their
opinions on policing hold more weight to the public and to
the media: see Minors, supra. Members of PSBs are
specifically sought out on account of their role. Due to the
nature of policing, there are restrictions imposed on a PSB
members ability to speak.
257. Again we must be clear that one should not accept an
appointment as a PSB member if one is concerned he or
she will have to disregard the obligations of that office. The
head of a municipal council who chooses to be a member of
a PSB is not exempt from the Code of Conduct. Every
member of the Board, regardless of other roles they play,
must abide by the Code of Conduct.
258. If a head of council cannot reconcile his or her two roles,
then such person may choose not to be a member of a PSB
and allow Council to appoint another councilor to sit on the
Board instead. That distinct possibility is provided for in
Part III of the Act.
259. Mayor Bennett was not an outsider looking in at the actions
of the Board. He was a member of the Board and had a
vote on matters before it.
260. In Oliver, supra, the Commission articulated the balance
that a Board member must strike when the Board member
has potentially competing roles. The Commission stated:

52

OCPC-INQ #14-05

A police services board is not an elected body. Its


members are not directly accountable to the citizens
who cast their votes for them. In this sense, the role
has an institutional focus, not a political one. The focus
is to ensure the adequacy and effectiveness of the
communitys policing services. This is so even if police
services boards are comprised, in part, of elected
officials. Although elected to municipal Council, those
members are appointed to the police services board,
and when they engage in board business, they are
bound by their oath to respect the provisions of the Act
and the Code of Conduct. Their role is one of oversight
of policing activities in the community but in doing so
they must also ensure that the publics respect for and
confidence in the Police Service is maintained to the
highest level possible. (emphasis added)
Section 2 OF THE CODE OF CONDUCT
261. Section 2 of the Code of Conduct states:
Board members shall not interfere with the police
forces operational decisions and responsibilities or with
the day-to-day operation of the police force, including
the recruitment and promotion of police officers.
262. The facts in Allegation #4 provided one example of how
Mayor Bennett made public commentary about operational
activities under the purview of the Chief. While this is not a
direct interference, we find that the effect of making these
comments publicly undermines the Chiefs ability to do his
job with the confidence of the public. This in turn affects
the day-to-day operation of the Service.
263. The Chief testified that one of the main reasons that a
skilled Communications Coordinator was necessary at the
Service was to engage and educate the public in matters of
53

OCPC-INQ #14-05

policing. Clearly if the mayor publicly attacks the Chief for


this initiative, this will interfere with the desired outcome of
such operational decisions.
264. What the Panel finds most notable in this situation is that
Mayor Bennett was at a Board meeting where the hiring of
a civilian with specific skills for the role of Communications
Coordinator was discussed. He raised no objection to this
hiring at the Board meeting where it would have been
appropriate to raise questions to the Chief and voice any
alternative viewpoints if necessary. Mayor Bennett did not
do this.
265. This is of particular note because this was a chronic issue
with the Mayors conduct on the Board. On several
occasions that are evidenced in the record, Mayor Bennett
would not voice any concerns at Board meetings. In some
instances, he would vote in favor of actions that he would
later publicly criticize the Chief or the Board for
undertaking.
266. Mayor Bennett would attend these meetings with his
colleagues where he did not make his opinions heard and
later he would deliberately voice dissent about the Chiefs
decision to various media outlets.
267. Not only did the Mayor voice his disdain for this decision
but he went further and made declarations about the
Chiefs and the Services intent to spin statistics on crime.
268. There is much other evidence that demonstrates that
Mayor Bennett interfered directly or indirectly with the
Chiefs operational duties, including:
-The Mayor made critical comments to the media and
to City Council regarding the salary of the Chief of
police. He did not raise his objections about this at
Board meetings. Mayor Bennetts statements in public
54

OCPC-INQ #14-05

were that he believed the Chiefs salary was too high.


The Chiefs salary is an operational budget issue.
-Mayor Bennett has made several public allegations
that the Chief has acted unprofessionally and with
negative intent. The Chief is an employee of the Board.
It is inappropriate for an employer to publicly express
negative opinions of an employee.
-Mayor Bennett alleged that the Chief and the Service
were manipulating crime statistics to get more money
from City Council. In his Rotary Club address, Mayor
Bennett stated We dont barter in fear. Its not the
Canadian way. And its not the Peterborough way. Why
then is it acceptable for the Police to send the message
that they must have everything they are asking for or
peoples safety will be put into jeopardy? Having the
funding to ensure public safety is a key operational
duty of the Chief, to question this in public is to
undermine the Chiefs operational functionality.
269. This behaviour is unacceptable. This kind of conduct does
not inspire the confidence of Board members, the Service
or the public. Indeed these actions quite specifically go to
undermine the publics confidence in the Board, the Service
and in this case most notably the Chief.
270. We find that Mayor Bennett does not agree with his
responsibilities and obligations as a Board member. Mayor
Bennett believes he should be able to say whatever he
wants, whenever he wants and to whomever he wants.
271. He does not understand the expectations of Board
members as specified by the Act. As was held in
Wallaceburg, supra, Board members must have a proper
understanding of the law. Section 31 (4) of the Act
specifically states:

55

OCPC-INQ #14-05

The board shall not direct the chief of police with


respect to specific operational decisions or with respect
to the day-to-day operation of the police force
272. Accordingly, we find that Mayor Bennett has breached s. 2
of the Code of Conduct.
Section 5 OF THE CODE OF CONDUCT
273. Section 5 of the Code of Conduct States:
No board member shall purport to speak on behalf of
the board unless he or she is authorized by the board
to do so.
274. As evidenced in Allegations #5, 6 and 7, Mayor Bennett
purported to speak on behalf of the Board.
275. Mayor Bennett wrote a letter to the Minister advocating
that the term of Board Chair Nancy Martin not be
extended. In this first letter, he states that he was
providing this opinion as a member of the Board. He
followed up this letter with two subsequent letters making
allegations that Ms. Martin had made unilateral decisions
and that she held meetings in closed sessions that should
have been held in public.
276. He did not author these letters with the support or consent
of the Board. The Board had actually voted down his
motion suggesting Ms. Martins term not be extended. The
rest of the Board was in favor of Ms. Martins term being
extended.
277. The conduct evidenced in Allegations #5, 6 and 7
demonstrate that Mayor Bennett did not respect the
decisions of the Board collective. He leveraged his role as
a member of the Board to try and get a result that the

56

OCPC-INQ #14-05

rest of the Board disagreed with and had specifically voted


against.
278. Mayor Bennett went behind the interests of his colleagues
on the Board, he made false statements that the rest of the
Board was apprised of his contact to the Minister and then
he made allegations against the Chair of the Board that
were completely unsubstantiated by factual evidence.
279. This conduct is not worthy of that of a Board member. The
Board has an official Ethical Framework that is provided
to all Board members as part of their training package.
(Exhibit 68)
280. The framework has a section on how Board members are
expected to interact with their professional partners. It
states:
Responsibilities of the PLPSB members toward others in
the policing profession, their fellow board members and
others engaged in services relating to the policing
profession include:
-Building value based relationships
-Sharing knowledge
-Upholding the public trust
-Being accountable
-Consulting effectively
281. Mayor Bennett clearly spoke on behalf of the Board in these
letters, without their authorization to do so. As shown by
the framework, this conduct is a serious breach of all
expectations of a Board member not only of the Code of
Conduct. Most notable is the Mayors false statements on
this issue to the Minister and those made in testimony.
282. Accordingly we find that Mayor Bennett breached Section 5
of the Code of Conduct.
57

OCPC-INQ #14-05

Section 6 OF THE CODE OF CONDUCT


283. Section 6 of the Code of Conduct States:
A board member who expresses disagreement with a
decision of the board shall make it clear that he or she
is expressing a personal opinion
284. The Section of the Code of Conduct specifically provides for
the possibility that a member may wish to express
disagreement with a Board decision and to that end clearly
respects the freedom of expression guarantee entrenched
in the Charter.
285. However, as the Code, of Conduct points out, when voicing
disagreements with a board decision, a member must
ensure that it is clear that the opinion expressed is only
personally held.
286. In paragraph 41 of his affidavit at Exhibit 79, Mayor
Bennett states:
I have made a specific objective that I provide an
indication that where I am expressing disagreement
with a decision of the Peterborough Lakefield Police
Services Board, then the foregoing is undertaken as an
expression of my personal opinion as Mayor of the City
of Peterborough.
287. We find however that the Mayor did not clearly provide that
he was expressing a personal opinion when discussing
Board matters in public.
288. There is no evidence before us that Mayor Bennett
prefaced any of his many statements about policing with
this is strictly my personal opinion or words to that effect.

58

OCPC-INQ #14-05

289. Minutes from the Board Meeting on June 20th, 2011


(Exhibit 20) demonstrate that Mayor Bennett not only
voted in favor of the proposed 2012 Service budget, but
that he Seconded the motion in favor of the Board
approving that budget.
290. There is an indication in those minutes that Mayor Bennett
cautioned that there would be push back from council.
But the minutes do not indicate anything that would reflect
Mayor Bennetts own personal disagreement with the
Budget. We find that when he seconded the motion to
approve the Budget, it is an indication that he supports the
approval of the budget.
291. Mayor Bennett contradicted his express approval of the
budget at the Board by making public statements that he
did not approve of the proposed Service budget.
292. There are many media reports contained in the exhibits
that express Mayor Bennetts disagreement with the
proposed 2012 Service Budget. There is also the lengthy
speech Mayor Bennett presented to the Rotary Club. We
cannot find any account where the mayor states he is only
expressing his personal opinion.
293. Given that Mayor Bennett did not expressly state that he
was voicing his personal opinion about policing issues, we
have no evidence before us that would counteract a finding
of breach on this section of the Code of Conduct.
294. The Commission has held that when a board member
publicly expresses an opinion about policing, it will be close
to impossible to sever his/her identity from his role as a
Board member, see Minors, supra.
295. Accordingly we find that Mayor Bennett has breached
Section 6 of the Code of Conduct.

59

OCPC-INQ #14-05

Section 8 OF THE CODE OF CONDUCT


296. Section 8 of the Code of Conduct states:
Board members shall uphold the letter and spirit of the
Code of Conduct set out in this Regulation and shall
discharge their duties in a manner that will inspire
public confidence in the abilities and integrity of the
board.
297. We find that Allegations 1 to 11 in totality provide evidence
that Mayor Bennett has not upheld the spirit of the Code of
Conduct, or discharged his duties in a manner that would
inspire public confidence in the ability and integrity of the
Board.
298. As stated in the introduction of the Act, this decision and
numerous decisions by the Commission, the purpose of the
Act is to increase public confidence in the provision of
police services: see Browne, supra.
299.

To demonstrate that Mayor Bennett has undermined


public confidence in the ability and integrity of the Board,
we discuss the conduct evidenced in the allegations with
respect to three specific categories which are:
1)
2)
3)

public commentary
approach to the role of a PSB member; and
not participating in the Commissions process.

PUBLIC COMMENTARY
300. Board members are entitled to have opinions. Indeed
members who can contribute in the most meaningful ways
are people who among other things understand policing,
governance, democracy, budgeting principles and have the
public interest at heart.

60

OCPC-INQ #14-05

301. Moreover, it is important for Board members to share their


knowledge and understanding with their colleagues in order
to positively impact policing in Ontario. This is not at issue.
302. The issue in this case is how those opinions were
expressed, to whom and in which capacity.
303. Section 8 of the Code of Conduct places a positive
obligation on each and every PSB member to conduct
themselves in manner that upholds both the letter and the
spirit of the law.
304. Mayor Bennetts comments in public directly undermined
the Board. To consciously sabotage the efforts of the Board
in public is contrary to any conduct expected of Board
members particularly the conduct obligations explicitly
articulated in the Code of Conduct.
305. From his comments in the media, his Rotary Club speech,
his individual attempts at negotiations with the Chief, his
decisions in Board meetings that he subsequently took no
responsibility for by criticizing them in public and his
aggressive comments to/about other Board members (all
discussed above), demonstrate that the Mayor did not feel
bound by the Code of Conduct in any way.
306. In Wallaceburg, supra, the Commission has stated
unequivocally that Board members must conduct
themselves with the utmost circumspection and prudence.
307. We do not find that Mayor Bennetts conduct is evidence of
either circumspection or prudence. Quite the opposite of
public confidence resulted from the Mayors Conduct. Mr.
Parent who made a formal complaint to the Commission
testified that:

61

OCPC-INQ #14-05

Mayor Bennetts public discourse about the Service, the


Chief, the Board and the Commission often lacked
respect.
308. It is often the case that a mayor above all other members
of a PSB would be noticed by the public and commented on
more in the media than any other member. Therefore his or
her conduct has an even greater ability to discredit and
diminish public confidence in policing.
309. A mayor who also sits on a PSB cannot say whatever he or
she wants to. He or she is bound by law to act with
integrity.
310. Mayor Bennett stated in public that he thought the
Commission process was akin to that of the regime in preWar Germany. To make such an analogy is to demonstrate
a complete ignorance of that era and furthermore it
demonstrates a complete denial of the privileges he holds
as a mayor and a Board member.
311. This demonstrates a lack of respect for the Act, a lack of
understanding for how it functions and complete denial of
the spirit behind the Code of Conduct, which is rooted in
inspiring public confidence in policing.
312. To call the Commission a farce and anti-democratic also
does not inspire public confidence in policing.
313. The Commissions very existence is to provide civilian
oversight over policing. One must know the legislative
history behind the creation of the Commission, one must
read the body of case law that the Commission is
responsible for and one must know all of the
responsibilities of the Commission before making such
wholesale demeaning commentary.

62

OCPC-INQ #14-05

314. We find that Mayor Bennett makes comments without


having done enough research for these comments to be
legitimately substantiated. These kinds of comments seem
more likely to be made from a limited understanding and
experience.
315. Mayor Bennetts comments quoted above were stated in
relation to being investigated by the Commission and that
he was subjected to attend an interview about the
complaint being investigated. As any oversight body often
does, complaints made to the Commission are investigated
before any action is taken.
APPROACH TO THE ROLE OF A PSB MEMBER
316. Mayor Bennett would express one position at the Board
meetings and then a completely contrary position in public
and with municipal councilors. As discussed above, he
continually positioned himself as an outsider to the Board,
even though he was not only an insider but an insider with
a vote. This is the opposite of instilling public confidence in
the ability and integrity of the Board.
317. Mayor Bennetts conduct demonstrated a belief that the
municipalitys position on policing and the police budget is
paramount. This however is tantamount to suggesting that
the PSB is of no force or effect. If the legislature had
intended for the municipality to have sole governing power
over policing and the police budget, it would have
structured Part III of the Act in that way.
318. Mayor Bennetts individual opinion and personality has
been inappropriately influential in the unfolding of the 2012
Service budget negotiation.
319. A Board member has channels to make his or her
constructive criticisms heard. He or she can bring
constructive critique to the Board meetings and should a
63

OCPC-INQ #14-05

Board be completely unable to function or respond to these


critiques a complaint can be made to the Commission to
investigate. These are the proper channels but they were
not used by the Mayor. Rather the Mayor repeatedly chose
to discuss Board business in the media. This constant
display of disapproval by Mayor Bennett flew in the face of
his obligations as a PSB member.
NOT PARTICIPATING IN THE COMMISSIONS PROCESS
320. Counsel for Mayor Bennett responded to the Commissions
requests for an interview with Mayor Bennett, with the
argument that Mayor Bennett would not attend an
interview until full disclosure was provided, see for example
Commission Counsels book at tab 62. We find this
argument to be misguided.
321. In Forestall v. Toronto Police Services Board, [2007] O.J.
No. 3059 (S.C.J. (Div. Ct.), the Court held that disclosure
does not have to be provided at the investigative stage of
proceedings.
322. In the 1994 decision Masters v. Ontario, (1994) 18 O.R.
(3rd) 551 (Div. Ct.), the Divisional Court held that a
Provincially appointed senior public servant who was the
subject of an internal investigation into sexual assault
allegations against him, was entitled to a minimal level of
procedural fairness.
323. If at the stage of investigation, full disclosure is provided to
the person being investigated, evidence can be tailored per
that disclosure. That is why the Commission does not
provide disclosure at the initial stages. This was not a
personal decision against Mayor Bennett. It is a policy held
across the board for investigations that the Commission
undertakes. This is a seriously administered policy, it is not
a farce.

64

OCPC-INQ #14-05

324. Commission counsel provided Mayor Bennett with the legal


reasons why disclosure at this stage was not required, see
Commission Counsels book at tab 61. The Act specifically
states at Section 22(3) that the procedural fairness
requirements of the Statutory Powers Procedures Act
R.S.O. 1990, c. S.22 (SPPA) do not apply to the
investigations conducted by the Commission under Section
25 (1) (a).
325. Mayor Bennett still chose not to attend the interview
despite the information above and despite repeated
requests. He would have been informed of the complaint
against him at the interview. He chose not to attend.
326. Mayor Bennett has repeatedly chosen not to cooperate with
the Commission. This in and of itself demonstrates that he
does not see himself as an integral part of the policing
system, which is what a PSB member is.
327. PSBs are ultimately accountable to the public by way of
the Commission. To not cooperate with the Commission as
a Board member, demonstrates that Mayor Bennett does
not see himself as responsible to the governing systems
under the Act, and inadvertently this demonstrates a lack
of respect for civilian oversight over his conduct.
328. We find that this is not the kind of behaviour that would
inspire the confidence of the community.
329. Accordingly we find that Mayor Bennett has breached
Section 8 of the Code of Conduct by conducting himself in a
manner that would not inspire public confidence in the
abilities and integrity of the board.
SECTION 13 OF THE CODE OF CONDUCT
330. Section 13 of the Code of Conduct states:

65

OCPC-INQ #14-05

Board members shall refrain from engaging in conduct


that would discredit or compromise the integrity of the
board or the police force.
331. All of the allegations that have been proven in this Decision
would discredit or compromise the integrity of the Board or
the Service.
332. We do not do an analysis of how every allegation before us
leads to a breach of section 13 of the Code of Conduct.
Instead, we base our analysis here on three specific
situations that arise from the allegations and that were
evidenced by credible testimony at the hearing.
333. These instances include: 1) the leak of the confidential
complaint by Mr. Whetung, 2) Mayor Bennetts threatening
language at a Board meeting, and 3) his conduct regarding
a special in camera meeting about the 2012 Service budget
to be held between the Board and Municipal Council.
THE LEAK OF A CONFIDENTIAL COMPLAINT
334. We find that Mayor Bennett erred by not keeping the
complaint of Mr. Whetung completely confidential. This was
not only the responsibility of an employer to his employee
(Board member to the Chief) but also the responsibility of
confidentiality was owed to the public complainant, Mr.
Whetung.
335. In testimony Mr. Whetung testified that he expected his
complaint to Mayor Bennett would be kept confidential:
I felt that because this was a personnel matter I
wanted this matter to be kept private and confidential,
not in the public eye.
336. Mr. Whetung testified that he had felt the matter was
resolved when the Chief called him to apologize:

66

OCPC-INQ #14-05

After the Chief emailed me, he called me and left me


his personal phone number. He apologized, it was
learning for him, and I thought that he was sincere. He
even offered to meet in person, but I didnt think that
this was necessary. After this I felt that everything was
completed and resolved.
337. He was further supported by the letter he received from
Ms. Martin:
I then received a letter from the Board Chair Nancy
Martin, she too left the door open stating her and the
Chief would be happy to meet with me. I didnt need
that. So as of the letter from her dated December 19th,
2011. I felt this issue was resolved.
338. In testimony Mr. Whetung spoke of the profound impact his
leaked complaint had on him, his family and his
community:
Someone leaked my letter to the Peterborough
Examiner. It was disappointing. Burnt its way into my
memory. I was exposed, dragged through the mud for
something I thought was private and confidential.
The ridicule towards myself, my family, my first nations
community, is very very damaging. I am still dealing
with the repercussions.
This kind of article effects my employment, because I
need to get governmental clearance. They can deny
clearances because of this and ask me to account for
everything said in the article.
The leaking of my complaint did not benefit me in any
way, it has just done me harm.

67

OCPC-INQ #14-05

Here we are a year later with this article, that made me


into a political pawn for someone.
There were two pages of comments to the article,
saying incredibly racist and offensive things about
Aboriginal people.
339. Mr. Whetung testified that an apology is all that he wanted
and he was satisfied with the outcome of the complaint
until it was leaked to the press.
340. The leakage of this complaint at a time when tension
between the Mayor and the Chief/Board was high, raises
many questions, but we cannot say with certainty who
leaked the complaint to the media 6 months after it had
been resolved.
341. What we can say is that because Mayor Bennett disclosed
the email of Mr. Whetung to people not on the Board, it
could have been leaked by anyone. Keeping the matter
among Board members, people who are accountable for
keeping the matter confidential, would have greatly
diminished the likelihood of a leak.
342. We find that the leak to the media could have occurred as a
direct result of the Mayor`s decision to copy all the City
Councilors in his response to Mr. Whetung.
343. The number of media reports on this issue demonstrate
that sharing a confidential complaint of this sensitivity is
not justifiable. It discredited the integrity of the Chief and
compromised the safety of Mr. Whetung, his family and his
community.
MAYOR BENNETTS CONDUCT REGARDING A SPECIAL IN-CAMERA
MEETING ABOUT THE 2012 SERVICE BUDGET TO BE HELD
BETWEEN THE BOARD AND MUNICIPAL COUNCIL.

68

OCPC-INQ #14-05

344. The Board submitted its proposed 2012 Service budget to


City Council in November, 2011. City Council did not adopt
the proposed budget and it was sent back the Board to be
revised. It was not until May, 2012 that the 2012 Service
budget was ratified by City Council.
345. We heard evidence that between November, 2011 and May,
2012, Mayor Bennett surprised other members of the
Board by creating conflict with them and doing this
primarily in public, not in private.
346. Ms. Martin testified that on November 29, 2011, she
accompanied the Chief to a City Council meeting to present
the 2012 budget. She testified that when she met the Chief
at the Services offices she was advised that the media had
been informed that someone on the City Council was going
to make a motion requesting that the 2012 Service budget
be drastically reduced.
347. At the City Council meeting Mayor Bennett put forward a
motion that the proposed 2012 Service budget should be
reduced to represent no more than 10% of the municipal
budget. This meant reducing the then proposed Service
budget by over 2 million dollars.
348. Ms. Martin testified that she was stunned and concerned
that with that kind of reduction in the budget the Board
would not be able to provide adequate and effective
policing. Ms. Martin testified that she was also stunned
because Mayor Bennett had supported the budget at the
Board table and not given any indication that he opposed
it. The Chief, Ms. Pritchard Pataki and Mayor Smith all
testified that they were shocked and upset by the Mayors
motion, mostly because in the Chiefs words they felt
blindsided.
349. There were subsequent Board meetings to understand and
respond to this situation. Finally in a meeting of the Board
69

OCPC-INQ #14-05

on March 13, 2012, Mayor Bennett proposed that a special


information sharing session be held between the Board and
City Council, in order to come to some form of resolution.
The Board voted in favour of this and the meeting was set
for April 10, 2012, see Commission Counsels book (Tab 8).
350. At this same meeting the Board discussed whether this
meeting should be open or closed, due to security concerns
the Board voted to hold the meeting in closed session.
Again Mayor Bennett voted in favor of holding this meeting
in closed session, the minutes indicate that he seconded
the motion to hold this meeting in camera.
351. We heard testimony that on March 28, 2012, at a premeeting to this special in camera information sharing
meeting, Mr. Clark (chair of the City Council budget
committee) took issue with the decision that the meeting
be held in closed session.
352. Ms. Martin testified that she spoke with Duane Sprague,
the Police Service Advisor, who advised her that because
the Board had called the meeting it was up to them to
decide how to proceed with the meeting. Ms. Martin
testified that the Board decided to stick with the decision
they had made to hold the information sharing meeting in
closed session because the issues that would need to be
discussed at that meeting could disclose confidential
security issues.
353. Mayor Bennett emailed Ms. Martin a few days prior to the
information sharing meeting requesting confirmation that
the meeting was going to be held in closed session. Ms.
Martin replied confirming that the meeting would continue
in closed session, see Commission Counsels book at tabs
38 to 40.
354. On the morning of the information sharing session, Mayor
Bennett released a letter stating that the special
70

OCPC-INQ #14-05

information sharing meeting would be cancelled. The letter


was quoted in the local media early in the morning, see
Commission Counsels book at tab 42.
355. The media knew about the cancellation before the Board
was informed of the cancellation. In fact, the Board held
their usual Board meeting that morning. Mayor Bennett
attended the meeting and never mentioned that he had
cancelled the information sharing meeting to be held later
that day. Ms. Martin received notification of the meeting
being cancelled when the Board took a break and she was
given a copy of the letter by Mayor Bennett.
356. Ms. Martin and other Board members testified that they
were very upset. To learn of this only a few hours before
the meeting was to be held and for the meeting to be
cancelled when it was of such urgency, was disappointing
enough. But the letter of Mayor Bennett suggested wrong
doing on the part of the Board. The letter from Mayor
Bennett, contained in full at tab 41 of Commission
Counsels book states:
As an appointed representative, your refusal
accommodate the will of elected councillors
unacceptable.

to
is

357. There are many issues raised by this pattern of behavior on


the part of Mayor Bennett.
358. First and foremost, there is no obligation on PSB members
to accommodate the will of elected councillors. This
sentiment is not only incorrect, it gives the impression
elected councillors are more important than PSB
members. This is not conduct becoming of a public official
and it is a position that discredits the integrity of the
Board.

71

OCPC-INQ #14-05

359. Ms. Martin testified that she was upset because she felt the
media often knew information about important Board
business before she did because Mayor Bennett would
share information with the media before sharing it with the
Board. This is seriously problematic behavior on the part of
a Board member. Board business must be discussed by
Board members first and foremost within the official board
meeting setting, at the Board table.
360. It is not a problem if Board members discuss Board
matters amongst each other, in confidence, while not at
Board meetings, but to discuss matters with the media
rather than directly with your colleagues is clearly an
affront to them and to a members role on the Board.
361. The role of a Board member is partly to de-escalate
tensions related to policing. We find that Mayor Bennetts
conduct was to do the opposite, escalating tensions by
making unsubstantiated and insulting remarks about the
Board and the Chief directly to the media.
362. Ms. Martin testified that she felt upset by this letter from
the Mayor Bennett, mostly because it was quoted in the
media and made the suggestions that the Board was being
secretive, unwilling and uncooperative.
363. Finally, we have heard evidence that the Mayor has
repeatedly supported and approved of decisions in
meetings with the Board, then not only disagreeing with
these decisions in public but criticizing the Board (which he
publicly distances himself from) for making these very
decisions that he was party to approving.
364. This conduct demonstrates a lack of willingness to
cooperate with your colleagues in a way that would further
the public confidence in the integrity of the Board or
Service.

72

OCPC-INQ #14-05

365. This also demonstrates a blatant disregard for the effective


and efficient governance of policing and complete lack of
respect for your colleagues on the Board. The panel finds
this conduct to be counter-productive to the goals of the
Board, the Code of Conduct and the Act.
MAYOR BENNETTS THREATENING LANGUAGE AT A BOARD
MEETING
366. Mayor Bennetts actions led the Board to seek legal advice
on how to deal with the Mayors conduct. It was also
around this time that the Board received the letter from the
Commission requesting their position on Camille Parents
complaint.
367. Ms. Martin testified that she was of the understanding that
when the conduct of a Board member is being addressed, it
must be discussed in a closed meeting as a personnel
matter.
368. At a Board meeting held on May 23, 2012, Ms. Martin
requested that Mayor Bennett leave the meeting because
they needed to have a discussion about his conduct and his
presence would present a conflict of interest.
369. Ms. Pritchard Pataki, Ms. Martin, Mayor Smith, Chief Rodd
and Mayor Bennett himself testified that when Mayor
Bennett was asked to leave the meeting he said something
to the effect that: You are now entering the world in which
I live and you should be ready for the consequences.
370. Ms. Martin testified that she felt anxious and threatened.
Ms. Pritchard Pataki heard this as a threat and she testified
that it made her feel anxious and scared about what would
happen to her. Both Mayor Smith and the Chief heard it
as a clear threat to the Board.

73

OCPC-INQ #14-05

371. The Commissions decision in Wallaceburg, supra, provides


a caution to Police Services Board members that regardless
of the stress that a PSB is facing there is no excuse for
making threats. In that case Board members were
removed from the Board for conducting Board business in
a particularly aggressive and confrontational manner.
372. The Commissions standard on Board conduct is clearly
articulated in Wallaceburg, supra:
This is a significant and unqualified commitment
imposing on board members a responsibility to conduct
themselves with the utmost circumspection and
prudence and the highest levels of honesty and
integrity.
373. Using threatening language to anyone is not acceptable
behaviour of a Board member.
374. Furthermore, using threatening language to people
employed by the Board is way past any threshold of
defensible behaviour of a PSB member. It is important for
members to remember that the Chief and the
Administrative Assistant to the Board are employees of the
Board.
375. Finally, to use threatening language towards your
colleagues on the Board is intolerable. Section 13 of the
Code of Conduct instructs Board members to conduct
themselves in a manner that is not compromising of the
integrity of the board, which we would suggest includes the
integrity of the members on the Board. The language used
by Mayor Bennett and its impact on the people who it was
directed at, flies in the face of the guidance provided by the
Code.
376. Mayor Bennetts testimony on all three of the above issues
were not believable. He provided reasons for the in74

OCPC-INQ #14-05

congruency between his decisions in Board meetings and


then his public disavowal of those decisions, but we find
that the reasons were often inconsistent with his behaviour.
We also found that Mayor Bennett had a hard time
recollecting significant information about what he did and
why he did it. There was no evidence before us to counter
the evidence that the above incidents happened.
377. Accordingly we find that Mayor Bennett has breached
Section 13 of the Code of Conduct.
378. Mayor Bennett undermined public confidence in policing by
publicly criticizing the Board and the Commission the way
he did. Further, Mayor Bennetts approach to balancing his
role as Mayor and as a member of the Board undermined
public confidence as he frequently disregarded governance,
accountability and confidentiality rules put in place to
support public confidence in policing.
379. We therefore find that Mayor Bennett has breached each of
sections 2, 5, 6, 8 and 13 of the Code of Conduct.
DO THE BREACHES OF THE CODE OF CONDUCT LEAD TO THE
CONCLUSION
THAT
MAYOR
BENNETT
IS
GUILTY
OF
MISCONDUCT OR UNSATISFACTORY PERFORMANCE OF HIS
DUTIES
380. Mancini, supra, stands for the principle that it is not
necessary to establish actual misconduct (i.e. discreditable
conduct in that case) but the measure to be used to
determine whether or not conduct is misconduct is the
extent of the potential damage to the reputation and
image of the service should the action become public
knowledge. (emphasis added)
381. There are dozens of media articles that talk about Mayor
Bennetts disagreements with the Chief, the Board, the
Commission and the Act.
75

OCPC-INQ #14-05

382. We find that many of these comments were expressed in a


manner that would be aggressive, confrontational,
attacking and offensive. As evidence by Mr. Parents
complaint about Mayor Bennetts behaviour and the impact
of that behaviour we can envisage the kind of damage that
was being done to the reputation and image of the Service.
383. Mancini, supra, supports the principle that it is not
necessary, in order to sustain a finding of misconduct, to
prove each and every allegation contained in the Notice of
Hearing. It is only necessary to prove one or more of the
allegations.
384. In the case before us, we have found that each and every
allegation against Mayor Bennett has been proven on a
balance of probabilities and has been substantiated on
clear, cogent and convincing evidence.
385. We have found that Mayor Bennetts conduct contravened
five sections of the Code of Conduct as charged by the
Commission.
386. As public stewards charged with the responsibility of
ensuring that police forces are accountable to the
communities they serve, PSB members are subject to the
highest standard of conduct possible under the Act and the
Code of Conduct.
387. Mayor Bennett did not meet this standard.
388. All board members have an obligation to respect, uphold
and follow the law. While this is true for every citizen, it is
even more so for men and women who serve on PSBs who
have the legislated responsibility for ensuring law
enforcement and crime prevention in their community:
see Wallaceburg, page 24.

76

OCPC-INQ #14-05

389. We have found that Mayor Bennett has not held his position
as a member of the Board with the respect that it requires.
He has made wholesale indictments of the system of
policing in the Province, starting with the Act, calling it the
worst piece of legislation ever. Making this statement
without having the benefit of reading the whole Act. In
testimony he stated, I have not read the PSA in full.
390. Mayor Bennett testified that he has not studied the Act in
detail, he has read some sections and he has familiarized
himself with aspects of the Act. He testified that he had an
adequate understanding of policing, he stated I didn't
think it was appropriate to read the entirety of the PSA. I
didn't have the time to read the entire PSA. He stated that
he did not go to any conferences on policing, do any
research on policing or consult other Board members on
policing issues. He stated that he based most of his
opinions on his experience.
391. We find that this is not enough understanding of the law or
policing issues for a section 31 PSB member. All section 31
PSB members should not only have read the Act but should
have more than a familiar understanding of it.
392. Mayor Bennett testified that he thought he had enough
knowledge about policing and that his knowledge about the
effects of crime would not be less than that of the Chief.
He was very confident in his own understanding of policing
in Ontario. We disagree. We find that the evidence of Mayor
Bennetts conduct and statements shows a serious
misunderstanding of his role as a Board member entrusted
with the oversight of policing in Peterborough.
393. Accepting an appointment to sit on a PSB should not be
taken lightly or underestimated. It is a commitment that
requires the time and attention to go through the Act,
Regulations enacted thereunder especially the Code of
Conduct, decisions of the Commission, training materials,
77

OCPC-INQ #14-05

monthly board meeting packages and more. This is not a


casual commitment. It is a high-level official commitment
worthy of significant focus and dedication.
394. Mayor Bennett argued that first and foremost he was the
Mayor of Peterborough and this role was paramount to all
his other roles particularly in the context of this matter, to
his role as a member of the Board. We find that this is an
erroneous understanding of the nature of a PSB and its
relationship to City Council. A PSB is not subservient to a
municipal council. The Board is independent from City
Council.
395. These competing obligations have to be respectfully
reconciled. This is a challenge but it is not impossible. Many
people have served in competing roles and have been able
to strike this balance with efficacy and integrity.
396. The expectation would be no less for Mayor Bennett. From
the evidence in the hearing into the conduct of Mayor
Bennett we find that he did not respond to these challenges
appropriately.
397. We note here that the conduct proven in this hearing is
demonstrative of three repeated patterns engaged in by
Mayor Bennett throughout the period of the alleged
misconduct: 1) engaging in public discourse about
confidential police personnel matters, 2) acting as an
outsider, as if he is not a member of the Board and 3)
failing to mention his disagreements
about certain
decisions in Board meetings, voting in favor of those
decisions at the Board table, but then later denouncing the
Boards decision in public.
398. This kind of conduct is indicative of the behavior of
someone who wants to sabotage efforts, escalate conflict,
undermine the efforts of the Service, the Chief and the
Board and create upset in the community. This is not the
78

OCPC-INQ #14-05

behavior expected of a member of a PSB as provided in the


Code of Conduct.
399. Even so, as this information was revealed at the hearing,
Mayor Bennett testified that he would not retract his
statements.
400. The potential damage to the reputation and image of the
service should these actions become public knowledge is
immense. The subjective element of misconduct is clearly
met.
401. According to the objective test for misconduct as set out in
Girard, supra, the Commission must measure the conduct
of a police officer by the reasonable expectations of the
community. In the absence of evidence as to what
reasonable expectations are, the Commission must place
itself in the position of a reasonable person.
402. As mentioned above, the issues with which this Decision is
concerned came to the attention of the Commission when
Mr. Camille Parent, a business owner in Peterborough and
an active community participant, sent a letter to the
Commission.
403. Mr. Parent testified that he lives in Omemee, Ontario, about
20 kilometers outside of Peterborough. He has run his
business Peterborough Vacuum, located in Peterborough
for over 20 years. He testified that his families life revolves
around activities in Peterborough. He and his wife run
several charity events for different causes including,
Habitat for Humanity and Peterborough Cares.
404. He was a Catholic School Board trustee and both of his
children attend school in Peterborough. He testified that he
knows Mayor Bennett, he thinks the mayor is generally a
good man and he even had signs in support of Mayor

79

OCPC-INQ #14-05

Bennetts first campaign for mayor all over his business


window.
405. We found Mr. Parents testimony to be credible and highly
relevant as his letter of complaint brought this whole
matter to the attention of the Commission. His testimony
was forthright, consistent and he comprehensively
recollected everything he testified to. His testimony was
neither biased nor self-interested. He came across to the
Panel as someone who was actively involved in the
Peterborough community and had a deep sense of care for
community issues and concerns.
406. The entirety of Mr. Parents letter dated April 12, 2012 is
found at Commission Counsels book at Tab 45. In the
letter Mr. Parent states:
Mayor Bennett has been publicly humiliating,
disrespecting, bullying our Police, its Board and our
Chief! At this point I would suggest that the OCPS
immediately does what it can to intervene to stop this,
as it has already gone out of control!!!! Furthermore I
strongly suggest that our Police Board cannot do its job
with the constant harassment, lies, bullying coming
from the Board.
...
This is no longer an issue about a budget, it has
become a political agenda in trying to deface and ruin
the good reputation that our great Peterborough Police
has worked so hard for many, many years. If you have
the ability in conducting an inquiry or investigation in
hopes of bringing all back to normal, I do strongly
suggest you do so at your earliest time possible, as it
has gone FAR beyond its purpose. Im very concerned
how a Mayor/Council member would be allowed to
disgrace, deface its Police Chief, staff and Board.
80

OCPC-INQ #14-05

...
We ask that you do all that you can do to help
Peterborough deal with this extremely important issue
and help restore peace with our very ANGRY MAYOR
with a HUGE agenda...
407. He testified that he wrote the letter because of all of the
negativity in the media attributed to Mayor Bennett, and
which was directed to the Board and the Chief.
408. Mr. Parent testified that people would come into his
business and discuss matters with him. He found that the
media was impacting people negatively towards the Chief,
the Service and the Board.
409. When he was directed during his testimony to Commission
Counsels book at Tab 80, an article with the tag line
Mayor calls Chief Rodds response to proposed cuts
unprofessional, Mr. Parent stated that these things can
and should be said behind closed doors. We have done
irreparable damage to the reputation of the Police.
(emphasis added)
410. We find that
committed by
Mayor Bennett
his duties as
manner.

the breaches of the Code of Conduct


Mayor Bennett lead to the conclusion that
is guilty of misconduct and is not performing
a member of the Board in a satisfactory

Submissions as to Penalty
411. Submissions on penalty were reserved pending the release
of this Decision and the Panels findings with respect to
Mayor Bennetts conduct.

81

OCPC-INQ #14-05

412. Submissions as to penalty under section 25 (5) are to be


made in writing. These submissions are to be served and
filed with the Panel no later than 5:00 pm on January 20,
2015.
DATED AT TORONTO, THIS 29th DAY OF DECEMBER, 2014

__________________
David C. Gavsie
Associate Chair, OCPC

__________________
Zahra Dhanani
Member, OCPC

82