Tag Archives: rob ford

Independent prosecutor

whThe continuing scandal with the Senate of Canada shows the need for an independent prosecutors office to handle investigations into the conduct of those in government. To use what is happening with Mayor Ford as an example Toronto should establish a prosecuting office with sole responsibility of investigating any official of the municipal government of Toronto.

The Toronto Metropolitan Office of Investigation

There would be 8 senior prosecutors in the Office of Investigation. These prosecutors are the ones to initiate and direct any investigation into the operation of the city government and the conduct of any of its officials. After each municipal election 4 senior Prosecutors are appointed for a term of 8 years or for the duration of 2 elections. This gives you 8 prosecutors with half appointed every 4 years.

Appointment

One is appointed by the Mayor-elect and one appointed by the runner-up in the mayoral election. Two are elected by the city council by secret preference ballot with the top two candidates getting elected. Each of the appointed prosecutors can have their appointment rescinded by a two thirds majority vote of the city council. Each of the elected prosecutors can have their appointment rescinded by a joint veto issued by the mayor-elect and the second placed candidate. A prosecutor can be removed after taking office by a motion of dismissal introduced by the Mayor and the runner-up mayoral candidate and passed by an absolute two thirds majority of the council.

Preliminary

One prosecutor can start a preliminary investigation into the conduct of anyone in the municipal government of Toronto. This investigation is to last 30 days. Another prosecutor can extend the preliminary investigation another 60 days and a third prosecutor a further 90 days after that for a total of 180 days. Any official of the city of Toronto can refuse to testify under oath or provide documents or records by a signed statement of refusal. Refusal to provide either is an offense and the penalty is loss of salary until the official provides the evidence or issues a statement of refusal.

Official

Two prosecutors can initiate an official investigation that has the authority to subpoena witnesses and documents from the municipal government. This investigation is to last 3 months. If three prosecutors authorize the official investigation then its duration is 6 months and with four prosecutors it shall last 1 year. An official investigation can require testimony or evidence from Canadian citizens with their right to refuse by a statement of refusal. Failure to provide either the evidence or a statement of refusal will be a prosecutable offense.

Inquiry

Four prosecutors can open an official inquiry with full authority to investigate and lasts for 12 months and each additional prosecutor who supports the official inquiry extends the term by 6 months with it lasting up to 3 years with the support of all 8 metropolitan prosecutors.

The police merely execute search warrants and the like and do not conduct investigations into political corruption thus keeping them out of it. I think the RCMP has better things to do with their time then looking at PMO emails. Investigations are kept separate from the politicians and Parliament. No Saturday night massacres or referral of changes by the PMO.

The U.S. had an independent prosecutors office but the politicians got rid of it story here. Which is the lesser of two evils the witch hunt or the cover up? The politicians clearly prefer the cover up. I prefer the witch hunt because there’s no such thing as witches. I accept the possibility of an unfair prosecution but if there is nothing there then there is nothing there!

Advertisements

Disciplinary motion

rob-fordShould municipal councils have the authority to suspend or remove from office any municipal official? Yes!  From least to severest a municipal council should be able to impose the following penalties on those who hold a public office in that municipality.

  • A motion of reprimand which is the proverbial slap on the wrist but an official one done by an absolute majority on the council which for the Toronto city council is 23 out of the 44 councillors.
  • A motion of censure that imposes a fine with the defendant losing their salary until the amount equals or exceeds the fine. This is to be done by an absolute 60% majority that for Toronto is 27 votes on the city council.
  • A motion of suspension that of course suspends an official from office for a temporary period with or without pay for that period of time. This motion is to be passed by an absolute two-thirds majority for Toronto that’s 30 votes.
  • A motion of dismissal that shall remove the defendant from office and this is to be passed by an absolute three quarters majority that for Toronto’s city council is 33 votes.

Of course Toronto’s city Councillors can be subjected to a disciplinary motion as well. A Councillor can’t vote on their own motion leaving you with 43 members voting. All motions requiring one less vote to pass except a motion of dismissal.