BREAKING NEWS – Niagara Centre MPP Jeff Burch calls for Police Probe into CAO Hiring Scandal at Niagara Region

Niagara At Large reporter Doug Draper with ome Breaking News

Posted December 4th, 2019 on Niagara At Large

Niagara Centre NDP MPP Jeff Burch

Niagara Centre MPP Jeff Burch  – a member of Ontario’s Official Opposition/NDP Party has sent a letter to the province’s Police Commissioner, Thomas Carrique, asking the Ontario Provincial Police to follow-up on a released Ombudsman report  on the circumstances around the October 2016 hiring of Niagara Region’s now former  CAO Carmen D’Angelo.

The Ontario Ombudsman’s report, titled “Inside Job” and released this past November 28th, concluded, following an investigation that last well over a year, that the process used to hire D’Angelo under the watch of the former regional council of Al Calsin, was “compromised,” “unjust,” and “wrong.”

In the days since the release of Ombudsman Paul Dube’s report, at  least two members of Niagara Region’s current council – Wainfleet Mayor and Regional Councillor Kevin Gibson and Fort Erie Regional Councillor Tom Insinna, both veteran  RCMP officers – have concluded that the involvement of police in a “criminal investigation” of what went on around D’Angelo’s hiring to the top administrative job at the Region is “warranted.”

Now former Niagara regonal chair Al Caslin and the Region’s former CAO Carmen D’Angelo, still running the show two years ago. Calls are growing for a police investigation into the circumstances around D’Angelo’s October 2016 hiring. file photo by Doug Draper

In his open letter to Ontario’s Police Commissioner, circulated earlier this December 4th, Niagara Centre MPP Jeff Burch said, in part –

“Mr. Paul Dubé’s report (enclosed) titled Inside Job, found that the hiring of Carmen D’Angelo was orchestrated from the office of former Regional Chair Alan Caslin and involved other politicians and bureaucratic staff. …

“I am urging the OPP to review the report in detail and to open an investigation. I hope the OPP can ensure that those who engage in wrongdoing and exploit our democratic institutions for their own personal gain can and will be held accountable.”

Niagara’s Regional Council is holding a Special Meeting this Thursday, December 5th, starting at 3 p.m. in the council chambers at Regional Headquarters in Thorold to discuss the findings in the Ombudsman report and decide what should be done next.

Citizen watchdog groups across Niagara are urging as many Niagara residents as possible to show up at the regional headquarters for the meeting.

This is a developing story and Niagara At Large will have more news and commentary to post on it later.

Please Stay Tune for more Updates on Niagara At Large at www.niagaraatlarge.com .

Here is the full text of Niagara Centre MPP Jeff Burch’s letter to the Ontario Police Commissioner –

Commissioner Thomas Carrique

Ontario Provincial Police – General Headquarters, Lincoln M. Alexander Building, 777 Memorial Avenue, Orillia, ON L3V 7V3

December 4, 2019

Dear Commissioner Carrique,

Request for the OPP to review allegations of corruption at the Regional Municipality of Niagara

I want to draw your attention to a matter that has recently culminated in widespread public outcry in the Niagara Region.

Following media reports of alleged corruption among senior staff and elected officials at the Niagara Region, I joined others in calling for an independent investigation by the Ontario Ombudsman into the hiring and contract extension of the now-former Niagara Region Chief Administrative Officer, Carmen D’Angelo. The results of that report were released on Friday, November 29 2019 and are nothing short of shocking.

Mr. Paul Dubé’s report (enclosed) titled Inside Job, found that the hiring of Carmen D’Angelo was orchestrated from the office of former Regional Chair Alan Caslin and involved other politicians and bureaucratic staff.

The Ombudsman’s report detailed not just sordid actions of one individual, but rather what appears to be widespread corruption within our regional government. This is nothing short of a direct threat to our democratic institutions, and the trust the public places in them. I have had numerous constituents, councillors and members of the public come forward with concerns that those who benefited from the exploitation of our regional government have not faced adequate consequences for their actions, and who feel the public’s trust has been breached. I cannot overstate the level of concern I have over the actions detailed in the Ombudsman’s investigation.

I am urging the OPP to review the report in detail and to open an investigation. I hope the OPP can ensure that those who engage in wrongdoing and exploit our democratic institutions for their own personal gain can and will be held accountable.

Sincerely,

Jeff Burch. Member of Provincial Parliament, Niagara Centre

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