Friday, December 29, 2006

Julian Fantino & Peter Shoniker

Julian Fantino is the Commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police. He was previously Toronto's Chief of Police from 2000 to 2005, and Ontario's Commissioner of Emergency Management from 2005 until 2006.

He was previously chief of police of London, Ontario from 1991 to 1998, and of York Region from 1998 until 2000. Previous to his London appointment, he had been a Toronto police officer since 1969.

Fantino's rise to power has been rapid and inexplicable. Although plauged by scandals from his London days he has moved easily from one senior position to another. In light of recent allegations that he wiretapped his own boss during his tenure made in a lawsuit filed in 2006 - one has to wonder whether he has private information about other public officials.

Peter Shoniker is a Toronto Crown counsel and Tory fundraiser who pled guilty to laundering 700,000 and stealing 50,000. Mr. Shoniker was approached by an undercover RCMP corporal in 2003. Corporal Al Lewis asked for help to launder $250,000, money he said was stolen from the pension fund of a Hamilton union. Mr. Shoniker readily obliged. He even told Cpl. Lewis he would use his special status as a lawyer to evade police surveillance. And he bragged about his connections to highly placed police officers as he tried to reassure the undercover police officer.“I'm untouchable, untouchable by the police. Not a cop in this country who would dare burn me, question my integrity,” he said. I have been unable to find any reports about who ended up with the stolen 50,000.

In a flagrant and unrepentant manner, Julian Fantino testified at Mr. Shoniker's sentencing hearing that he should recieve a light sentance. Mr. Shoniker recieved only 15 months in jail for this affront to democracy and rule of law.

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