Mayorgate began as a voice against voluntary censorship imposed by the local press when breaches of the Municipal Act had been uncovered. In a democratic society the media cannot decide what and if the public should know, facts are simply reported, opinions expressed in editorials. In St. Catharines the mayor and a city councillor conspired to 'fix' a lawful by-law fine. A telephone answering machine message was left in her own voice by the councillor confirming that the fine had been taken care of. Little left to the imagination and nothing left to argue. It is not within the power of a mayor to interfere with a lawful by-law fine after normal channels of objection had been exhausted.
On September 1, 2011 a letter had been delivered from Lancaster, Brooks & Welch LLP, signed by a Christopher J. Bittle. Mayor Brian McMullan has made an attempt to silence the truth and shutdown Mayorgate. As a candidate in the Municipal Election of 2010 I received a phone call from Mayor Brian McMullan on October 22, in the short conversation he wished me luck for the election in a condescending voice and then said, “you called me corrupt in your blog I have referred this to my Toronto lawyers.” I made this threat public on Mayorgate and waited. In August of 2010 Councillor Jennie Stevens, the owner of the telephone answering machine voice, threatened me with her solicitor, I recorded her and posted the threat on Mayorgate and waited. Now I receive this letter signed by Christopher J. Bittle of Lancaster, Brooks & Welch LLP with a threat of legal action if I don't shut down Mayorgate, read it for yourselves.
My response to you Christopher J. Bittle of Lancaster, Brooks & Welch LLP is a public one. Mayor Brian McMullan contravened with full intent the Municipal Act and his Oath of Office. Yet that was only the beginning of the slippery slide into destruction of our democratic process. Since receiving your letter and after advice I had sent all the details to the Law Society of Upper Canada. I have posted a copy of my letter to the Society and their response dated September 26, 2011.
Mayor Brian McMullan and Councillor Jennie Stevens breached the Municipal Act and their Oath of Office, yet that was not enough. Arrogance and ego are a dangerous cocktail when followed by a shot of fear. Mayor McMullan further breached the Municipal Elections Act with illegal contributions for his re-election campaign of 2010. You Christopher J. Bittle joined Lancaster, Brooks & Welch in only 2010? Are you originally from St. Catharines? You sent this letter to me the day you got the judgement against Preston Haskell (fully covered in Mayorgate Case Study: Andrew Gill vs. Preston Haskell), was it that success that prevented you from researching the facts?
Illegal campaign funds were quite the story here only a few months ago. The Standard had done the usual thing for Mayor McMullan until Doug Herod brought out the true facts on McMullan's illegal contributions. Though Mayorgate had done a full story on the issue posting even copies of Mayor Brian McMullan's financial statements prior to Doug Harod's piece. The individual who brought the public attention of the whole issue of illegal campaign funds and breach of the Municipal Elections Act was Eleanor Lancaster.
Eleanor Lancaster submitted an audit request and it was stamped at the City Clerk's office in St. Catharines on June 23rd 2011. The deadline for all financial reports to be filed by all candidates was March 25th 2011 by 2:00pm. Any request for audits had to be filed within ninety (90) days of the last day for filing financial reports that gave a deadline for the filing of a request for audit June 25th 2011.
Eleanor Lancaster filed her request for audit of campaign funds for Brian Dorsey, Matthew Harris, Mathew Siscoe and Len Stack, all City of St. Catharines Council candidates, plus Tim Rigby and Andy Petrowski both Regional Council Candidates. She claimed to have made an error on both Tim Rigby and Andy Petrowski in that she filed her audit request at the City of St. Catharines City Clerk, yet both were Regional Council candidates. Mind you she had two more days and could of remedied her 'error' and filed correctly for both of the regional council candidates.
So both Tim Rigby and Andy Petrowski escaped any glare of a formal audit request on an excuse that Eleanor Lancaster made a mistake to come to the City Clerk of St. Catharines to file her paperwork. Eleanor Lancaster was a regional councillor? The most alarming point though was Eleanor Lancaster said “she chose not to challenge McMullan's campaign financing because the 2010 mayor election wasn't much of a contest.” So Eleanor Lancaster decided to pick and choose who would face the consequences for illegal contributions. This statement also makes it rather clear that she was aware that Mayor Brian McMullan had illegal contributions, that Brian McMullan breached the Municipal Elections Act. In fact Mayor Brian McMullan had amongst the greatest number of illegal contributions! Eleanor Lancaster decided who would face the consequences of breach of the Municipal Elections Act, not the Charter of Rights which guarantees all Canadians equality before and under the law. Eleanor Lancaster decided she would in fact become the judge, jury and prosecutor in the case of Brian McMullan. When the Audit Committee under the committee chairwoman Margo Pinder made its decision, Eleanor Lancaster filed her appeal. Only the four are facing this final round: Len Stack, Matt Harris, Mat Siscoe and Brian Dorsey.
Now come the dangerous questions. Mayor Brian McMullan was intentionally left out by Eleanor Lancaster, arguably McMullan had the most illegal campaign contributions. Now Mayor Brian McMullan has Christopher J. Bittle of Lancaster, Brooks & Welch launch an attempt to shutdown Mayorgate. Eleanor Lancaster is the widow of the late Harry Hamilton (Bud) Lancaster. Mr. Harry Hamilton (Bud) Lancaster was the nephew of Edward Hamilton (Ted) Lancaster, son of Edward Arthur Lancaster founder of the law firm. Throughout the public spectacle of the announcement of the audit request by Eleanor Lancaster, the Audit Committee under the helm of Margo Pinder, Mayor Brian McMullan was unrelenting. He would say that he would refer to his campaign auditor, no more! Mayorgate posted a copy of his financial statement, one that Brian McMullan had to sign before a witness of the City Clerk's office. According to Marlene Bergsma of The Standard, “Mayor Brian McMullan has said he is till awaiting information from his campaign auditor about the appearance of multiple donations to his campaign.” It makes me think of another great Canadian politician and brown envelopes.
Eleanor Lancaster is quoted by Marlene Bergsma as saying in relation to the financial statements of those she requested audits on “a very blatant indication they had received multiple donations from related companies.” Look at the McMullan financial statement! “Lancaster said when she was a politician, she experienced pressure from donors who expected her to vote according to their interests,” by Marlene Bergsma. Eleanor Lancaster is quoted again by Bergsma, “I recall being jumped on by a contributor when I didn't vote the way he wanted me to.” Eleanor Lancaster a widow of Harry Hamilton (Bud) Lancaster, one of the Lancasters of the Lancaster, Brooks and Welch LLP.
Mayor Brian McMullan who has Christopher J. Bittle of Lancaster, Brooks & Welch say in his letter of September 1st 2011 to me, “...remarks are patently false and not supported by any facts.” Throughout the whole censorship of the direct evidence provided on the ticket fixing no denial is possible of the facts. Throughout the attempts to intentionally lie about the evidence by The Standard during the municipal election campaign, no denial is possible of the facts. Throughout the public revelation of lies by NRP officers on official police documents, no denial is possible of the facts. Throughout the public spectacle of illegal campaign funds, no denial is possible of the facts. Brian McMullan had illegal campaign funds, to only have one comment on his breach of the Municipal Elections Act, loudly reported on Mayorgate of referring to his campaign auditor was arrogance at its most vulgar.
Christopher J. Bittle of Lancaster, Brooks & Welch writes... “Even the domain name of the Website is intended to suggest that Mr. McMullan is engaged in a political scandal.” By the way Bittle I corrected 'McMullen's' spelling for you as I quoted you. Eleanor Lancaster intentionally left out Mayor Brian McMullan out of her audit request and subsequent appeal. Eleanor Lancaster is the widow of Harry Hamilton (Bud) Lancaster, of the law firm Lancaster, Brooks & Welch LLP. Christopher J. Bittle is a lawyer for LANCASTER, BROOKS & WELCH LLP. Mayor Brian McMullan who was left out by Eleanor Lancaster now has employed Christopher J. Bittle of Lancaster, Brooks & Welch LLP to try and silence the truth. A family photographer of Eleanor and Harry (Bud) Lancaster said it was common knowledge who Eleanor Lancaster was married to. Mayor Brian McMullan are you going to say that you didn't know? Christopher J. Bittle of Lancaster, Brooks & Welch you didn't see anything wrong?
To you Mayor Brian McMullan I repeat that I can't wait to dance with you in public over this. I have said that to you before on the pages of Mayorgate. Now comes the final piece of evidence of the NRP involvement and it's a shock worth waiting for.
Mayorgate will not back down on the values it stands for. Equality of law for all not what the NRP have displayed. Access to truth and facts and not voluntary censorship or lies as displayed by The Standard. Accountability from our elected regardless if their arrogance or ego refuses. Selective Justice is always blind justice. Canada is for all CANADIANS not for the selected few.
Much has been revealed piece by piece here on Mayorgate in relation to the original issue of a fine that was fixed. Still the greatest question has lingered, how did a matter which involved a breach of the Municipal Act warrant the involvement of the police. Matters such as these are not police jurisdiction and in themselves are not criminal code violations. The interference of an elected public official in issues such as by-law fines is a breach of the Municipal Act. Although it is a very serious matter and the consequences far from light still the question hangs in the air.
Enter the Niagara Regional Police Service once again and the questions become deeper and darker. It is an election campaign and the truth very dangerous. Public lies had been printed by the local newspaper, yet that still had no success on removing the potential harm of the issue. A detective is dispatched to interview the individual who had the by-law fine issued to him. Why? Who sent this detective? In his written report, his incident report GO#2010-100048, no complainant is identified. The detective in the opening page states: “As a result of this phone message...” Was this only relayed to the NRP as a tip of some kind? As you read this incident report much of the situation comes to question, in particular what had happened in the closing days of the municipal election of 2010.
A candidate in the mayoral race had made accusations of hackers and of corruption at City Hall. This candidate made these accusations in public through the local press, his name David D'Intino. He had no knowledge of any facts only public accusations. Mayorgate never made claims of corruption at City Hall, nor did Mayorgate make any claims of wrong doing of any staff at City Hall. Mayorgate did bring forward publicly evidence of a fine illegally interfered with in terms of the Municipal Act. The evidence was clear with the voice recording of a city councillor confirming the fact. Mr. D'Intino knew nothing of the facts and whatever his personal motivations only made public accusations. His, D'Intino's claim that his e-mail or computer was hacked again was an accusation motivated by his own choice. In incident report #2010-100048 (still on the first page) Detective Harris states: “...had no personal knowledge of the specifics of the allegations or of the parties involved...” One would ask then why say anything, why blurt out public accusations, when one has no personal knowledge of fact? What could be the motivation behind such an act? Still the NRP detective came to interview the individual who received the by-law fine.
The detective on page 3 states, “that this was in fact not a City of St. Catharines By-Law Offences Notice...” He goes on to say that this only advises of the existence of a by-law. In the detective's conclusion, Detective Harris states, “was not in fact an offence notice but was merely a generic notice...”
Now look at the actual ticket that was issued, you've already read why it had been ripped, I am just glad Mark had second thoughts on dumping the darn thing. On top of the ticket it is clearly stated with the City of St. Catharines, logo and department. Also the by-law and its official designation are quoted. It opens with these words, “You are in violation of City of St. Catharines By-Law No. 2008-315...” The Webster's Dictionary has this to say on the word 'violation' - “infringement or breach, as of a law.” This ticket does not advise of the “existence” of a by-law, heck it is rather clear and straight forward. Detective Harris calls this “merely a generic notice...” Webster's Dictionary on the word 'generic' - “referring to a whole kind, class or group, inclusive or general (2)without a brand name (3)without individual character or distinctive characteristics.” A question for the detective, what makes a parking fine individual or of distinctive character? Your car's license plate number and location! Otherwise each one in that book is merely a “generic notice.”
Now Detective Harris let's look at City of St. Catharines By-Law No. 2008-315. Pop down from the first page to the third “AND WHEREAS,” can you see that one? I'll quote now, “section 425 of the Municipal Act, establishes that any person who contravenes a by-law of the municipality is guilty of an offence.” Let's go back to Webster's shall we for the word 'contravene' - “to go against, oppose, conflict with; violate.” There it is again, 'violate' or as in the ticket you called only a “generic notice” violation. Enough yet? Look at the actual page from the Municipal Act, page 282 which has Section 425 referred to in the actual By-Law No. 2008-315. Under this heading ENFORCEMENT, sub-heading: 'Authority to create offences' 425(1) A municipality may pass by-laws providing that a person who contravenes a by-law of the municipality passed under this Act is guilty of an offence.” There is that word again Detective Harris, 'contravenes'. Shall we continue now to the last page of the actual by-law 2008-315 now? I quote point #8: “Any person who contravenes any provision of this by-law is guilty of an offence and upon conviction is liable to any penalty provided for in the Provincial Offences Act R.S.O. 1990, c.P.33, as amended.” The best part and the juiciest Detective Harris is at the bottom of the third and final page of the by-law 2008-315. Look at who signed it? Mayor Brian McMullan signed the by-law on the 15th of December 2008!!! (Side issue but it makes me think of Mayor McMullan and his financial statements that he signed for his campaign but didn't know of the appearance of illegal contributions).
This was a by-law signed by Mayor Brian McMullan as head of council. Back to the Municipal Act again this time to PART VI Practices and Procedures, Section 225 Role of head of council. Do you see anywhere here Detective Harris authority granted the head of council/mayor to interfere with, forgive or in any form fix a by-law fine? I can give you a copy of the Municipal Act, all 310 pages and ask you to find a clause where there is authority granted a councillor or head of council/mayor to interfere in any way with a lawful by-law fine. No such section, sub-section or clause exists.
Back to the by-law signed by Mayor Brian McMullan on December 15th 2008 By-Law no: 2008-315. Remember the point I raised, specifically #8 referring to the Provincial Offences Act? Here are copies of relevant sections of that Act as referred to in the by-law signed by Mayor Brian McMullan. Section 3 deals with Certificate of offence and offence notice, it's a great read in fact. Then Section 11.1 Error by municipality . Now Detective Harris this particularly is relevant to the whole issue of a mayor's authority. Can you read this one out loud maybe to yourself? Pop down to Subsection 11.2 and 11.3, good stuff right? How about NRP Constable Donovan and his advise on how to handle a by-law fine when you disagree with it. After all it is the law! Mayor Brian McMullan signed By-Law No.2008-315 into life it was discussed at council, so Councillor Jennie Stevens was fully aware. There are no provisions in the Municipal Act for Mayor Brian McMullan to do as he pleases. The By-Law notice of infringement, or certificate of offence (as referred to in the Provincial Offences Act) states in clear English, “you are in violation of City of St. Catharines By-Law No. 2008-315” Nowhere does it say that this is only to make you aware of the existence of a by-law! You as detectives, not uniformed police officers are obliged to investigate all facts and information before making any decisions. You Detective Harris did not! WHY?
Mayorgate never at any stage made wild or stupid allegations of broad corruption at City Hall. David D'Intino did this without fact or evidence, he also claimed computer hacking. Niagara Regional Police had jurisdiction to investigate the merit of that allegation only, why did you then go to Mark Leeson? Neither he nor I had anything to do with any allegations of hackers. Mayor Brian McMullan overstepped his authority and interfered with a lawful by-law fine. A recorded answering machine message by Councillor Jennie Stevens confirmed this even confirming in actual words the mayor had done so. Breach of the Municipal Act is not the jurisdiction of the NRP. The incident report has no listed complainant, why? Detective Harris held the certificate/notice/fine in his hands and ignored the words on that certificate. The invoice was simply the assessed value of the fine. Did Detective Harris look at the By-Law No. 2008-315 signed by Mayor Brian McMullan? Did Detective Harris look at the Municipal Act and relevant sections? Did Detective Harris bother to look at the Provincial Offences Act and its relevant sections? No, Detective Harris did none of that, but did say no fine existed. Detective Harris did call it a “generic notice” and made conclusions based on what?
On October 26th 2010 as quoted from the front page of The Standard by Marlene Bergsma: “the allegations of corruption levelled by D'Intino and Davidoff “weren't true” he said. A subsequent investigation by the Niagara Regional Police reached the same conclusion.” David D'Intino who made his baseless allegations then said, and again I quote Marlene Bergsma of The Standard: “D'Intino, who has denied being the author of the scandalous e-mail with his signature that alleged corruption and criminal activity, said McMullan should be glad the allegations raised by the e-mail were investigated by police.” What were D'Intino's motivations? He had no facts, no evidence, he had nothing. Yet he made broad and empty allegations.
Mayorgate has made it clear from the first words posted that full evidence has been provided and made public. Marlene Bergsma intentionally lied on October 14th 2010 about the whole 'ticket fixing' issue. On October 22nd 2010 Peter Downs intentionally lied and repeated the same lie as Marlene Bergsma. This did not work! Officers of the Niagara Regional Police Service lied on incident reports – all the evidence here on Mayorgate. Now Detective Harris who did not do detective work, what he did I don't know how to classify. All the information and documentation is here now, any more desire to dismiss the facts.
I have said to you Mayor Brian McMullan that I am happy to do the open and public dance in court with you. I have told Christopher J. Bittle of Lancaster, Brooks & Welch LLP the same. When you Mayor Brian McMullan threatened me on the phone on October 22nd 2010, rather convenient that it was the same day Peter Downs lied in The Standard, with your Toronto lawyers I told you then to go ahead. Your words as quoted by Marlene Bergsma on October 26th 2010: “At the end of the day, people knew it was not true and I think people were embarrassed by it... That's not what St. Catharines is about.” Well let's make all of this public Mayor McMullan, you threatened me let's do it - but not like before the election Mayor McMullan. All of the facts and nothing but the facts. Everything is here on the pages of Mayorgate, the ticket and its fixing as confirmed by the voice of Councillor Jennie Stevens. The lie by Marlene Bergsma of The Standard. The lie by Peter Downs of The Standard. Niagara Regional Police officers lie on official police incident reports. The incredible detection work of Detective Harris. The illegal campaign funds and the intentional omission from any audit. Finally the treat by you using Christopher J. Bittle of Lancaster, Brooks & Welch. You Mayor Brian McMullan breached the Municipal Act, the Municipal Elections Act and your Oath of Office. Mayorgate never made wild accusations or allegations without evidence and fact, that was only David D'Intino.
I WILL WALK DOWN THE ROAD OF FULL PUBLIC DISCLOSURE WITH YOU
MAYOR BRIAN MCMULLAN, THE ONLY THING I AGREE ON IS
“THAT'S NOT WHAT ST. CATHARINES IS ABOUT.”
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