A new investigation report is contradicting the City of Brampton’s own internal investigation, but the local mayor says she and the officials involved feel vindicated.
City officials released a report earlier this week that disputed a June, 2018 report by David Butler-Jones, Canada’s police chief, that indicated that a police probe had confirmed 16 unsubstantiated allegations against Chief Valourd.
It is now being described as an investigation that failed to adequately resolve possible financial crimes committed by the Brampton mayor and administration.
Brampton Mayor Susan Fennell responded to the report on Saturday, saying she was “pleased” with the findings from an investigation that she says was done independently.
“Following our independent review, many people in Brampton and across the country have continued to express their confidence in my management team and me. I firmly believe this will stand the test of time as well,” Fennell said in a statement.
However, the City of Brampton’s director of communications, Angela Wetzel, had a different reaction, saying in a statement that the report “did not identify any criminal offences.”
Wetzel said Butler-Jones was called by Brampton city officials to take over the investigation because he has a reputation for thoroughness.
“He participated, to the best of his ability, with our officials who conducted the investigation and passed it to the province for follow-up,” Wetzel said.
Butler-Jones’ investigation said it was told that senior administrators were privy to official city travel documents and financial information, and then used those documents to avoid tax bills.
The Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services concurred in the report that there was no legal investigation into allegations against Brampton’s mayor and administration that has been cleared of criminal wrongdoing.
The review also revealed that there is no financial recovery for the city as a result of the investigation.
The Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services said that it would take appropriate steps to protect the information collected during the review, but would not reveal any more details about the investigation.
“We’re still in the discovery phase,” Wetzel said.
A different report on Brampton is set to be released Monday. The one that formed the basis of the Chief Butler-Jones investigation was leaked to the Toronto Star last month.
In that report, the Toronto Star reported that Butler-Jones told a major Canadian newspaper that Brampton officials “know what they did is wrong and they know it’s criminal.”
In a statement on Sunday, Brampton City Council released a rebuttal letter to the Toronto Star, which claimed the Toronto Star was “deliberately misinterpreting” Butler-Jones’ comments and that he had specifically stressed that Brampton City Hall officials had not committed any crimes.
A spokesman for Butler-Jones stated in a statement Sunday that the Toronto Star should “show contrition” for this story and called the story “fake news.”