Unjust Ban Of Craig Gammie Costing Taxpayers Tens Of Thousands (3-26)

 The OSST August 20 article “South Bruce Peninsula Council Critic Not Allowed At Municipal Meetings” was fair and reasonably unbiased, but it missed some key information.

 On November 20, 2012 I was banned from town hall.  On November 28th I applied to the court to quash the ban.  On May 23rd Judge Conlan recommended I abandon my application in favour of an out-of-court discussion process in which the town would decide whether to keep the resolution as is, or drop the resolution, or “vary” the resolution somewhere between “drop” and “keep”. I consented on the conditions that the ban be mostly lifted during the discussions, and that council hear my submissions by the end of July, and that council provide a written decision with reasons within 30 days of my oral submission, and that if I did not like the council decision or council’s reasons for its decision, I could bring the matter right back to court and once again ask the court to quash.

 Council heard my submissions, and council varied the resolution, but instead of varying between “drop” and “keep as is”, council expanded and extended the ban.

 I applied to the court again to have the resolution quashed.

 On August 20 administrator Jacquie Farrow-Lawrence handed me a report that gave the decision to ban me and “reasons” for the decision.  The report is on my website at craiggammie.com.

 But council did not see the report, and so could not have vetted or approved or “provided”, as was required by the court order of May 23rd, the “reasons”.  Council breached the court order.

 Because the reasons are almost verbatim from John Close’s sworn affidavits of December 18 and December 20, which were not shared with council, I know that the “reasons” are not council’s but are, rather, John Close’s.

 The reasons that John Close provided for banning me were:

 1.     That I secretly and intentionally recorded two closed sessions,

2.     That I exhibited a pattern of questionable behavior, and,

3.     That I failed to demonstrate remorse for my questionable behavior and that I failed to understand “why [my] past behavior has been questionable”.

 The first allegation (secretly and intentionally recorded) is false. There is clear and ample evidence that both recordings were accidental rather than intentional.  I never even had possession of the recordings.  And on July 24th I resolved the problem of accidental recordings by committing not to ever bring a recorder to any council meeting.

 The second allegation (questionable behavior) is too nebulous to have any meaning, but in its implied meaning of unlawful or even bad behavior is false.

 John Close’s examples of my “questionable behavior” include these allegations: bringing offensive and defamatory signs into council chambers; threatening Mike McMillan (twice); criminally assaulting Mark Wunderlich; intimidating and harassing staff; and, threatening the Clerk. Not included in the August 20 “examples”, but included in his affidavit of December 20 and also in his e-mails and witness statements, is the very serious allegation that I have been practicing engineering without a license.

 The August 20 allegations and the engineering-without-a-license allegation are false, and are unsupportable, and have not been “questioned” in any legitimate court, and are unproven in any court, and have not been proven anywhere else.  (My rebuttals to all of John Close’s false allegations are in my submission to the court of February 7, which is on my website.)

 All of John Close’s “questionable behavior” allegations are malicious and vexations, made not for any proper purpose (such as preventing accidental recordings), but rather to complement John Close’s campaign to stop me (and by example others) from participating in our democratic public policy process, and to stop me (and others) from criticizing his actions.

 John Close’s reason number three for banning me (I failed to show remorse) is just plain absurd.  Real judges may consider remorse during a sentencing phase, after (and only after) the accused has been properly and fairly tried, and has been found guilty.  No sensible person expects an accused person to feel remorse for any act that they have not committed and for any act for which there is no charge and no finding of guilt. The  accusations against me are no more than allegations.  No court of competent jurisdiction has even considered whether I have committed any offense.

 John Close’s inclusion of “demonstrated no remorse or understanding” makes it clear that he believes that he, as mayor, is the supreme, competent, omniscient, omnipotent, infallible, and fully authorized judge of all things in TSBP (and everywhere else).

 “Mayor Supreme” is delusional. “Mayor Supreme” is unfit for office.

 And in banning me, Mayor Supreme has already cost the taxpayers about $20,000 in legal fees, and will cost in my estimate at least another $25,000.

 John Close’s campaign has not just been against me.  He has also made false allegations against John Schnurr, Rick Lyttle, and Orma Lyttle, and against three as yet unidentified bloggers (via what was ostensibly Rhonda Cook’s $700,000 lawsuit), and against  committee members who dared to speak up, and against many others.

 So far John Close’s campaign against me has been a very serious inconvenience, but the harm to me has been small compared to the damages to others, many of whose physical and financial health have suffered.

 And the general taxpayers have suffered.  In my estimate, much of the 2012 legal budget excess ($120,000) and much of the 2013 budget increase ($400,000) are for improper contributions to John Close’s personal campaign against his perceived opponents.

 In his press releases and interviews of February 4 and May 24, 2011 John Close alleged that his opponents were “criminals”, and vowed to bring them to justice.  The allegations were unfounded, but the vow remained.

 It has to stop.  It is not fair to the taxpayers.  And it is not right.

 Craig Gammie

TSBP

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7 Responses to Unjust Ban Of Craig Gammie Costing Taxpayers Tens Of Thousands (3-26)

  1. Daisy says:

    I have witnessed your bad behaviour at town and was rather appalled, who exactly is costing the taxpayers money with law suits, could it be you craig?

    • cgammie says:

      Daisy:

      Thank you for raising the issue of costs to taxpayers of all the legal proceedings. You have erred badly in blaming residents for these costs. In fact council and only council is at fault.

      First of all there are five types of proceedings, all with different circumstances.

      The first type is lawsuits where the town filed against residents. Rhonda Cook sued me and several others on January 6, 2012 for defamation. The claim of defamation against me (and the other defendants) was absolutely groundless. The lawsuit was launched for purely political purposes. I believe that the lawsuit was an attempt by John Close to harm and silence his perceived opponents. It was council’s decision to fund Cook’s action, using taxpayers’ money, from January 2011 at least until council resolved to stop the funding in March 2012. It was council’s decision to fund the lawsuit even though it was none of their business. Council had a choice. They still have a choice, as the lawsuit is still open against one of the defendants, (not me), and I believe council is still funding the lawsuit, in spite of their March 2012 resolution not to.

      The second type is where I was charged with a provincial offense. I was charged last year by Professional Engineers Ontario, based on complaints and witness testimony made by John Close, Angie Cathrae, Karen Klages, Rhonda Cook and Christine Beard–Laaber. The allegations these people made were false, and the charges were groundless, and as a result the charges were eventually dropped. The charges were so groundless that I was never even required to enter a plea. The matter never went to trial. The costs to property taxpayers was not very high, but the cost to provincial taxpayers was significant. But even though cost to property taxpayers was not high, the burden on taxpayers was unwarranted, and John Close and Karen Klages must be held accountable. Even the rest of council is accountable, as they knew or should have known yet did nothing to stop it. I had no part in the decision to use taxpayer resources.

      Third is the lawsuits started by me. I made three lawsuits against private citizens for defamation. They were private matters. They were none of council’s business. It was council’s decision to meddle in private matters. It was council’s decision to cover legal fees. Council had a choice. They chose to meddle and bill the taxpayers. That was the wrong choice.

      The fourth type was applications under the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act. The province has many laws, including the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act, for governing councils and for governing councillors. But the province has no enforcement people, and no ability to enforce the law. Instead they rely completely on local citizens to enforce that law. They do this by allowing and encouraging citizens to request that the superior court of justice intervene when a citizen believes that the Act has been breached. So when a resident believes that a councillor has misbehaved to the detriment of all the residents, the resident has two choices. One is to do nothing, which can only embolden the councillor to repeat the offence, at the further harm and cost to all residents. The alternative is for the resident to make a request to the courts to determine whether the councillor misbehaved. Making the request to the courts is the only viable way to stop that councillor from doing more harm to the taxpayers. Waiting four years for an election is not a useful or practical alternative. Many residents asked me, even importuned me, to pursue the court route, rather than do nothing. For the benefit of the residents I took on that legitimate citizen’s role and made several such requests to the court. I personally stood to gain nothing by my actions other than what every other resident of the town would gain. And I risked a lot. But I felt it was important to protect the residents from consequences of the misbehavior of the unscrupulous council members, so I proceeded with requests to the court. My requests were not lawsuits. They were requests to the court to enforce the conflict of interest law. I asked the courts to determine whether certain people were in breach of the conflict of interest laws, and if so to act accordingly. My applications to the courts were private matters. Council had a choice. Council had no business meddling into these private affairs, but decided to meddle anyway. Council had no business paying legal fees, but decided to pay legal fees anyway. Council was wrong to put the costs on the taxpayers, but council decided to put the costs on the taxpayers anyway. Council and council alone is to blame for council’s poor (and illegal) choices.

      Fifth, there were requests to the same court to quash by-laws. Two of these by-laws banned me. Council banned me even though I broke no rule. Council banned me even though they had no authority to ban me. Council banned me even though they would not have had the authority to ban me even if I had done all the things they falsely accused me of. Their allegations against me are based on one lie after another. Council had a choice. Nobody forced council to make the ban resolutions. Nobody forced council to use and abuse their power for purely political ends. Nobody forced certain council members to lie under oath to try to justify the ban. Nobody forced the rest of council to ignore the falsity of the allegations being made against me. It was council that made the bad decisions.

      Having been banned, I was faced with a decision. I could have done nothing. Alternatively, I could request that the courts declare the banning resolutions illegal. I felt that doing nothing would let council members get away with an extreme injustice. I felt that doing nothing would just embolden them to continue to abuse the power of their office in order to ban others who may criticize them. I felt that it was important to stop them from abusing other residents. For my own benefit, but also for the benefit of the good residents of the Town of South Bruce Peninsula, I chose to make a request to the courts to declare the ban illegal.

      It was council’s poor and unethical choices that resulted in the matter going into litigation. If they had not chosen to make the illegal banning resolutions, there would be no requests by me to the court, and there would be no litigation, and there would be no cost to the taxpayers. The burden on the taxpayers is completely on council’s hands.

      One of these ban resolution cases is still open. Right now council has the choice of abandoning their unsupportable ban resolution, and saving the taxpayers lots of money. Because it doesn’t matter who wins in court, it will still cost the taxpayers a lot of money. The choice to make the taxpayers keep on paying is council’s alone.

      Daisy I make this simple plea to you and to all other good residents of the Town of South Bruce Peninsula: please put some honest people (like Janice Jackson) on council in the October 27, 2014 election so that honest people can put an end to this nonsense of council using their office for purely vindictive, malicious, personal and political ends, and put an end to this nonsense of council using taxpayers’ money to stop residents from participating.

      Daisy you must know that there have been many allegations of “bad behavior” or “questionable behavior” made against me. You must also know that the allegations are false. John Close and Jim Turner are the worst for spreading the falsehoods. So when you say “I have witnessed your bad behaviour at town [hall?] and was rather appalled”, I cannot help but wonder if you are just mindlessly parroting Mr. Turner’s or Mr. Close’s lies.

      Sincerely,

      Craig

      • Daisy says:

        No Craig, not mindlessly parroting Mr. Turner’s or Mr. Close’s lies, but witnessed with my own eyes and heard with my own ears your behaviour and was appalled. It had nothing to do with anybody other than yourself. Don’t you ever get tired Craig? Wouldn’t you like a little peace in your life? Find a balance

        • cgammie says:

          Daisy:

          I note that you have agreed with my claim that Mr. Close’s allegations and Mr. Turner’s allegations are lies.

          Most of my January 28 response to you was dedicated to refuting your claim that I was the one responsible for the legal costs. In your February 5 reply you have not even mentioned legal costs. So I assume you have no rebuttal and that you accept my assertion that council and council alone caused all the legal costs.

          As for my behavior, here’s why I said you were just parroting Close and Turner.

          John Close and Jim Turner have been on a four-year crusade to harm those they fear as political opponents, or as adversaries. Their signature style is very consistent. First they fabricate some allegation about their perceived opponent. Then they use the false allegation to harm the perceived opponent.

          In May 2011 John Close called me and other bloggers “criminals”, “plague”, “blight on society”, “likely to physically harm female staff if not checked”, and then called on citizens to act against us. This unjustly harmed our reputations, and may have harmed us in other ways. Turner assisted Close.

          In January 2012, using Rhonda Cook as a front woman, John Close falsely accused us of defamation and had Cook sue us for $700,000. The harm to us and our families was immense. Turner assisted Close and Cook, by lifting email addresses from the blog registry and giving them to Cook’s lawyer.

          In 2011, John Close and others made false allegations claiming I had held myself out as a professional engineer, allegations that got me charged on seven counts. The charges were dropped as groundless, but still I had faced fines of $100,000 and possible jail time, so you can understand that the strain on me and my family was immense.

          In 2013, John Close made false allegations about my behavior, and based on those false allegations most of council, including Turner, unjustly banned me from attending council meetings and prohibited me from corresponding with staff.

          There were many other false allegations aimed at me and lots more aimed at others. All had the same consistent pattern –false accusation, followed by and act meant to cause as much harm as possible to those falsely accused.

          So when you made a false accusation (bad behavior at town hall, appalling behavior), and acted to harm me (posting your false accusations on the internet, trying to get readers to see me as a bad person), I saw this naturally as exactly the same approach used by Close and Turner. Thus my observation of your “parroting”.

          As I indicated in my post and replies, no one with any authority to judge has ever found any of my actions to be improper, or illegal, or untoward, or bad, or “appalling”, or anything like that. You are not a person of authority, and you are in no position to pass judgment.

          Cheers,

          Craig

  2. Daisy says:

    you don’t have to be in a position of authority to judge s fellow citizens behaviour. As a private citizen what I have overheard and witnessed was in my unauthorized opinion appalling. I am not a political person generally but I know what I consider to be rude and classless and that is you
    Cheers to you

    • cgammie says:

      Daisy:

      If it were your opinion I would respect that. But it is not. You have fabricated all of your allegations. You have overheard and witnessed nothing. You should be ashamed of yourself.

      Craig

  3. Daisy says:

    I will no longer be posting a reply to anything as I will not be reading any more of this. No point.

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