Vancouver Police Board members Gregor Robertson, Vancouver’s mayor, and Terry Laliberte, a criminal lawyer, have been asked to put a stop to the Vancouver Police Department’s in-house fundraising for United Way. Â
Canadians Opposing Political Psychiatry made the request in writing on Sept. 22, based on documented evidence supporting allegations that United Way benefited from police favors including fraud and harassment to prevent an author from disseminating a report critical of practices being funded by United Way. COPP is supporting the author who has been attempting for years to have offences committed in this case properly investigated. Â
Police must maintain an “arms length” relationship with private organizations such as United Way which they could be called upon to investigate, COPP told the Police Board. Now that United Way organizations in both Canada and the U.S. have faced allegations of illegal acts, it is time law enforcement stopped “compromising their neutrality” by collecting funds for them. Â Â
The abuse that the author has allegedly endured in this case has been ongoing since Dec. 2002, with a particularly serious incident occurring in late 2004, leading the author to note, “It’s the gift that keeps on giving.” As recently as 2008, she was the target ofÂ unprofessional conductÂ by the new VPD Chief, Jim Chu, after sending him a polite letter requesting that he ensure that the evidence in this case was finally investigated.Â ”I got a letter backÂ accusing me of beingÂ vindictive.”Â COPP made the Police Board aware of the letter. Â Â Â
COPP’s request that VPD fundraising for United Way cease will be discussed at the next Police Board meeting on October 21st, Rachelle Radiuk, Executive Director of the Police Board, told COPP in writing. But it will be hidden from public view. “The first part of the meeting is always open to the public,” Radiuk wrote, “However, the part of the meeting where this complaint will be discussed is not…it will be held in camera.” Â Â
Robertson and Laliberte — the latter’s name has been in the news in recent years for representing former AIM member, John Graham, as he fought extradition to the U.S. to face a charge of murdering native activist Anna Mae Pictou-Aquash — did not respond to requests for comment. Â Â Â Â Â Â
COPP alleges that tactics perpetrated in Dec. 2002 by the VPD under pressure from then United Way Director Ron Dumouchelle involvedÂ evidence fabricationÂ andÂ “political psychiatry”Â similar to that practiced in China and the former Soviet Union.The tactics included the unlawful access by Constable J.P. St. Amant of the woman’s medical records through an anonymous Vancouver Health Authority source; St. Amant was in search of anything that could be used to make the author appear crazy. The police report reveals that the confidential medical records were dictated over the telephone while St. Amant took notes. The records were accessed immediately following a telephone strategy session Dumouchelle had instigated with St. Amant on Boxing Day 2002, after learning that the author had not only invoked her right not to speak to police but had revealed an intent to seek a public mischief investigation into the tactics instigated by United Way. St. Amant’s notes from this session reveal that Dumouchelle actively contributed to the strategy to position the author as crazy. Â Â
The author’s medical or health-related records were actually unlawfully accessed by police on multiple occasions. The first time was when Dumouchelle, in late 2002, made confidential documents from a United Way member group available to police.Another release occurred in late 2004, when the author faxed Health Authority CEO Ida Goodreau a letter asking that she resign as a United Way Board member until the issue of leaked medical records in a United Way political case was resolved. Within half an hour of faxing the letter, a man identifying himself as VPD Detective Keith Dormond left the first of a series of messages — messages that would eventually become threatening — on the author’s home voice mail. She has kept the voice mail, stashing them in a safe deposit box. In one message, Dormond taunted her by listing copies of confidential documents he had in front of him, obtained from the Health Authority.Dormond warned that he would use these documents against her and that she had better never again contact a Health Authority staff person about this case or he would get her charged with criminal harassment. COPP insists that Dormond had not a shred of evidence of criminal harassment. “He should have been investigated for extortion,” insists the author. Â Â
The fact that this author may have been stepping on some powerful toes was reinforced by the fact that Dormond also ordered the author on her voice mail to never again contact “Karen Wong”. Wong was the Health Authority Freedom of Information clerk who had released the contents of her medical file, including information incriminating to the Health Authority and police. The author has letters from Wong inviting contact so obviously she didn’t feel harassed. Â Â
Dormond also offered, again in a voice mail message, to make an agreement with the author to destroy documents in the case. Yet Dormond had acknowledged on her voice mail that he was aware that she was seeking a criminal investigation into this affair. Hardly the time for a detective to be offering to destroy evidence.
Shortly after the details of this scandal surfaced on BNN in 2008, Goodreau resigned as CEO of Coastal Health Authority. Dumouchelle had earlier resigned as CEO of United Way; he actually resigned in 2003 shortly after the author made a written request that the Board of Directors review his instigation of the police complaint which had resulted in a police report and a political psychiatry scheme, both of which had generated extensive libel.
Dumouchelle’s successor Michael McKnight has, according to COPP, done nothing to resolve the fraud and political psychiatry scandal he inherited when he took the job as President & CEO of United Way. McKnight spoke to the author about the case for the first time on August 24, 2009. From the time their telephone conversation began, she says, he was antagonistic. When she asked that he meet with her to resolve her case, he barked, “Absolutely not!” On the well documented issues of leaked medical records, fraudulently manufactured evidence, and political psychiatry, he snapped, “There’s nothing to resolve!” At one point he angrily suggested she “Take it up with the Chief!” The author doesn’t expect to get anywhere with a Chief who resorted to name-calling last year. Â
The author told McKnight that the evidence of fraud and unlawful access of medical records are are not solely the responsibility of the Chief, that United Way donors and fundraisers have to be held responsible for cleaning up this mess as well. The request that the Police Board separate the VPD from United Way is a place to start.