Public Statement to Be Issued on Behalf of Councillor Ron Starr to the Canadian Press

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CITY OF MISSISSAUGA, Ontario, June 30, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The following are statements from Councillor Ron Starr:

I am aware that the Integrity Commissioner has released a report which makes a finding that I damaged Karen Ras’ vehicle. The Integrity Commissioner’s findings are simply wrong.

I stand by my previous statement that I absolutely deny the allegations made against me. I am very sorry Karen Ras was subjected to harassment, but I am not the person who harassed her, and I will continue to fight to clear my name.

After 5 months of investigation, the Integrity Commissioner’s report contains no evidence whatsoever of any interaction between myself and Karen Ras. The Integrity Commissioner’s conclusion is simply that “it is more likely than not” that I scratched Ras’ vehicle. I maintain that I never scratched Ras’ vehicle. There is no evidence that I harassed her. The standard that the Integrity Commissioner has used to find me guilty of such conduct is simply inappropriate.

I am very disappointed that the Integrity Commissioner would choose to release his report in the face of my objections that this investigation has been unfair, biased and politically motivated.

This report was intentionally released and designed to obtain a strategic advantage, while preventing me to make my case publicly. The Integrity Commissioner has muzzled me by refusing to allow me to put my complete evidence into the public record which discloses how this investigation has been improperly authorized, biased and unfair.

The Integrity Commissioner also refused to allow me to fully disclose publicly the independent expert reports which I obtained which in my view exonerate me of the false allegations made against me.

Specifically, I obtained expert reports from:

  1. an expert who found that I could not have committed the act as alleged;

  2. an accident reconstructionist who confirms that the video does not show me causing the damage and accepts my evidence as credible; and

  3. various medical reports which confirm that I was physically unable to commit the acts alleged due to injuries I sustained when I was hit by a truck while walking on April 13, 2019. 

I am not able to disclose the complete reports of my experts at this time, as the Integrity Commissioner has refused to consent to their full release, without redactions, to the public.

I wish to further make clear that I have respected this process throughout. In particular, I addressed this issue in 2021 when Ras’ allegations were first brought to my attention. Even though I have always denied the allegation, I immediately resolved this matter with Ras privately, as we are encouraged to do by our Code of Conduct. I want to be clear that I paid to repair Ras’ vehicle on the advice of my legal counsel, Gary Mooney and not because I caused the damage alleged. To clear my name, I provided the Integrity Commissioner with a statement from my lawyer, Mr. Mooney who confirmed that I always denied causing the alleged damage and that neither he nor I ever admitted to me being guilty of these allegations. My lawyer further confirmed he gave me the advice to pay for the damage as it was a quick way to resolve the issue, without having to defend the false allegations against me.

In his report, the Integrity Commissioner completely rejects my personal evidence on what I was doing in the parking garage on the day of alleged damage, the evidence of my lawyer, and the opinions of each of my 4 experts who all independently opined that I would not be capable of causing the damage alleged. However, it is compelling that after I released my statement to the Integrity Commissioner explaining my response to the false allegation made against me, at no point did the Integrity Commissioner:

  1. ask me for any clarification of any matters, or ask to interview me or speak with me directly;

  2. ask for any clarification on any matters, or ask to interview or speak with my lawyer, Mr. Mooney directly;

  3. ask for any clarification on any matters, or ask to interview or speak directly with any of my 4 experts;

  4. commission any expert reports of his own on any defences raised by me in this investigation; and

  5. commission any expert reports which contradict the opinions advanced by the expert opinions I presented to the Integrity Commissioner as part of my defence.

I also note that the report of the Integrity Commissioner contains discrepancies and inaccuracies which I will further address in due course, given that the report was just released to me.

I maintain that not only has this investigation proceeded in an unfair and biased manner, the Integrity Commissioner has now released his report while muzzling me from publicly disclosing any of the information he provided to me in this investigation, so I cannot reveal to the public why I believe that this investigation is politically motivated and driven with bias and procedural unfairness.

I wholly dispute the report of the Integrity Commissioner and the investigation as a whole. I believe the investigation has been biased, unfair and a take down against me politically. More specifically, I believe that the investigation is politically motivated and was intentionally launched to stop me from running for re-election.
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For any inquiries with respect to this matter, please contact my lawyers: Emilio Bisceglia (ebisceglia@lawtoronto.com), Adriana Di Biase (adibiase@lawtoronto.com) or Battista Frino (bfrino@lawtoronto.com).


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