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

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CITY OF MISSISSAUGA, Ontario, July 06, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Councillor Ron Starr issued the following today:

I am disappointed and distraught by the outcome of today’s council meeting.  I maintain my innocence in this matter and will continue to fight to clear my name.  I did not key Karen Ras’ vehicle or harass her as alleged.  I take these allegations very seriously and I have gone to great lengths to prove my innocence, but the Integrity Commissioner has ignored all the evidence I put before him.

I agree that harassment in any form and in any environment, whether as against women or men, should be sanctioned and condemned.  However, I also believe that procedural fairness, impartiality in decision making and due process are pillars of our administrative and judicial systems that must be respected.

I continue to dispute the Integrity Commissioner’s findings and the investigation that he conducted.  I believe that, given the pressure on him, the Integrity Commissioner’s mind was made up even before I gave him my evidence.  It is simply wrong to say that the video shows me crouching down and standing up with ease.  The video does not show that and does not show me keying Ras’ vehicle.  It is simply wrong to say that I admitted guilt – I have vehemently denied this as has my lawyer, Gary Mooney, through written statements we each provided to the Integrity Commissioner very early on in this process.  The Integrity Commissioner suggests that he has not relied on the police officer text as it is hearsay, but he included it in his report and read it out to council today.  That is simply wrong and unfair.

I maintain that the Integrity Commissioner’s investigation has been unjust, biased and fundamentally flawed.  As I know that I have been wrongfully accused, I also hired highly esteemed Hon. Julian Fantino to conduct a peer review of the quality of the Integrity Commissioner’s investigation, and Mr. Fantino concluded that “no factual/credible evidence whatsoever has surfaced to implicate Councillor Starr”.

Further, Mr. Fantino states that the investigation of Mr. Swayze was “superficial” and “shallow”,  as Mr. Fantino’s report states as follows:

Reading through the IC’s report that sets out his “Review of Evidence and Findings” I find it difficult to understand just how superficial – shallow really – absent investigative rigor needed to carry out such an important investigation could ever occur, especially with the gravity of his findings on the reputation of a long tenured Mississauga Councillor, an esteemed and highly regarded politician and respected member of the community.

It is important to note that my evidence, Mr. Mooney’s evidence and the evidence of each of my 4 experts was unchallenged in this investigation, and Mr. Swayze simply chose to discount all of that evidence, on the basis of a video which does not show me carrying out the damage I am accused of.  I believe that, even on a balance of probabilities standard, there was no compelling evidence to support Mr. Swayze’s findings against me.  I maintain that this investigation was biased and politically motivated from the outset, and as a result, I have been denied a fair and impartial investigation into this matter.

I wish to thank Councillor Carolyn Parrish and George Carlson, and the members of this community, for their ongoing support.  I truly appreciate and will not forget your steadied commitment to fairness and justice, as I continue to fight for the truth to prevail in this case.

Councillor Ron Starr

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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