Hazel McCallion’s Conflict of Interest hearing, Hazineh v. McCallion. Notes from Brampton Superior Court, April 3, 2013
April 7th, 2013
Peter McCallion LinkedIn “Owner World Class Group Inc. January 2010 – Present (3 years 4 months)”
saved 130403 Brampton courthouse cafeteria
The purpose of today’s blog is to summarize notes taken during Mayor Hazel McCallion’s conflict of interest hearing at Brampton court house.
For the record, it was a long session and by the end of it, the only Traditional Media still there was San Grewal, urban affairs reporter with the Toronto Star.
Grewal generated over 100 tweets from court room 201 yesterday from beginning:
Hazel McCallion’s hearing
#Missypoli about to begin. Will set up the players.
#Missypoli Wrapping up. Back Monday with ruling on evidence and decision about when the mayor will take the stand
You can follow him on Twitter @sangrewal1
NOTES from the Mayor Hazel McCallion Conflict of Interest hearing, Brampton courthouse, April 3, 2013
Freya Kristjanson, Hazel McCallion’s lawyer addressing Justice John Sproat
Kristjanson wanted only “relevant and admissable evidence”.
Kristjanson states court must be confident that documents are authentic.
Kristjanson asking for “evidence to be struck” and that documents be used as “truth of their content”.
Kristjanson states that Mississauga Judicial Inquiry transcripts are “limited as to truth”. [Ed. if you were at the Inquiry to experience some of those witnesses you’d understand why.]
Kristjanson urged that no evidence from the Inquiry shall be used or be receivable. [Ed. Beside this, I’d written the comment, “So nothing McCallion said at the Inquiry can be used now? Fuck me!” and “Fascinating how McCallion and municipal councils warble ‘We are accountable!’ —until it’s tested.”]
Kristjanson did not want the Inquiry report admissible as a public document. [Ed. Beside this, I’d written the comment, “Did I get that right?]
Kristjanson states that Carolyn Parrish relied on testimony of Marilyn Ball (David O’Brien’s wife) and wants that evidence struck too because it was not a civil proceeding and had there been cross-examination things might have gone differently.
Kristjanson asks for ruling as to the knowledge of the elector, Elias Hazineh.
Kristjanson states Marilyn Ball’s evidence should not be regarded as truth.
Issues 3 and 4 dealt together
Issue 3 “unattributed hearsay”
Kristjanson states “contentious matters”, defined as something that is in dispute or where there are differences between the parties, should be struck.
Kristjanson states “improper hearsay” or irrelevant information should be struck.
Kristjanson reference to paragraph 4, maintaining that to leave that evidence in the record can be “embarrassing”.
Issue 3 “no personal knowledge”
Kristjanson objected to the statement, “Many members of the public were calling for a Judicial Inquiry” as improper hearsay.
Kristjanson objected paragraph 52 as a broad, large statement regarding Mayor McCallion’s conduct and activities without attribution. She claimed it was also contentious and should be struck.
Kristjanson objected paragraphs 72 through 75, dealing with a legal conclusion to the Declaration of Trust —the controversial issue of the case.
Kristjanson turns to the Carolyn Parrish affidavit and insists Parrish has no personal knowledge and that Parrish’s statements are made without a source or referencing the Mississauga Judicial Inquiry.
Kristjanson calls statements by the City Solicitor as hearsay and even double hearsay.
Kristjanson states that the ownership of World Class Developments is a “highly contentious issue”.
Issue 4 Hearsay documents of contentious matters
Kristjanson frets about the issue of authenticity of Mississauga Judicial Inquiry exhibits/documents asking them to be struck because they weren’t authenticated.
Kristjanson stated that they conceded authenticity of certain Inquiry documents —but not their admissibility.
Kristjanson conceded authenticity of certain documents (emails, loan agreement, Declaration of Trust). And there was reference to Exhibit 22 and agreement as to authenticity because it was publicly filed and stamped. [Ed. Found it odd that Kristjanson (the same lawyer in the Mississauga Judicial Inquiry) never squawked about the authenticity of a single exhibit between July through December 2010… ]
At 11:25 am Kristjanson is still on the floor seeking for information to be struck…
Kristjanson now fretting about a version of the Application Record that has a Mississauga Judicial Inquiry stamp on it.
Kristjanson now objecting to the Emilio Bisceglia (Counsel to World Class Developments Limited) document from the Mississauga Judicial Inquiry website as “replete with triple hearsay”.
Kristjanson seems to imply that there’s nothing on the Mississauga Judicial Inquiry website that can be trusted as authentic! Kristjanson states that “all fall in the initial hurdle of authenticity”.
And so, Kristjanson also asks that statements made by both Hazineh and Parrish be struck.
NOON BREAK OVER
Fascinating! Kristjanson now dealing with Peter McCallion’s sworn affidavit, saying a recanted affidavit can’t be relied on as truth. [Ed. Wondering how many others in the courtroom are wondering if the original affidavit is the truth and that’s why it was recanted!]
Kristjanson now insisting that it’s insufficient to rely on the Mississauga Judicial Inquiry website for documents. Kristjanson states you can’t say, “I verily believe this to be true because I got it off a website.” [Ed. Yes. Kristjanson really implied that the Mississauga Judicial Inquiry website was just any website and therefore not a reliable source! My notes states, “Looks like Kristjanson believes that for citizens to bring forth Conflict of Interest charges they must have personal knowledge —aka be fortunate enough to be a fly on the wall.”]
Thomas Richardson, lawyer for Elias Hazineh now up.
Richardson responds saying that Mississauga Judicial Inquiry documents were confidential until they were made public by the Judicial Inquiry. That it’s not reasonable for an elector to ignore Mississauga Judicial Inquiry documents/information when it was through revelations in the Inquiry itself that Hazineh expected the conflict of interest took place.
Richardson then states there’s something of a conundrum. That there’s no real difference between reading something in a newspaper or at the Mississauga Judicial Inquiry website except the Inquiry website is more reliable! Richardson points out that both parties at the Mississauga Judicial Inquiry used documents for cross-examination.
Richardson makes the point that the existence of a document or what it says it not contentious, but rather the conclusions that may be drawn. Richardson then asks Justice John Sproat to accept the evidence and weight them accordingly.
Kristjanson counters by reminding the court that there’s a difference between case law on Motion and case law on Application. Kristjanson states that no lawyer would ever concede a newspaper article as having been written as truth of their contents, and that when it comes to the Mayor losing her office, the documents have to be authentic. [Ed. I write in my notes, “Seriously. Is there anyone who thinks Hazel McCallion will lose this case?…”]
Regarding Issue 5, Richardson focuses on “the relevant date”, October 4, 2007, the date of her vote at Peel Regional Council. And what she knew about Peter McCallion’s involvement (“Owner”) with World Class Development at that time.
Richardson asks why the distinction between evidence post October 4, 2007 — [Ed. Then I can’t make sense of the notes.]
Richardson then introduces the concept of “probative value” (defined as: “n. evidence which is sufficiently useful to prove something important in a trial. However, probative value of proposed evidence must be weighed against prejudice in the minds of jurors toward the opposing party or criminal defendant. A typical dispute arises when the prosecutor wishes to introduce the previous conduct of a defendant (particularly a criminal conviction) to show a tendency toward committing the crime charged, against the right of the accused to be tried on the facts in the particular case and not prejudice him/her in the minds of the jury based on prior actions.” Source: http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/probative+value)
Kristjanson now up introducing the concept of “viva voce” (defined as: “Latin, With the living voice; by word of mouth. Verbally; orally. When applied to the examination of witnesses, the term viva voce means oral testimony as opposed to testimony contained in depositions or affidavits.” Source: http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Viva+voce)
Hazel McCallion will rely on two defenses in the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act should she be found in contravention —inadvertence or error in judgement.
POST 4 PM BREAK
Richardson tells Justice Sproat that they’ll be challenging the credibility of the Mayor with respect to reliance their inadvertence or error in judgment defense.
There’s discussion about how long each of the lawyers will take to state their cases and Kristjanson suggests that there are plenty of disputes on material evidence among the 13 witnesses.
Richardson raises an issue about a letter from William McDowell, Mississauga Judicial Inquiry Commission Counsel, and strongly objects to the letter. Richardson states that the letter is attempting to provide legal opinion in the form of an unsworn letter —that McDowell has put himself as an expert as Commission Counsel that he can’t cross-examine!
Kristjanson says that McDowell’s letter is in response to the Hazineh affidavit. There was also reference to an email from Naomi Loewith, also Mississauga Judicial Inquiry Commission Counsel to Clifford Lax, lawyer for the City of Mississauga during the Mississauga Judicial Inquiry. [Ed. Can’t make sense of my notes. It was very late by then…]
Post 4:30 pm both lawyers were pondering amount of time needed to present their cases. Kristjanson estimated four days.
There was reference to a “bottomline decision” relating to whether Sproat would entertain evidence after Mayor Hazel McCallion’s votes on October 4, 2007.
COURT NOTES END
Update Sunday, April 7, 2013
I tried to take as accurate notes as possible during the April 3rd court hearing and then transcribe them here. If you notice any errors I’d appreciate correction.
On April 5, 2013 Toronto Star urban reporter San Grewal tweeted:
#Missypoli A victory for HM. Judge in her conflict case has struck the sworn affidavit by her son. It would have hurt her defence.
#Missypoli Looks like Mayor McCallion will be on the stand Thursday and Friday.
There’s no decision yet on whether post October 4, 2007 evidence can be used.
If you’re interested in accurate from-the-courtroom tweets, you can do no better than follow Toronto Star’s San Grewal at: https://twitter.com/sangrewal1
Evidence (Peter McCallion’s sworn affidavit) struck from Hazel McCallion’s conflict of interest case –YOU decide….