By Kevin Werner, News Staff
Hamilton councillor Terry Whitehead may seek assistance from the Hamilton Police Services Board to officially clear his name after a four-month probe into allege violations over his conduct resulted in the veteran politician returning to the board.
Whitehead said while he applauded the results of the Ontario Civilian Police Commission’s recommendation to return him to the board, which was released Oct. 11, he remains disappointed the results of the investigation remain secret, and his creditability may have been damaged by the process.
“I can’t say I have been exonerated,” said Whitehead. “There were mitigating circumstances the investigation found. But (OCPC) doesn’t release the results of its investigations.”
Among the five allege violations OCPC was investigating was Whitehead’s public argument against Police Chief Glenn De Caire where he called him a “liar.”
Whitehead did apologize for his actions, which, he said, the investigation took into account, along with the circumstances, and environment, of the exchange between the chief and the councillor.
Whitehead remained upbeat as the investigation took its time to finish.
“I was confident (of the outcome),” he said.
The board issued a statement Oct. 11 stating the commission had concluded its investigation into allegations of misconduct. Whitehead is allowed to return to the board for its Oct. 15 meeting at the Central Police Station in downtown Hamilton. The investigation was prompted by the police services board that asked for the commission to step in and review Whitehead’s actions.
Other allege incidents involved Whitehead verbally arguing with former board members Jim Kay and Mayor Bob Bratina, and throwing papers on a desk. The board has not identified the incidents that prompted the investigation.
Whitehead said the OCPC investigation results are not being made public. He said the investigation should properly lay out the process and include the reasons why he will not see any penalties.
“My credibility is still in question,” he said. “I would like to see if the board can somehow allow me the opportunity to fix that.”
Since the beginning of this year, the police services board has seen a rash of resignations from Kay and Bratina, to questions about whether Ancaster councillor Lloyd Ferguson’s appointment to the board by council was lawful. Eventually, Ferguson’s selection was identified as proper.Ferguson is now the acting vice chair of the board.