Can you turn a blind eye forever?
Written by: Dawn Fitzgerald
In light of some of the recent stories across the country, and within our own community, with regards to on the job misconduct, one has to question the accountability and transparency factors.
It would seem that tax funded agencies such as the schools, hospitals, police, and CAS have very little to no transparency or accountability.
It seems astonishing that agents for these particular agencies, which are funded strictly from our tax dollars, and which are set up to protect human life from death and abuse and work to foster the people, often actually work in the opposite effect.
It would seem these particular job positions work to shield and support these sinister and evil wrong doers from punishment in many cases that would surely be administered to any other citizen or profession. Including extreme criminal acts. I would like to say that the point has been made clear to me that ignorance is no excuse in the eyes of the law unless you work in one of these professions. But the fact is that those who are abusing power are not ignorant of the law, they are trained and paid to uphold the laws that they know they violate.
Abuse By A Few Reduces Confidence In Many
I’m not saying that everyone in these professions is a bad person, and many do try to do their jobs to the best of their ability with the real mandate their jobs entail in mind. But why should the taxpayer foot the bill for these people to be on leave from their jobs after committing such horrible acts? It’s insane. People need to start screaming louder for transparency and accountability without having to foot the bill, especially in today’s economy. How could this be justifiable to any tax paying citizen?
In our community alone it would seem just as noticeable as anywhere else. In our particular community, sometimes even more so.
In 1999, George Fred Abdallah, who was a teacher with the Kent County Roman Catholic Separate School Board, was hit with allegations that included: failing to keep the standards of the profession; failing to comply with the Ontario College of Teachers Act and the Education Act or the regulations made under the Acts; contravening a law relevant to a member’s suitability to hold Certificates of Qualification and Registration; engaging in conduct that would reasonably be regarded by members as disgraceful, dishonorable or unprofessional; and engaging in conduct unbecoming a member.
Abdallah pleaded guilty to all the allegations except those charging that he engaged in conduct that would reasonably be regarded by members as disgraceful, dishonorable or unprofessional and that he engaged in conduct unbecoming a member.
The panel found that Abdallah had been convicted of sexual assault and unlawful confinement and that he was to serve a total of two years less a day in prison. The charges involved two adult women who had no connection with the school system.
The panel in its decision noted that the presiding judge in the criminal case: did not accept as true Abdallah’s account that he had done nothing against the complainants; and that the judge found that Abdallah showed no remorse. But Abdallah’s co-workers considered him a good teacher. He was also a volunteer in the community.
It is scary to think this man who is capable of such a crime was in a classroom teaching within our community. And what was his punishment after facing the Ontario College of Teachers on these matters?
Although Abdallah was found guilty of all charges, the only actions taken were to suspend his Certificate of Qualification until August 31, 2000. Reinstatement was contingent on the Registrar of the College receiving a report from a licensed psychiatrist indicating that Abdallah is not likely to re-offend and that he understands the importance of gender issues involved in his case. George Abdallah has fulfilled these conditions and been reinstated as a member in good standing. Again, back in a classroom, full of vulnerable children.
Not A Pretty Sight
Michael Bedard is an even uglier example. He was a Chatham Chiropractor who had complaints rolling in for over a decade before finally facing 37 sexual assault charges stemming from 13 complainants. While out on bail for these charges, this man was granted permission by the courts to take vacations in the Caribbean, where he could have easily disappeared, and was still allowed to practice as long as there was a third party present while seeing female clients.
Even more recently, we have had to pay for Officer Thomas Brown who was allowed to return to work after appealing his case, even though it was already deemed the first time that this guy was out of control. In a similar situation, a 12 year veteran of the police service, whom the police refused to name even in the beginning and who was previously charged with harassing her ex-husband, is now back at it again. Only this time she arrived drunk. Even after being placed into a desk job after committing a domestic assault while handling domestic cases, she was charged with drinking and drving while attending the home of her ex husband that came with an investigation into an unwanted person report at the same address.
We can only hope Const. Cindy Schlarbaum who did not learn her lesson the first time, will be served the same fate as Const. Brown. In 2010, out of 73 investigations of police officers, 28 of them being very serious, there were zero criminal charges laid and only 1 termination at the CKPS. 35 of these investigations were treated informally or resulted in counseling, with nine others had no action taken. Even with four SIU investigations that year alone.
It tends to make you question who the real criminals are and how effective these quiet punishments are. If the average citizen comes up on these same types of charges and situations, I find it hard to believe we would be granted the same kind of understanding that these individuals have obviously been granted. If we are not seen as equals before the law then the law is broken.
Are The CAS The Least Accountable Of Government Agencies?
CAS is an even more unchallenged agency within the community. It has no transparency and even less accountability. When trying to research numbers for this article, it became clear that not even the numbers of complaints are available to the public. This would lead anyone to believe that they have a lot to hide and that the situation is much worse than most people could believe.
If you Google CAS abuse, the accounts are endless. With recent investigations and quiet firings in our own community it does seem that they may be the most sinister and unaccountable of all government agencies. In fact, when searching for numbers any other agency would be more than happy to post or report, it was suggested to me that the only thing that could be done to find these numbers would be to write to the Ombudsman. Even if he had the numbers, it might only be the number of complaints, and be non-specific. Even if these numbers were made public, they could not be confirmed.
As I said, the Ombudsman may not even have real numbers, but all of this is on top of the suffering of countless families who are too scared to complain out of the fear of reprisal from this entity that I could only compare to a large secret society or organized crime family. I’m pretty positive more children die in their care than deaths caused by either of these other two entities. Surely any civil society would spend enormous dollars and man hours to bring these people to justice, where we are literally being told by our government to turn a blind eye.
I am encouraging all comments from both sides of this community and urge all readers to contact their local MP and Ombudsman in favor of an increase of transparency and accountability. This helps us all decide, instead of being shut out of the process.
Demand The Ombudsman Investigate The MUSH Sector!
As per the request of concerned local citizens, humble, I post the following for your review and consideration:
FELLOW ONTARIANS! I can’t express the importance of this! We need Ombudsman oversight here in Ontario (the last and only province that is not presently being overseen) by a responsible government official! If we want change, we have to be part of that change! Please review and consider. There are millions of dollars of Ontarians tax paying dollars being misallocated, not to mention all the wrongful; overlooked deaths of over five hundred children in the past five years under the direct or indirect care of CAS! But this about way more than that! But that alone should be a just enough reason to demand oversight!!! Share and raise awareness of the corruption to your loved ones! THIS IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT to protect our loved ones and future generations!