Musings —08.08.2017 04:02 PM—
From QP Briefing:
Hamilton police have launched a criminal investigation into a Progressive Conservative nomination contest clouded with allegations of fraud and ballot-tampering.
The probe comes in the wake of controversy around previous nomination meetings that caused mass resignations from two PC riding associations and alleged breaches of voting rules. The investigation comes after the PCs’ chorus of criticism around the Liberal gas plant scandal and bribery charges related to the Sudbury byelection, both of which will culminate in trials next month.
“I can confirm that there is an investigation that is still currently ongoing,” said Hamilton Police Service spokesperson Const. Lorraine Edwards.
Launched in mid-May, the case was handled initially by the fraud unit and has been passed on to the criminal investigations unit, Edwards said.
She did not divulge any targets in the probe, but said police were “investigating the whole scenario.”
Last May, two would-be PC candidates for the Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas riding launched internal appeals to the party — and then lawsuits in the courts — following a contested nomination meeting on May 7. Vikram Singh and Jeff Peller alleged that voter fraud and ballot-box stuffing occurred, and called for the results to be overturned.
PC Leader Patrick Brown, who used his veto power to quash the internal appeals and green-light official winner Ben Levitt, declined to comment on the investigation.
Mike Richmond, a lawyer for the party, declined to answer questions, citing attorney-client privilege. Party president Rick Dykstra did not respond to questions from QP Briefing.
None of the allegations has been proved in court.