Integrity commissioner says there are no grounds to investigate OPP deputy’s firing
Ontario's integrity commissioner says there are no grounds to support an inquiry into the firing of OPP Deputy Commissioner Brad Blair.
J. David Wake says he has no evidence to suggest Blair was fired at the suggestion of Premier Doug Ford, or that Ford was involved in any way.
Following the announcement that longtime Ford family friend and Etobicoke Toronto police superintendent Ron Taverner would be the new head of the OPP in Sept. 2018, Blair took a number of steps to challenge the decision.
Blair, who also sought the job, sought a court order to compel the Ontario Ombudsman to investigate Taverner’s hiring, alleging it was fixed to ensure Taverner’s success.
He also released OPP documents indicating Ford wanted a custom van outfitted for his official travel, at a public cost of $50,000.
In a separate report, Wake said no rules were broken in the hiring of Taverner but that the process was “troubling.”
Blair’s termination was announced on March 4 and Taverner withdrew his name from consideration for the OPP Commissioner position two days later.
Blair filed a defamation suit against Ford on March 27, seeking $5 million in damages for comments Ford made suggesting Blair broke the law by releasing documents on the customized van.
Originally from Essex, Blair is graduate of the University of Windsor where he obtained a sociology degree.
He joined the OPP in 1986 and worked his way up from Constable in rural and northern Ontario, serving in detachments including Sioux Lookout, Red Lake and Chatham.