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Doug Ford's pal postpones swearing in as Ontario police chief, goes back to old job

Toronto police superintendent Ron Taverner's appointment to head the OPP has been beset by controversy.
December 17, 2018, 4:44pm
Ron Taverner was supposed to be sworn in as the next commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police on Monday

Ron Taverner, who was supposed to be sworn in as the next commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police on Monday, is back on the job as a superintendent with the Toronto police, after he rescinded his resignation over the weekend.

Taverner, a close personal friend of Premier Doug Ford, asked that his appointment, marred by controversy, be delayed, while the process of his hiring is reviewed.

This comes after the Ontario ombudsman shut down a request from OPP Deputy Commissioner Brad Blair, who was also in the running to head the second-largest police force in Canada, to investigate the appointment.

Questions have been swirling around the unexpected hiring of Taverner, who didn’t meet the requirements initially listed in the job posting. The posting was later amended, removing the rank requirements, ensuring that Taverner was eligible to apply.

Taverner, who has spent his entire career in Toronto, was selected over Blair and other career police officers, who had worked all across the province and had experience managing a larger staff.

According to Blair’s lawyer Julian Falconer, ombudsman Paul Dubé refused to investigate the hiring because he believes the matter is out of his jurisdiction, since it was decided in cabinet.

The ombudsman’s office has not commented.

Now, Blair is asking an Ontario court to order the ombudsman to investigate.

Cover image: Toronto Police Superintendent Ron Taverner spoke to the media at 23 Division in Toronto on Nov.6, 2012 to explain the circumstances that lead to a TTC shelter bus being called following a high school football game last week. Photo by Peter Power/The Globe and Mail