(WINDSOR, ON) – Do you remember reading in the local paper, on April 17, of how the Windsor Police investigators were wrapping up the investigation into alleged criminal activity regarding the 2014 Municipal Election? Is the police investigation really over?
In documents acquired by the Windsor Square, there comes to light many issues that remain currently unanswered and, by all appearances, un-investigated by police. The documents were obtained through freedom of information requests submitted by the complainants to various agencies.
In an email dated 12 December 2014 and authored by Chuck Scarpelli, Manager of Records and Elections for the City of Windsor, a list is provided regarding the Preliminary List of Electors (PLE). From the beginning of the complaint process, the PLE has been at the heart of the controversy surrounding the election. The complainants contend that the list unexplainably contained the names of persons who had been dead for years, contained ineligible voters, and was missing the names of residents with the right to vote in the Windsor election.
The only two truthful items in that list are that the City received a password to access a secure website on 31 July 2014. Everything else Scarpelli says is proven to be false by the Municipal Property Assessment Corp (MPAC).
In a 2-page letter to WPS Constable Rob Durling, MPAC’s Manager of Freedom of Information and Records Management, Jack Santos, informed the police that the PLE was, in fact, provided to the City of Windsor in PDF format, not excel as Scarpelli indicated, by way of a secure download. MPAC’s records also show the City of Windsor was notified that the PLE could be accessed on 31 July 2014, and that Scarpelli was notified of the availability of amendments to the PLE on September 5, 2014.
For some reason, Scarpelli indicated that the PLE was downloaded by the City on 1 August 2014 and in an excel spread sheet format, not the pdf format as provided by MPAC. A seemingly minor point, but having great implications.
Scarpelli also said that the non-existent excel spread sheet was imported into an SQL database. This is obviously untrue.
In his letter to Cst Durling, Santos provides, for the record, that the City of Windsor did not access the secured website until 8:32 am on 8 September 2014. Why would Scarpelli lie about when he accessed the PLE? Santos confirmed that the notice was sent to Scarpelli’s email address alone, and that the secure website was accessed only once.
Scarpelli is also the City’s Freedom of Information Coordinator. How can a person holding such a position knowingly provide false information to a member of the public?
While representing to candidates that the City had been provided the PLE on 1 August 2014, it was a further 40 days before he actually took possession of the PLE.
When in receipt of the PLE, municipalities are to make adjustments to the list, including adding and deleting individuals according to information provided by MPAC. They had from 31 July 2014 until 2 September 2014 to receive the PLE, and proceed with a month of amendments.
However, the candidates running for election last October were given a list of electors, certified by City Clerk Valerie Critchley as being the Official Voters List, on 14 August 2014, 25 days before Scarpelli even accessed the MPAC provided PLE.
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As has been shown, the list provided to candidates contained a myriad of errors, numbering in the tens of thousands, and amounting to what the complainants alleged to be voter suppression; the removal of eligible voters to influence the outcome of the election.
Where did Scarpelli get the names he used for his so-called Official Voters List?
In an email dated 14 April of this year, WPS Detective Greg Meloche addressed the complainants’ out-standing issues and then ended his correspondence with words that did not need any interpretation.
“As previously indicated this investigation is completed. There will be no further follow up to any information that is provided unless it is directly related to possible ‘criminality’,” Meloche wrote.
Three days later, a column in the local paper also indicated the intent of the WPS to close the investigation.
Following a two-month investigation, Windsor police say there was nothing wrong with the city’s 2014 municipal election.
The police received a complaint in February about alleged criminal activity in the election, though officers wrapped up their investigation this week and do not plan to lay any charges.
That’s all very clear, isn’t it?
Yet, during a telephone call between MPAC’s Santos and an officer with the WPS, that took place one day after Meloche’s email and two days before the article was written, the investigation was presented as being on-going.
The officer confirmed that the investigation is still ongoing and by no means complete or near complete. He also said that what [name withheld] had said in his email was not entirely what was said and that people are sometimes selective in what they hear.
A little less clear now?
So, was the investigation completed on April 14, back on on the 15th, and then completed again on the 17th.
WPS investigators also didn’t want Santos to discuss the investigation with the complainants.
He suggested that it would be best in our response for MPAC to avoid making any statement that is directly related to or that may be perceived to be in relation to the police investigation.
An attempt was made to ascertain if the police were still investigating the election, but an email on July 10 went unanswered by investigators.
In the next article we will delve into the issues surrounding the PLE and the alleged voter suppression.