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Notice of Public Hearing into a Complaint about the Conduct of His Worship Santino Spadafora, a Justice of the Peace

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The Justices of the Peace Review Council is holding a formal hearing into a complaint about the conduct of Justice of the Peace Santino Spadafora of the Ontario Court of Justice.

Pursuant to section 11.1(1) of the Justices of the Peace Act, the Honourable Chief Justice Annemarie E. Bonkalo, Chair of the Review Council, has established a Hearing Panel of members of the Council consisting of a judge who shall chair the panel, a justice of the peace, and a community member.

On Friday, August 22, 2014, the Hearing Panel heard submissions from counsel on an application for intervenor status by the Association of Justices of the Peace of Ontario (AJPO). The application was denied. The Panel was not convinced that AJPO will provide any useful contribution, distinct or unique perspective or information to assist in the determination of the issues in this matter.

The hearing will then proceed on Monday, November 24, 2014 at 9 a.m. at Neeson & Associates, 141 Adelaide Street West, Suite 1108 – Room 6, Toronto, Ontario. The hearing will continue throughout that week.

The Hearing Panel will consider the allegations summarized below:

Between 2005 and 2011, His Worship submitted expense claims in which he misrepresented information and claimed for overnight stays and driving distances that were incorrect, excessive and/or inappropriate. When made aware of issues, he provided information to the Manager of Regional Judicial Support that misrepresented his travel dates, places of stay and distances of travel.

Pursuant to section 11.1 of the Act, the Hearing Panel may dismiss the complaint, with or without a finding that it is unfounded, or if it upholds the complaint, it may decide upon any of the following sanctions singly or in combination:

  • warn the justice of the peace;
  • reprimand the justice of the peace;
  • order the justice of the peace to apologize to the complainant or to any other person;
  • order the justice of the peace to take specified measures such as receiving education or treatment, as a condition of continuing to sit as a justice of the peace;
  • suspend the justice of the peace with pay, for any period; or,
  • suspend the justice of the peace without pay, but with benefits, for a period up to thirty days.

The Council may also make a recommendation to the Attorney General that the justice of the peace be removed from office. This sanction cannot be combined with any other sanction. Under section 11.2(1) of the Act, a justice of the peace may be removed from office only by order of the Lieutenant Governor in Council.

Presenting Counsel is Mr. Scott Fenton, Fenton Smith Barristers, Telephone:  416-955-4551.

For general information, contact: Marilyn E. King, Registrar, telephone 416-327-5672.

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