Ethics watchdog concludes 'insufficient grounds' to investigate OPP firing

Ontario's Integrity Commissioner says there isn't enough evidence to pursue an investigation into allegations of code-of-conduct violations by the Premier from a New Democrat MPP.

Brampton-area MPP Kevin Yarde wrote to the Commissioner's office in March, claiming that that Doug Ford broke ethics rules through the dismissal of former OPP deputy commissioner Brad Blair.

The allegation is that Ford used his office to influence the decision to fire Blair.

He's the long-time cop who was passed over to lead the OPP in favour of Ron Taverner, a Toronto Police superintendent who is also a friend of the Ford family.

It was about 2 months ago that the Integrity Commissioner decided the Premier did not break any rules when Taverner was chosen.

Now the Commissioner has concluded there is no grounds to launch an inquiry on Yarde's allegations.

J. David Wake notes in his decision that the complainant cannot describe specifically how he believes the Premier pulled the strings of the commission.

"To commence an inquiry in these circumstances would be tantamount to embarking on a fishing expedition," the ruling reads.

Taverner backed out before he took over as OPP Commissioner, and the role is now filled by a senior officer who made the move from the police service in York Region.