Court to hear request to speed up hearing on OPP commissioner case

Ron Taverner

An Ontario Provincial Police deputy commissioner is asking a court to urgently consider ordering the provincial ombudsman to investigate the appointment of a friend of the premier's to the job of top cop.

Brad Blair has applied to Ontario's Divisional Court in an attempt to force an investigation into the hiring of Toronto police Supt. Ron Taverner as the new OPP commissioner.

Blair asked the Ontario ombudsman last month to probe the hiring process that saw Taverner get the job, but Paul Dube declined, saying cabinet deliberations are outside the office's jurisdiction.

A few days after Blair asked the courts to consider the case, the Integrity Commissioner launched an investigation and Taverner has delayed his appointment until it is complete.

Blair's lawyer is arguing in documents filed to the court that the integrity probe could be complete in a matter of weeks, leaving a narrow window for the court case and he wants it to therefore be expedited.

The court is set to hear the plea for a sped up hearing on Monday.