The other of the three leading candidates, Mark Sutcliffe, meanwhile, saw nothing wrong with the announcement. “I’ve always maintained that the selection of a new police chief is an independent process,” he said in a statement Friday…
He’s absolutely right, except for the fact that police board chair El-Chantiry is also an honourary co-chair of Sutcliffe’s campaign. To suggest that there doesn’t at least appear to be a conflict of interest is ludicrous.
El-Chantiry’s decision to simultaneously hold both positions was a poor one, but it’s not the first time he’s failed to recognize a possible conflict. Recall that he was chair of the Ottawa Police Services Board when, in 2010, he flew to Finland to attend the wedding of then-police chief Vern White.
If El-Chantiry can’t recognize what is at least the perception of a conflict, Sutcliffe should have, but here he showed the same tone-deafness he displayed last month when he was criticized for holding $1,200 fundraisers after, in 2016, taking then-Premier Kathleen Wynne to task for similar, if costlier, functions.
— Bruce Deachman, “Police politicization detrimental to democracy,” Ottawa Citizen, Oct. 21.
Editorial: Why Mark Sutcliffe should be Ottawa’s next mayor
— Ottawa Citizen, Oct. 21.