Were details of Richard Peck's Olympic Village investigation shown to Mayor?
A source has contacted CityCaucus.com to advise us that Richard Peck, the lawyer hired by the City of Vancouver to investigate the leak of confidential Olympic Village documents after a motion by Councillor Peter Ladner, has submitted his interim report to the City Manager. Apparently, the report was finalized and delivered to Penny Ballem about a week ago.
In a bizarre twist, according to our source, the City Manager provided a confidential briefing to Vision Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson regarding the contents of the investigation prior to him departing on his spring break vacation. The leak of the Olympic Village in-camera confidential documents are also being investigated by the Vancouver City Police.
As part of the police investigation into "Olympic-gate", we can confirm that former Mayor Sam Sullivan willingly took a polygraph test a few days ago. Despite an election promise, none of the Mayor's Vision colleagues have agreed to undertake a lie detector test. Here's an excerpt from CTV regarding Robertson's pre-election polygraph commitment:
At the final mayoral debate Wednesday night, both Vision Vancouver candidate Gregor Robertson and NPA hopeful Peter Ladner said they would take a lie detector test about the possible leak of confidential loan documents.
"It sounds bizarre," says Robertson. "But Vision councillors are committed to doing that."
Since the election Mike Howell of the Vancouver Courier reported:
"Re-elected Vision Vancouver councillors Tim Stevenson and Heather Deal and re-elected COPE Coun. David Cadman declined the police offer to take a polygraph."
After a few unreturned phone calls, Howell tracked down Vision Councillor Louie to see if he would live up to Mayor Robertson's pre-election polygraph promise. Here's what Louie told Howell:
"I don't see that it's of any value,"
If you recall, one of the last acts of the previous NPA Council was to hire Mr. Peck to conduct a full review of the circumstances related to the leaked documents. It is universally agreed that the leaking of the Olympic Village in-camera documents had a profound impact on the final outcome of the last civic election.
It has been past practice that staff reports are normally provided to all members of Council at the same time - that includes the Mayor. Therefore, if in fact the City Manager has briefed the Mayor on the contents of this report, it would be a breach of normal practice.
Here was a copy of the motion passed by the Council giving Peck the authority he needed to conduct the extraordinary investigation:
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED
A. THAT Council engage a barrister to investigate the source of the leak of confidential information relating to the Athlete’s Village in Southeast False Creek and report back to Council, without delay, in an open meeting, the results of the investigation;
FURTHER THAT Council give authority to the City Manager, in consultation with the Director of Legal Services, to appoint an appropriate barrister; and
FURTHER THAT the barrister work in collaboration with the Vancouver Police internal theft investigation, if appropriate.
B. THAT the City of Vancouver, pursuant to Section 180 (2) of the Vancouver Charter, pay reasonable legal costs necessarily incurred by current members of Council in connection with the barrister’s investigation, pursuant to Section 176 of the Vancouver Charter, of the source of the leak of the confidential information pertaining to the Athlete’s Village.
From Vancouver Charter, sections 176 and 177:
As the investigator, Peck has the legal weight of the Vancouver Charter behind him. Here is the section of the Vancouver Charter that gives him all that authority:
177. The barrister so engaged shall without delay make the investigation and report thereon to the Council, and for those purposes shall have all the powers of the Commissioner under the Inquiry Act.
If you recall, Mayor Robertson did openly muse a while back as to whether the Peck investigation was even necessary. We at CityCaucus.com would appreciate receiving a few more "brown envelopes" on this file, so feel free to send them along.