Ontario’s integrity commissioner says Premier Doug Ford did not breach conflict of interest rules during the appointment of his friend Ron Taverner as Ontario Provincial Police commissioner.
But J. David Wake did find there were “some troubling aspects of the recruitment process” and that the appointment process itself was flawed.
Wake’s investigation was launched after complaints from opposition politicians over Taverner’s appointment.
Taverner, 72, a Toronto police superintendent, initially did not meet the criteria listed for the position and the government admitted it changed the requirements to attract a wider range of candidates.
Earlier this month, Taverner withdrew his name from consideration for the job because of the controversy around his appointment. He said he needed to protect the integrity of front-line officers.
Ford has maintained throughout that he did nothing wrong and has accused the opposition of politicizing the hiring process.
“I found that the premier stayed at arm’s length from the recruitment process and that he believed it to be independent,” Wake said in the report released on Wednesday.
Wake said the issue raises questions about the power of the premier and cabinet to make appointments. He recommends that there should be an “established appointment process in place which is independent, transparent and readily activated with predetermined criteria” through which the province can appoint its top cop.
This story originally appeared on CBC