Ontario paid $40,000 for search that led to hiring of Premier Ford's friend Taverner - 2019-07-31
The Ontario government paid $40,000 for the search that led to the hiring of Premier Doug Ford's friend, Toronto Police Superintendent Ron Taverner, as the province's top police officer – an appointment that was later aborted amid allegations of cronyism.
Records obtained by The Globe and Mail through the Freedom of Information Act show that a "flat fee rate" of $40,000 was paid to Odgers Berndtson, the recruiting firm contracted to help find a new commissioner of the Ontario Provincial Police in the fall of 2018.
An investigation by Ontario's Integrity Commissioner later found that although the Premier did not improperly intervene in the hiring of Supt. Taverner, the process was "flawed." The probe heard evidence that Supt. Taverner's name was not included on an initial list of 30 candidates and that a key member of the two-person hiring panel, then-secretary of the cabinet Steve Orsini, was supplied with Supt. Taverner's name by Dean French, Mr. Ford's then-chief of staff. The probe also found text messages – which the Integrity Commissioner described as "disconcerting" – that showed Mr. Orsini knew Mr. French was "rooting for Mr. Taverner's success."