LETTER: Crown counsel makes the call on criminal charges

Re: Why we didn’t run the Atwell police story earlier, Editorial (Jan. 9)

Re: Why we didn’t run the Atwell police story earlier, Editorial (Jan. 9)

Your article regarding Mayor Atwell and the police intervention states that Mr. Atwell “chose not to pursue charges that night”. As the Chair of the Police Board should he not know that whether charges or laid or not is not his choice or anyone else’s choice?

As I understand our system the police do their investigation. If they believe a crime has been committed and the evidence supports that conclusion, they make a recommendation of charges to Crown Council.

Crown then approves or disapproves based on the likelihood of conviction and with what’s in the public’s best interest. All Mr. Atwell or any other private citizen can do is either provide their support to the police in the investigation or withdraw that support, which may affect the evidence collected.

Too early in his term to make comparisons with former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford but Mr. Atwell is sure racking up the negative headlines and column inches in the very early days of his term. It’ll be very tough to lead an “open and transparent” municipal council if you’ve lost the trust of the those at the table with you and of those in the community. While he deserves his privacy, public and private life are not mutually exclusive when you seek out and hold office.

Pete Lewis

Airdrie, Alberta

(Former Saanich resident)

 

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