Monday, October 29, 2007

Fraudulent Evidence Found In United Way Police Complaint

A Vancouver woman feels upset every time she sees United Way Campaign commercials claiming that donations will be used to promote “respect” in the community. If United Way values respect, she says, why haven’t they helped get fake evidence attached to her name in police files expunged. The fake evidence, she says, appears in a Vancouver Police report dated Dec. 18, 2002, written after Ron Dumouchelle, then Executive Director of United Way of Vancouver and the Lower Mainland lodged a police complaint against her.

Dumouchelle wanted police to pressure the Vancouver woman -- we'll call her “the whistleblower” -- to suppress a Report on United Way to which she and others had contributed and were making available to major donors. Dumouchelle stated in an internal document dated the week police were called that if donors got even a “whiff” of this report, donations to United Way could be affected.

Even after Constable J.P. St. Amant admitted in his police report that he and Dumouchelle were aware that this case was “not a criminal matter” but a civil matter, the police report reveals that Dumouchelle continued to pressure police to make contact with the whistleblower.

The whistleblower believes that the VPD, who fundraise for United Way and appear in their newspaper advertisements, were performing a favor for United Way. Certainly it was acknowledged in the police report that Dumouchelle had recruited police to visit the whistleblower because civil court wouldn’t be quick enough for him. And police did not follow the usual procedure of entering, at the top of the police report, the alleged “OFFENCE” being investigated; that section was left blank.

The first visit by police to the whistleblower's home occurred on Dec. 18, 2002, the day police reported taking "oral statements" from Dumouchelle and "witnesses" guaranteed anonymity at United Way Campaign headquarters on Dunsmuir St. in Vancouver. When Constables Lee Patterson [PC 2125] and J.P. St. Amant [PC 2010] arrived at the apartment of the whistleblower, she says, they pounded on her apartment door until the entire wood-framed building shook. "They scared my neighbors and damaged my reputation," she says. Const. St. Amant later left the woman a voice mail, which she has preserved, denying that he and Patterson had acted aggressively at her home.

After this visit, Dumouchelle told Const. St. Amant, according to the Dec. 19 police report, that he was “satisfied with police attention to date” – yet the police report shows that he continued to lean on police for over a week to have further contact with the whistleblower.

The report that United Way wanted suppressed contained information about alleged practices in United Way member groups that several women and men wanted funders to put a stop to. The report focused primarily on allegations against a battered women’s organization, allegations such as unfair labour practices and course entry requirements that differed for different applicants.

Dumouchelle was feeling the heat. He revealed in an internal document dated Dec. 2002 that he had been contacted by the Canadian Labour Congress and a few corporate donors about the Report on UW. It was then that he asked police to press the whistleblower to take out of circulation a form letter which offered the Report on UW to major donors. Dumouchelle noted in an internal document that he wanted this material out of circulation as United Way was facing a Campaign shortfall of $600,000 and was asking corporate donors for a top up.

Evidence Fabrication and Misrepresentation
After reviewing the police report, the whistleblower lodged a written complaint in 2003 to the Board of Directors of United Way in which she outlined evidence that had been fabricated. Shortly afterwards, Dumouchelle resigned as Executive Director – no reason given publicly. But United Way “has done nothing in five years”, says the whistleblower, to have the libelous material attached to her name expunged from police files.

Following is a sampling of falsified or misrepresented evidence:

paranoid in nature
In his Dec. 18th report written after his briefing by Dumouchelle and anonymous witnesses, Const. Patterson claimed that the Report on UW was "paranoid in nature". The DTES Enquirer reviewed the report and found nothing that could be considered paranoid. As evidence of paranoid content, Patterson claimed that the whistleblower had discussed lesbian "couch-trip" practices, "cult-like practices", and "comparisons" with the case of serial killing accomplice Karla Homolka. These claims are examined below as part of a sampling of evidence in the police report that the whistleblower alleges is "clearly fabricated or misleading".

lesbian “couch-trip” practices
Const. Patterson wrote that the whistleblower had written about lesbian “couch-trip” practices in the UW Report. "Outright fraud", says the whistleblower. The term “couch trip” had appeared nowhere in the Report on UW. Yet the term “couch trip” was presented in quotation marks in the police report and identified as a direct quote from the UW Report. The whistleblower has no idea what a “couch trip” is.

“cult-like practices”
The whistleblower was presented in the police report as having gone on in the Report on UW about “cult-like practices” at the battered women’s organization. Perfect for portraying her as a nut. What was conveniently concealed in the police report, though, was the fact that it was clearly stated in the Report on UW that it was an anthropologist from Simon Fraser University who had identified a few practices at the battered women’s organization as being typical of cults – not the whistleblower.

The anthropologist had been particularly concerned about rules in support groups which restricted the flow of information, rules enforced through an explicit threat of being ostracized from the group – literally being asked to leave – for non-compliance. The rules tended to maximize the number of women and non-violent men labeled “battered women” and “batterer”.
The issue of “cult-like practices” actually occupied a small sector of the 16-page report. The fact that this quote was excerpted and magnified in importance was typical, says the whistleblower, of the “tabloid" nature of the police report.

“mentions Homolka case and comparisons”
Another deceptive claim inserted in Patterson's police report on the day he met with Dumouchelle was the following: "mentions Homolka case and comparisons." A review of the Report on UW reveals no "comparisons" whatsoever with the case of Homolka, who was convicted of being an accomplice to her husband in serial killings.

Although the claim of “comparisons” was a complete fabrication, the whistleblower points out that the Homolka case was actually mentioned in the Report on UW. But in the police report, it was stripped of it’s original context, she says, “conveniently making me look like some kind of nut fixated on the Homolka case.” The context was this: An administrator at a battered women’s organization funded by United Way had appeared on BCTV prime time News Hour and performed an assessment of Karla Homolka, clearing her of all wrongdoing. The conduct of this administrator so outraged British Columbians that BCTV announced that their switchboard had been jammed with complaints, prompting them to re-play a segment of the interview on the next evening’s News Hour. The taped BCTV appearance was mentioned in the Report on UW as a tangible illustration of an issue raised in the report – the issue of this administrator consistently presenting herself “in the guise of a psychological professional” when in fact she had no such credentialing.

Neither this administrator or her United Way funders would answer questions about what this administrator’s credentials actually were. In an internal United Way document dated Dec. 2002, though, this administrator was referred to as a “library technician”.

“sexual under tones of lesbian controlled supervisors"
Despite the fact that the bulk of the Report on UW focused on unfair labor practices and fluctuating course entry requirements, it was summarized by Const. Patterson in the police report as having "sexual under tones."

At another point, the report was identified as containing "sexual under tones of lesbian controlled supervisors". The whistleblower insists there was no claim made in the Report on UW that supervisors at the battered women's organization were "controlled" by lesbians. She says there was a segment of the Report on UW which outlined allegations of discrimination against heterosexual women, primarily in hiring, by the lesbian administration of the battered women's organization. United Way never discussed accounts of discrimination with witnesses who were in a position to corroborate them.

The whistleblower says that the salacious entry about "sexual under tones of lesbian controlled supervisors" was typical of the "tabloid journalism" that passed for evidence-documenting in this case.

“requesting $525 compensation for her 16 page report.”
Even the content of a form letter announcing that the Report on UW was available to major donors was blatantly falsified in the police report. An announcement in the form letter that the report was available for a fee of “$25 to cover labour costs” was misrepresented in the police report as “requesting $525 compensation for her 16 page report.” (The date on the form letter was correctly identified in the police report.) The inflation by $500 of this fee on a page of the police report in which the Report on UW was being portrayed as “paranoid in nature” served to enhance the portrayal of the whistleblower as a crackpot.

“paranoid letters” to “undisclosed workers”
Patterson also wrote in his report that the whistleblower had been writing “paranoid letters” to “undisclosed workers”. The whistleblower alleges that this claim is fraudulent. Certainly no such letters were filed in the VPD Property Office. "That’s because they don’t exist", says the whistleblower. No "undisclosed workers" were ever identified either. The whistleblower had one contact person at United Way, Zena Simces, who answered to Dumouchelle. Simces had assured the whistleblower via voice mail that she did not view her communication as harassing and that United Way welcomed her feedback. Simces was conspicuously absent from the police report.

“concerned for the safety of employees” (a claim which was retracted the same day)
On Dec. 18th, Cst. Patterson claimed in his report the reason for the police visit to United Way was, “DUMOUCHELLE…is concerned for safety of Employees.” Yet this claim was retracted just hours later. During follow-up questioning the same day, Const. Patterson got Dumouchelle to acknowledge that safety “is not perceived as an issue.” Dumouchelle further admitted, according to Patterson’s report, that there had been “no threat (direct or indirect) involving physical harm or property damage.” In fact, in the police report which was absurdly redundant, Dumouchelle admitted on 15 separate occasions during questioning either in person or over the telephone that the whistleblower posed “no physical risk”.

Not only is it clear from Const. Patterson’s report that Dumouchelle had not been “concerned for safety of Employees”, it is evident as well from the report of Const. St. Amant. Just as he had admitted to Patterson, Dumouchelle admitted to St. Amant, who often spoke to him separately on the telephone, that he had no safety concerns. On the day after police met with Dumouchelle and showed up on the whistleblower’s doorstep, Const. St. Amant wrote:
“PC 2010 contacted DUMOUCHELLE via telephone and informed of contacting [whistleblower] ….Dumouchelle satisfied with police attention to date… PC 2010 was informed that no employee has been threatened, observed or met [whistleblower] ….”

The fact that the story about being “concerned for the safety of employees” was bogus is supported by a voice mail message that the whistleblower preserved from Dumouchelle’s assistant Zena Simces. Simces, whom Dumouchelle had assigned to be the contact person on issues of concern regarding the battered women’s organization, encouraged the whistleblower to continue to have contact with United Way.

“no improprieties found”
United Way had, at one point, invited a mediator to resolve complaints against the battered women’s organization. Following a conversation with Dumouchelle on Dec. 21, 2002, Const. St. Amant claimed in the police report that mediation had resulted in “no improprieties found.”

The whistleblower says that's not the story she got from the mediator. The mediator had telephoned the whistleblower and said that the battered women’s organization was not co-operating with mediation. The mediator reported that the battered women’s organization had been making excuses, over a period of months, not to meet with her and would not comply with the terms of mediation. One of the terms was that each side would send just one representative to mediation; the battered women’s organization insisted on having up to 7 people in the room, including a lawyer.

The whistleblower found United Way cagey after the mediator dropped the case. The whistleblower asked Zena Simces for a copy of anything written by the mediator. Despite two promises, Simces was not forthcoming with the material.

"acknowledges being in an abusive relationship"
The entry "acknowledges being in an abusive relationship", unlike the others listed above, was not false, but United Way had breached confidentiality by linking the whistleblower's name to this information. "I was shocked to see this being used against me in a police report," says the whistleblower.

The whistleblower had attended confidential support groups at the battered women's organization years earlier when she was leaving an abusive relationship. But her name, like the names of other women who had attended support groups and were witnesses to activities at the battered women's organization were withheld in the Report on UW, other than "Cindi" who did not have a problem with her given name being used. A Collective, not an individual, was identified on the cover of the Report on UW as having authored it.

Request for Criminal Investigation into United Way and Several Major Donors
The whistleblower has never been told the names of anonymous witnesses who, according to Constable Patterson's Dec. 18 report, met with police at United Way Campaign headquarters: "PC's 2010/2125 met with witnesses and complainant at 777 Dunsmuir..." Later on the same page of the police report, though, Patterson entered the names of several major United Way donors as witnesses in the case:

· Canadian Red Cross
· Revenue Canada
· Canada Post
· Toronto Dominion Bank
· Westminster Savings
· Canada Safeway

In requesting a public mischief investigation into this case, the whistleblower named the above-listed donors along with United Way and Dumouchelle. These donors were presented in the police report as witnesses based on the fact that they had obtained copies of circulating documents — a Report on UW or a form letter making the report available. Documents collected from them were later turned over to the VPD “harassment unit”, as indicated by the Dec. 29 police report. [This process may have been interrupted by a ‘Cease & Desist” letter sent to St. Amant’s supervisor, Sgt. Hatchman, as the Dec. 29th page would be the final one in the police report.]

In addition to an investigation into donors, the whistleblower had wanted an investigation into the role, if any, of the national United Way of Canada in the lodging of the “mischievous” police complaint . A letter exists to support the whistleblower’s claim that Executive Director, David Armour, became aware of this case shortly before the police complaint was lodged.

Despite Inspector John De Haas of the VPD having telling the whistleblower that she was entitled to request a public mischief investigation if a police complaint lodged against her had been unfounded and involved fabricated evidence, no investigation took place. When she requested the investigation, she got a call from Sergeant Warren Lemecke making excuses to stall it (an issue to be covered in a separate article).

PART II: United Way and VPD face allegations of further retaliation against the whistleblower based on the ordering of a VPD "Car 87" visit to her home after she put on record her intent to seek a criminal “Public Mischief” investigation.
Canadians Opposing Political Psychiatry have labelled this alleged retaliation, “political psychiatry”. The whistleblower has documented evidence to support her claim that the Car 87 visit was ordered under “fraudulent pretenses”. For Part II, see United Way Implicated in Political Psychiatry