Friday, November 14, 2008

Mayor Sullivan Asked for Criminal Investigation into Ethel Whitty

Vancouver’s Mayor Sam Sullivan announced that he had picked up the phone this pre-election week to ask police to investigate the leak of a document from a secret meeting about a planned City bailout of the Olympic Village developer. So a Vancouver woman figures Sullivan can pick up the phone a second time before his term ends, and call police to request an investigation into allegations of fraud against the Director of the City-run Carnegie Center, Ethel Whitty, and Carnegie Security boss, Skip Everall.

Mayor Sullivan has been asked in writing to ensure that police investigate the alleged fabrication of 15 witnesses to justify banning a woman from the Carnegie Seniors Center where she regularly uses the VPL computers. Neither Whitty or Everall have been able to name these witnesses. “They don’t exist”, says the woman, who was barred because she raised her voice to tell a coffee seller who was yelling and flailing his arms at her, that she had taken his abuse for ten years and wasn’t taking it anymore. Literally hundreds of people have complained over the past decade about this coffee seller; one man even punched him in the nose.

Whitty and Everall both promised the woman, in separate taped meetings, that they would talk to a witness – the only one who has a name and a face in this case – who could corroborate the woman's claim that there were not 15 “witnesses” at the Seniors Center that day. The witess recalls there being “three or four people in there” that day and he did not see Everall talk to any of them. But neither Whitty or Everall have spoken to this witness as promised, even though he is at Carnegie every day. Roughly five months have gone by.

Rather than speaking to this witness about what he saw that day, Everall is alleged to have attempted to influence this witness, with behaviour such as approaching him in the Carnegie Centre, putting his arm around his shoulder and saying, "OOhhhhh, [name deleted], my friend!"

This woman is one of countless non-violent people who have claimed over the years that evidence and unnamed witnesses have been concocted at Carnegie to justify banning them after a display of assertiveness or confidence. One of the most high profile cases is that of William Simpson who was delivered a letter by Whitty banning him from Carnegie Center two weeks after he was elected to the Board. The letter claimed he was being banned for having a website which "features links" to the Downtown Eastside Enquirer. But when asked about the banning by CBC Radio, Whitty concocted a claim that Simpson posed a WorkSafe" risk. To this day, she has never informed Simpson of any WorkSafe risk, and has produced no evidence to support it. "They've been getting away with fraud for too long over there," said Simpson, when asked this morning about the request that Mayor Sullivan ensure a criminal investigation.

Taped evidence has surfaced as well that Everall is using his powers as Carnegie Security boss for personal retaliation.

The woman claims she exhausted every channel available to her at Carnegie to have the fraudulent material expunged from City paper and computer records before seeking a criminal investigation. There will be people in the neighborhood, she says, who will be angry with her for requesting a criminal investigation into Whitty's activities, "because it makes Carnegie look bad". She adds, "It wouldn't be the first time Whitty has wreaked havoc on friendships in the community."

Mayor Sullivan has also been asked to ensure that Whitty ceases to act as a fundraiser until a fraud investigation is completed.