Aug 31 2012 Ontario's highest court has ruled that the founding chief of the Anishinabek Police Service must go to jail for breach of trust and taking secret commissions.
Glen Bannon's appeal of the 12-month sentence he received on June 9, 2011 was dismissed this week by the Ontario Court of Appeal.
The court endorsed the jail term imposed by Superior Court Justice Edward Gareau, saying that a conditional sentence, which would be served in the community, was not appropriate.
“We agree with the trial judge that a conditional sentence could not satisfy the principles of sentencing in a case where the appellant, a chief of police, committed fraudulent actions in his office from which he benefited financially over a number of years.”
Bannon, who has been out of custody pending appeal, pleaded guilty in August 2010.
The offences occurred between 1999 and 2004.
During that time, he derived benefits of $142,437 from Highland Ford Sales.
The court heard he sought and received benefits from the Sault Ste. Marie car dealership for showing favouritism to Highland in purchasing and leasing vehicles for APS and Ontario Provincial Police aboriginal policing.
In its decision, the appeal court said Gareau had taken into account the Gladue factors in Bannon's background when imposing sentence.
Gladue, a Supreme Court of Canada ruling, requires sentencing judges to consider the systemic and background factors of aboriginal offenders.
The appeal court noted Gareau had reduced the length of the sentence because of the Gladue factors and Bannon's history growing up.
Bannon grew up “dirt poor” on Fort William First Nation, often witnessed his alcoholic father abusing his mother and was subject to racial prejudice.
In its brief decision released Monday, the appeal court indicated it was concerned about Bannon's medical problems - he suffers from diabetes and kidney ailments — but said it had been told there are two provincial institutions that can accommodate his need for dialysis in a sterile environment.
The three-member panel also said the parity principle of sentencing wasn't applicable in these circumstances because Bannon was a public official and the car dealer wasn't.
“Consequently, the appellant's misconduct was more serious.”
Charges against a co-accused, former Highland president David Worth, were withdrawn in August 2010 as part of a plea bargain.
A numbered company was fined $100,000 after it pleaded guilty to giving a secret commission.
Bannon was the police service's first chief, a position he held from 1994 until he was dismissed in 2004.