Patrick Brown accused of 'dirty and crooked politics' as Ontario MPP calls for investigation

Patrick Brown accused of 'dirty and crooked politics' as Ontario MPP calls for investigation
From CBC - February 20, 2018

Ontario ConservativeMPPRandy Hillier is calling for a "significant" investigation into Patrick Brown's personal finances over allegations the former Tory leader engaged in "dirty and crooked politics" thatbreached the province's ethics rules.

Hillier, who is supporting former MPP Christine Elliottin the PC leadership race, fileda complaint with Ontario's integrity commissioner Tuesday afternoon, citing that he has "reasonable grounds" to believe Brown violated the Members' Integrity Act by not properly declaring his income to pay for his Barrie, Ont., house, reporting gifts and travel, and disclosing income related to nomination votes.

"There are disconcerting patterns related to the Member'spersonal finances, which require explanation," Hillier wrote in the five-page complaint obtained by CBCToronto.

"Recent media reports are now indicating a pattern of behaviour that could only result in an assertion of what appears to be financial impropriety; a legal failure to report gifts and lavish travel from third parties and lobbyists; and, a statutory failure to report other sources of income."

The move comes shortly after Brown announced his candidacy for the party's snap leadership race, which he triggered last month bystepping down amid accusations of sexual misconduct.

Brownalready "vehemently" denied the allegations levied by two women, which dateback to when he was a federal MP, and has repeatedly said he has cleared his name since the allegations were published.

TheSimcoeNorthMPPwas booted from Tory caucus last week, which forced himto sit as an independent in the Legislature when it resumed Tuesday from its winter break.

CBC Toronto asked Brown about Hillier's complaint outside PC Headquarters onTuesday evening. He responded by saying "that's just Randy being Randy.It was all garbage and I will have a response shortly to the integrity comissioner."

Brown remained defiant of the allegations questioning his ethics in a Facebook post issued earlier in the day.

"I want you to know that over the next weeks you may hear or see stories questioning my integrity, character and my leadership of our party," he wrote.

He also vowed to clear his name.

"We have an obligation to the people of Ontario to get our province back on course," he wrote. "I want to finish the job that we started."

Brown did not properly disclose income: Hillier

In the complaint, Hillier, the MPPforLanark-Frontenac-Lennox and Addington,referred to a recent Globe and Mail report detailing allegations that in 2016, Brown tried to sell Aeroplan miles and his partial ownership of a Barrie restaurant for $375,00 while in negotiations with a man who later became a Tory candidate in the riding of Brampton North.

The restaurant involved isHooligans, an eatery and sports bar in downtown Barrie;Brownowned a 9.9 per cent interest. Itis also the former site of The Bank, a nightclubwhere one of Brown's accusers claims she was with himbefore he made unwanted sexual advances toward her in 2013.

CBCNews has not independently confirmed any of the details laid out in the report.

Brown responded on Twitter Monday, calling the story "yet another example of a failed attempt at a political hit job by our opponents." He thenaccuseda former member of his senior staff of giving the newspaper an intentionally misleading version of events.

Hillier said Brown attributed the $375,000 as a gift from his family to assist him inpurchasinghis $2.3 million waterfront house on Lake Simcoe.

"Such assistance does not appear in his public disclosure," Hillier's complaint read. "How is the public to have confidence in the financial affairs of elected officials iftransfers of large sums of money are not accounted for in legally required [public] disclosures."

Brown maintained his version of the eventsin a Facebook post Tuesday.

"The story out there today is intended as an attack on my character and my ability to manage my personal finances," he wrote. "Let me be clear, like many young Canadiansmy family loaned me the money to help with the down payment on my house."

'He purposely and willfully lied to the people of Ontario.' - MPPRandy Hillier

PC committee votes on Brown's candidacy


Continue reading at CBC »