Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Goudge Inquiry: OPP (Ontario Provincial Police Letter); Part Three: Dr. Young's Testimony: A "Nice Letter" On Charles Smith's Behalf?

Previous postings set out correspondence between then Chief Coroner Dr. James Young and an OPP police inspector over a Constable's allegations that Dr. Smith was so upset with a speeding ticket that he threatened to cut off the delivery of his office's forensic pediatric pathology services to the City of Cobourg.

One of the most troubling aspects of the Inspector's letter is the allegation that Dr. Smith misused his position as Head of the Pediatric Forensic Pathology Unit identified himself as head of Ontario's Pediatric Forensic Pathology Unit."

Let's pause here.

Dr. Smith had been suspended from from performing medico-legal autopsies in 2001 - because of the growing growing controversy surrounding his work.

However, Dr. Young permitted him to keep his title and remain on two prestigious death review committees which would all remain on his Curriculum Vitae - and which also suggested to the outside world that the Chief Coroner's Office still had confidence in his work.

But in his testimony yesterday, in response to questioning by lawyer Peter Wardle, Dr. Young made it seem that Dr. Smith's title was little more than a blip on an Smith's title as well, Dr. Young replied:

"I didn't because I didn't see the title -- I didn't see the title as meaning anything," Young told Commissioner Goudge.

"I didn't see the title as being anything but an administrative job. No one else wanted to do it.

And frankly, if he went to court, the title would be valueless, because he -- there was so much else swirling around Dr. Smith at this point in time,
that a defence attorney, the least of his problems would be the title.

He's got enormous other problems.

So I just -- I didn't view the title or the -- you know, I had him doing a job that no one else wanted to do and I didn't spend the time or think about the title in these terms."

Wardle also confronted Young with the suggestion that that, "In fact, what you did, sir, was you wrote a nice letter back to the officer on Dr. Smith's behalf saying that he regretted what had taken place, isn't that right?"

Here's Dr. Young's reply: " Well, I -- I had a discussion with him, and he told me his side of it and I -- I told Dr. Smith he was wrong and that -- that his side was not believable, and -- and he owed the police an apology."

An upcoming (The OPP (Ontario Provincial Police) Letter; Part Four;) will set out this Blogster's views on what the incident resulting in the OPP Inspector's letter says about Dr. Charles Smith;

Harold Levy;;