Tuesday, September 30, 2008


In retrospect, the Goudge Inquiry turned out to be a field day for reporters because of the many startling revelations which I have been reviewing over the past several weeks.

(Please let me know if, in your view, I have left any out!)

In today's posting, I am listing all of these "startling revelations" in one place for the benefit of our readers, as follows:

0: The introduction of an affidavit from Provincial Court Judge Patrick Dunn which contradicts evidence given by Dr. Smith to the Commission; The intervention of a judge into a public inquiry is an extremely rare event;

0: Introduction from a letter from the Ontario Provincial Police to the Chief Coroner Dr. James Young alleging that Dr. Smith had attempted to intimidate an officer into not giving him a speeding ticket.

0: Dr. Smith's admission of bias; I always viewed Dr. Smith as a cheerleader for the prosecution - but I never dreamed that he would actually admit that he believed his job was to help the prosecution win the case. My only question was how far he would go to make this happen.

0: Maxine Johnson's potentially devastating testimony that she discovered the missing Mullins-Johnson's slides on a shelf in a location in Dr. Smith's office at the Hospital for Sick Children that had already been searched to no avail.

0: Unexpected introduction by a letter from the Barrie, Ontario Police Service, which indicated that Smith, with the support of the Chief Coroner's Office, had agreed to participate in an electronic surveillance operation involving the mother of a deceased child.

0: Evidence of a damage control meeting conducted by the Hospital for Sick Children SCAN team (and several prosecutors) following the rejection of its evidence - together with the evidence given by Dr. Charles Smith - by Judge Patrick Dunn in the Amber case.

0: Evidence that prosecutors did not inform Dinesh Kumar's lawyer about Judge Patrick Dunn's searing critique of the evidence given by Dr. Smith and the Hospital for Sick Children SCAN-Team before insisting on a guilty plea to criminal negligence causing his son's death.

0: Evidence that the prosecutors insisted on this plea - as an alternative to the Crown proceeding on the second-degree murder charge - even though Dr. Smith had informed the police that he and Dr. Dirk Huyer of the SCAN-Team were not sure that there was any criminality in the case;

0: Former Chief Coroner Dr. James Young's testimony that he sent under his own signature a letter drafted by Dr. Smith's lawyers (McCarthy Tetrault) to an investigator for the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario which was probing three complaints against Smith. The letter was fully supportive of Dr. Smith.

0: Evidence given to the Goudge Inquiry by College of Physicians and Surgeons investigator Michele Mann which directly and unequivocally contradicted Dr. Young's sworn testimony that he was not aware that Judge Dunn's decision was highly critical of the evidence given by Dr. Smith and the Hospital for Sick Children SCAN team in the Amber case;

0: Dr. Young's testimony that he arranged for public funds to be provided to Dr. Smith to help fund a libel suit against the CBC in connection with a groundbreaking Fifth Estate documentary which showed both Smith and the Chief Coroner's office in a very poor light;

0: Maxine Johnson's evidence on Dr. Smith's dangerously flawed work and erratic work habits at the Hospital for Sick Children - and his tendency to unfairly cast blame on hospital staff who were trying to help him out.

0: A letter to the head of the pathology department at Sick Kids from several of Dr. Smith's colleagues who complain that Dr. Smith has misinterpreted the tissue samples taken from young patients in several cases;

0: A letter addressed to Dr. Smith from the head of pathology department which curtails the nature of the work he is permitted to do, lowers his salary accordingly and also requires him to take some courses. (It does not appear from the evidence that this letter was ever sent by the Hospital to Dr. Smith):

0: Evidence that Dr. Smith backdated reports to make it appear that his work relating to the hospital's patients had been done in a more punctual manner. (It suggests that Dr. Smith was dishonest in both his work for the Coroner's office and his work relating to living patients as a staff member of the hospital;)

0: Evidence that the deficiencies in Dr. Smith's work for the hospital - and his work habits - were never brought to the attention of the Chief Coroner's Office - or to the College of Physicians and Surgeons, the regulatory body of the self-governing medical profession in Ontario;

0: Dr. Michael Pollanen's evidence that Dr. Charles Smith's erroneous views on so-called baby-shaking deaths and head-injury cases were widely shared by other pathologists. (It raised the disturbing possibility that dozens that numerous other individuals may have been wrongfully charged and convicted of killing children due to the imperfect, but convincing, pathology of the day.)

0; Evidence that at least 17 children were removed from their homes by Children's Aid Societies as a result of Dr. Smith's faulty work on cases where a sibling had died. There was also startling evidence that at least three children were adopted out to other families. (There is no legal recourse to undo adoptions as the Child and Family Service Act stipulates that once an adoption order is finalized, it cannot be reviewed.)

Harold Levy...hlevy15@gmail.com;