Former Ontario Progressive Conservative Party leader Patrick Brown told top party officials to “get me the result I want” in a Hamilton-area candidate nomination contest that is now the subject of a police investigation, according to a report by the Toronto Star.
The newspaper said Brown emailed top Ontario PC Party officials specific instructions five days before the Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas nomination meeting in Ancaster last May.
“Let them all fight it out. And get me the result I want. But no disqualifications here. Kitchen is too hot,” Brown said in a May 2 email exchange acquired by The Star.
The candidates vying for the riding nomination at the time included Vikram Singh, Jeff Peller, Ben Levitt and Jobson Easow.
Both Peller and Singh alleged the party rigged the nomination process so Levitt would win.
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Hamilton Police launched a probe last June into allegations of fraud and forgery in connection with the nomination process.
“Hamilton Police Service launched an investigation into the allegations of forgery and fraud in relation to the Conservative candidate nomination in Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas in June 2017,” Cst. Lorraine Edwards said in an email to Global News on Monday.
“Hamilton Police continue to investigate and there are no further comments at this time.”
Singh, who was a runner-up in the four-person contest, reportedly filed a complaint with police in the summer.
He has also launched a civil suit against the PC party, alleging “wrongful insertion of false ballots.” The lawsuit was dropped in January.
Following the resignations of PC executive director Bob Stanley and PC president Rick Dykstra, both of whom received Brown’s aforementioned email on the riding nomination, the party announced earlier this month it would hold new nomination meetings in Ottawa West-Nepean and Scarborough Centre, but not Hamilton West-Ancaster-Dundas.
Levitt has since said on record that he would be open to a new nomination vote.
Brown, who resigned as leader of Ontario’s Tories in January just hours after CTV reported allegations of sexual misconduct by two women, is facing a heated battle to reclaim his job.
He recently filed a notice of libel against the broadcaster, claiming it engaged in false and malicious reporting.
Brown also entered the leadership race just weeks after stepping down as leader and continues to face pressure from fellow candidates to step aside from the race.
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—With a file from Rick Zamperin and The Canadian Press