OPP reviewing actions of Blackridge Strategy co-owner during municipal election
Ontario Provincial Police are reviewing the actions of trustee Jake Skinner during last year's election according to the Thames Valley District School Board.
After meeting behind closed doors the chair of the Thames Valley District School Board told CTV news that the code of conduct inquiry of trustee Jake Skinner is on hold.
In a statement TVDSB says the Ontario Provincial Police are conducting their own review of possible violations of the Ontario Municipal Act.
Skinner is the co-owner of political consulting firm Blackridge Strategy. During the 2018 municipal election Blackridge created a pair of websites that targeted incumbent candidates Maureen Cassidy and Virginia Ridley.
The website maureencassidy.ca highlighted the ward 5 councillors affair with former mayor Matt Brown. The website virginiaridley.ca implied it was child abuse when Ridley brought her son to a budget meeting at city hall.
In July Councillor Stephen Turner filed complaints against Blackridge, its co-owner Amir Farahi, and client Barry Philips with City Hall's election compliance audit committee arguing they should have registered as third party advertisers.
An apparent loophole in the elections act limits the compliance audit committee to investigating "registered third parties." Neither Blackridge or Farahi registered. At the time the city clerk said complaints about un-registered third parties could investigate by police.
Skinner tells CTV News he is trying to focus on maintaining cohesiveness among school board trustees during potential labour action with CUPE rather than what he calls a "distraction," adding "since I have done no wrong, I have nothing to fear and look forward to a speedy conclusion to this whole ordeal."
Skinner adds he's not been contacted by the OPP about the "review" mentioned by the school board.