Dear Mr. Smith:
Re: Defamation of the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority
Please be advised that we have been retained by the Niagara Peninsula Conservation
Authority ("the NPCA") with respect to false and defamatory statements contained in
a document entitled, "A Call for Accountability at the Niagara Peninsula Conservation
Authority".
The author of the document is not identified. However, we understand that you have
distributed it to third parties, including various local politicians and media outlets. As
a distributor of the document, you are legally responsible for any defamatory
statements contained therein.
Though the document is full of misinformation, exaggerations and half-truths, the
NPCA is particularly concemed with false statements and inferences made on three
specific topics.
Topic #1":
The document falsely accuses the NPCA of entering into a contract with a
questionable off-shore business owned by Carmen D'Angelo.
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The document accurately reports that the NPCA awarded a contract for services to Mr. D'Angelo
through his consulting business.
However, the document falsely claims that his business is not registered in ontario and that he
operates his business through an off-shore Australian corporation, with more than 50 employees and
annual revenues exceeding $17.5 million.
In support of this allegation, the document includes a Profile Report of Mr. D'Angelo purportedly
taken from the Zoomlnfo rvebsite. This Profile Report depicts his photograph and describes him
as the,,head" of this Australian company. The Profile Report also includes a company email address
where Mr. D',Angelo can be contacted (carmen@dpmconsulting.com.au).
The document questions the legality of Mr. D'Angelo operating his off-shore company in Ontario
and entering into contracts with the NPCA.
These serious accusations are false.
Mr. D'Angelo's consulting business (D'Angelo Performance Management, sometimes referred to
as DpM Consulting) is registered in Ontario. Had you searched the government records for
D,Angelo performance Management you would have discovered that the business operates with a
Master Business License issued by the Ontario government'
Of even greater concern, the Profile Report purportedly taken from the Zoom Info website is a
complete fabrication.
Mr. D,Angelo has no affiliation with this Australian company whatsoever. His photograph was lifted
from elsewhere on the internet and inserted into this fake Profile Report to give it credibility' The
email address listed in the Profile Report does not belong to him, and likely does not exist'
Had you conducted even the most basic fact-checking before distributing the document, you would
have discovered that Mr. D'Angelo's consulting business is properly registered in ontario, he is not
affiliated with this Australian company, the Profile Report is a fake and the NPCA did not enter into
a contract with a questionable off-shore corporation.
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By failing to check the accuracy of the facts in the document before you distributed it, you are liable
in law for these false and defamatory accusations.
Topic # 2:
The document falsely alleges that the NPCA circumvented proper tendering procedures in awarding
a contract to Comerstone Sponsorship Management.
This serious accusation is false.
Contrary to statements in the document, Councillor Petrowski does not own Cornerstone
Sponsorship Management or Value Media Corp.. These companies are owned by William
Montgomery.
Further, Mr. D'Angelo was not instrumental in awarding this contract. The contract was awarded
by the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Foundation, not the NPCA. Tendering was not required for
this contract because it was entered into by the Foundation, not the NPCA. Tendering would not
have been needed even if it was an NPCA contract because it was for less than $50,000.00 before
H.S.T.. The fact that H.S.T. pushed the total contract amount above $50,000.00 would not have
triggered the requirement to tender.
Further, the Niagara Regional Police Services Board contract to Mr. D'Angelo was awarded by a
committee following proper process.
Therefore, the accusation that the NPCA circumvented the tendering process in awarding a contract
to Cornerstone Sponsorship Management is completely baseless.
Topic #3:
"Time theft" is a fraudulent activity in which an employee collects wages for time not actually
worked.
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The document suggests that David Barrick is guilty of "time theft" in his employment with the
NPCA on the basis that his outside duties as a Regional Councillor could not possibly leave him
enoughtime to properly complete his job duties with theNPCA. The document infers that theNPCA
would be willing to overlook this "time theft" due to Mr. Barrick's political connections. These
inferences of serious wrongdoing by Mr. Barrick and the NPCA are completely false and without
foundation.
Summary:
It is evident that these offending statements about the NPCA were made with knowledge of their
falsity or with reckless disregard as to whether they were true or false. Instead of taking a fair and
balanced approach in describing perceived issues within the NPCA, the document conveys
falsehoods and baseless inaccuracies designed to cause deliberate but unwarranted harm to the
reputation of the NPCA. It is clear that the author of the document was motivated by malice in its
preparation.
Please be advised that I have been instructed to deliver this letter to you in an attempt to resolve this
issue on a mutually agreeable basis, without the need for lengthy and expensive litigation. The
NPCA's primary concern at this early stage is the repair of the unwarranted damage caused to its
reputation by these false and malicious statements.
Accordingly, my client will agree to settle this matter with you as follows:
a) you rvill deliver a full and unqualified r,vritten apology for distributing the defamatory
statements made about the NPCA as referred to above. This Apology and Retraction will be
in a form approved by the NPCA and my office. The NPCA will have the right to distribute
the apology and retraction as it sees fit. If you agree, my office will draft an Apology and
Retraction for your consideration;
b) you will deliver a written Undertaking confirming that you will not distribute the
document to any other person and you will not refer to the document publically in future.
The Undertaking will also confirm that you will not make similar defamatory statements
about the NPCA in future. If you agree, my office will draft an Undertaking for your
consideration;
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c) you will provide the identity of the author(s) of the document, and if known, the identifii
of the person (s) who created the fabricatedZoom Info Profile Report'
Failing a satisfactory reply by December 1,2016, we will assume that you are not interested in
resolving these matters and I will seek instructions from the NPCA to commence litigation.
I trust that youwill see that it is in the best interests of all concerned that these matters be resolved
quickly. As such, I hope to hear from you by the deadline set out above.
Yours very truly,
BRODERICK & PARTNERS LLP
a,
Robert B. Burns
RBB/AB