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Justice In Edmonton: Judge Lets Cop Go Free In Bribery Case

Posted in Newsworthy, Politics, Roads, Scandal, Traffic by Vito Rispo | October 27th, 2008 | 2 Responses |

Between 1998 and 2004, Edmonton PD Sergeant Tom Bell accepted lavish gifts from Affiliated Computer Services (ACS) while the company was attempting to win a no-bid contract to run the city of Edmonton’s speed cameras. On March 1, 2004, Bell wrote a memo stating (falsely) that ACS was the only company capable of running Edmonton’s speed camera program and that the company should be awarded a no-bid contract worth $90 million.

Seems like an obvious open and shut case of pay to play. Company pays city officials to get access to some city program, official helps the company. It happens all the time, and when officials are caught, they’re generally punished in some way, usually a slap on the wrist. But Tom Bell didn’t even get that; he was completely exonerated of any wrongdoing.

The judge presiding over the case, Justice Bryan Mahoney, cleared the him of all charges in the scandal. The judge said his conduct did not amount to a “serious and marked departure from the norm.” And he couldn’t find Bell guilty of taking bribes despite “some poor choices and errors in judgment”.

Bell’s wife actually testified against him during the case. “(Tom) wanted ACS to get the contract before any of the other companies had a chance to apply for it,” she testified. “By securing the contract for ACS, he thought it might help him secure a job with ACS, not in their Edmonton office, but in Arizona.”

Edmonton has a history of this kind of shady business. In 2005, several police officers attempted to frame Edmonton Sun columnist Kerry Diotte for drunk driving because he wrote a column criticizing the city’s photo radar program. Their case was dismissed as well.

(via Edmonton Sun)

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2 Responses

  1. James says:

    I went to high school in Merritt, BC with Tom Bell. He was tall and bigger than most students and widely known as a not very smart bully. Typical police officer material!

    It’s unfortunate that the people who are recruited to become cops are not those who want to help create a better society, but rather are usually dumb enforcers out for themselves. We need cops who think like social workers rather than like crooks.

    Bell will get what’s due – he’ll probably die of a heart attack before he’s 60 .

  2. sayler says:

    Thanks for writing this artical. I think the part that disapoints me is my testimony not taken by the judge. I am certain the front cover of the Sun with my face having a smirk on it did not help. Although what happened is the sun writter grabed my arm and said well you can’t or won’t give us a statment but we can take your photo. I just smirked and said why would you want to do that, and just then the photographer waiting outside started to click click. I turned to the sun writer and asked now why would you do that and he said because that is the story. I looked like a vendictive bitch ex-wife. Not the case. I feel sorry for Tom, he is probably so alone with in himself. When I left him I was crying as I thought here I am in my 40’s with only the boxes in the back of the van. But the reality is I have a wonderful family, fantastic friends and my church family. He does not have any good friends, or at least when we were married it certainly seemed that way. He does not have a good relationship with his family, and certainly he would never go to church, so he is very much alone. He and he alone was responsible for the actions he did with ACS. And in his greed to get a job he crossed the line and had an affair with an ACS employee. To him that is ok as it is what he needed to do to get the job of his dreams. I guess now it is more of a nightmare.
    I am sure that his life has been shortened by all the emotions, however the fact that he was off work with pay and was able to travel out of the country and remarry in ARIZONA, probably helped heal the pain of all the bad press.