The unfairness was overwhelming. Heinemann’s psa hearing had not even run its course. The oppa had spent over a million dollars in legal fees on Ken Deane. Heinemann’s situation was different, but he nevertheless wondered if the reward for gunning down a native protester was far greater than putting pen marks on their flags and pictures. Nut Island was closing in on him.
At the annual oppa President’s Meeting, held at the Kempenfelt Conference Centre in Barrie on January 19, 2006, Ron Heinemann and his wife sat down to lunch with Heinemann’s union rep, Jim Christie. Christie had good news: the oppa had decided to pay for the judicial appeal after all. Toni Heinemann, a sharp-witted, tenacious fighter from a large Italian family, said this was good because her husband had no intention of accepting the opp’s insulting and punitive offer. If Heinemann took what the opp had put on the table, not only would he be back where he started twenty years earlier, he would also be conceding that he was a racist and a liar. Instead, Toni and Ron were going to the media, any politician who would listen, and also to the Ipperwash inquiry, where they intended to publicly confront the commissioner on the day she was scheduled to give a presentation in advance of opp members testifying, January 26.
These declarations precipitated days-long telephone marathons. Heinemann spoke in depth with the president of the oppa, Karl Walsh, who wanted to know if he still wanted to wear the uniform or if he would consider resigning and accepting a financial settlement. If the latter, how much should they negotiate for? A million dollars? More?
Walsh also cautioned that what Heinemann was planning to do at the inquiry could have a very negative effect on dozens of senior officers. But the Heinemanns were resolute. The night before the commissioner was scheduled to make her presentation, Latouf called the pair. He spoke to Toni and warned the Heinemanns not to proceed, saying they would regret it if they did.
The couple decided to go ahead with their plan. They were overnighting at Ron’s parents’ house in Hamilton when, just after midnight, their lawyer reached them with word of the opp’s latest offer: a demotion to third class with a swift return to first class. This represented only a $12,000 loss in pay. The new offer included a transfer to the Huronia West detachment in Wasaga Beach, meaning Ron would not have to uproot his family. The opp remained adamant about the native healing course, but surely that was not a major stumbling block. Heinemann said “no deal.”
Early in the morning, Karl Walsh called and strongly advised Heinemann to think about what he was doing. He said Heinemann still had time to give them the right answer.
Heinemann walked into the inquiry just as the commissioner began her presentation. During the first recess, Walsh told him that the healing-course requirement had been dropped from the offer. Even with this welcome news, Heinemann felt drained. He wasn’t hard-wired for high-profile confrontations. The same couldn’t be said of his wife. The politicians, the media, and the proposed faceoff with the commissioner were Toni’s ideas, and she intended to see her husband follow them through.
Nonetheless, if what Walsh said was true, Heinemann said he would take the deal and leave. Walsh assured him he had just spoken to the commissioner’s lawyer and it was agreed: the opp would drop the healing course. Despite Toni’s protestations, they left the inquiry. Heinemann signed the deal in the early evening on Monday, January 30, 2006, in the oppa offices. There was one additional condition: the judicial appeal for the disclosure of Deane and Latouf’s settlements would be abandoned. Heinemann agreed.
In 1994, New York City’s Mollen Commission advised that the practice of sacrificing individual police officers as a method of solving problems was counterproductive and corrosive. The commission’s report stated that the root problems that plague law enforcement are embedded in the culture. The report described the manner in which those in senior police command routinely use the bad apple