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Supreme Court Justice Russell Brown steps down, halting probe into misconduct claim

Supreme Court Justice Russell Brown steps down, halting probe into misconduct claim

Russell Brown introduced Monday he’s stepping down as a justice of the Supreme Court docket of Canada efficient instantly — a transfer that comes after the Canadian Judicial Council (CJC) started probing a declare of misconduct directed in opposition to Brown associated to an incident within the U.S.

Brown’s determination to step down from Canada’s prime court docket means the CJC’s investigation of an alleged alcohol-fuelled incident in Arizona will come to an finish with none kind of public report on the matter.

Underneath the federal Judges Act, the council has an obligation to analyze complaints made in opposition to federally appointed judges. Now that Brown has resigned, the council stated, that work will cease.

Brown has been on go away for months since studies surfaced that the decide obtained into some kind of confrontation with patrons at a high-end Scottsdale-area resort on the finish of January.

Whereas accounts of the incident differ, it has been established that there was some kind of struggle between Brown and a person on the resort, Jon Crump, a U.S. Marine veteran who was on the resort with a gaggle of associates.

Crump alleges a drunken Brown was belligerent and harassed his ingesting companions. He stated Brown adopted him and a few in his group again to their lodge rooms. After a quick skirmish, Crump stated he punched Brown after he wouldn’t go away. Then, Crump reported the Stephen Harper-appointed decide to the CJC.

Brown has stated Crump’s model of occasions is fake and as an alternative claims the previous Marine inexplicably punched him within the head.

Conflicting variations of occasions

In an announcement, Brown stated the CJC probe into the Arizona incident “might proceed nicely into 2024,” a delay he stated is in “no person’s pursuits — the Court docket’s, the general public’s, my household’s or my very own.”

“I’ve due to this fact determined that the frequent good is finest served by my retirement, so {that a} alternative decide can be part of the court docket in time for its busy fall time period,” Brown stated.

Brown stated he had hoped the CJC overview could be “distributed with shortly and wouldn’t considerably impression the court docket’s enterprise.”

“Sadly, that has not been the case,” the previous prime decide stated.

Brown’s legal professionals, Brian Gover and Alexandra Heine, additionally launched an announcement calling his resignation a “regrettable end result” prompted by a “spurious grievance.”

Brown’s legal professionals stated Crump “weaponized Canada’s judicial self-discipline course of” to punish the decide.

The Supreme Court docket of Canada constructing in Ottawa on Feb. 7, 2023. (Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press)

In keeping with a Paradise Valley Police Division report on the matter obtained by CBC Information, Crump known as regulation enforcement to report the altercation within the early morning hours of January 29.

He informed Adam Balcom, the officer dispatched to the Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa, that Brown was “hitting on” and “touching” a few of Crump’s feminine companions.

As they began to stroll again to their lodge rooms, Crump stated Brown adopted them.

“To guard the ladies and to stop the drunk, creepy, undesirable male from coming into the lodge room uninvited, Crump punched the male just a few occasions,” Balcom stated in his report, citing Crump’s model of occasions.

“These few punches proved profitable in stopping the undesirable drunk male, and he walked away.”

‘You known as police to say you beat up a man?

Balcom stated Crump was “argumentative, hostile, antagonistic” whereas reporting the incident — behaviour the officer attributed to Crump’s intoxication.

Police-worn physique digicam footage of the January evening reveals a rattled-looking Crump hurling profanities on the officers who got here to the resort.

Crump, sporting a shirt allegedly torn by Brown throughout their scuffle, turned verbally combative after a puzzled police officer initially questioned why Crump known as regulation enforcement when he admitted to punching Brown.

“You known as police to say you beat up a man?” Balcom stated.

“There’s nothing right here then? This man being a creeper after which following these ladies to their room is completely fantastic?” Crump stated in response.

“100 per cent he was touching them. He kissed them on the f–king hand. He was attempting to comply with them to their f–king room. He’s groping them on the f–king chair.”

“Your hostile angle and aggressive manner has no half on this dialog. It’s not going to be productive in any respect,” Balcom stated.

“Shut up dude. Simply shut your mouth,” Crump stated to the officer earlier than Balcom threatened to arrest him for disorderly conduct.

The practically hour-long footage depicts Balcom’s interactions with Crump after which his interviews with three of Crump’s feminine companions, all of whom allegedly have been concerned within the incident.

The 4 folks interviewed by the Paradise Valley police officer relayed comparable variations of the evening’s occasions.

‘Very uncomfortable’

One of many girls reported that she invited Brown to hitch her and her mom for drinks close to them on the resort bar.

After figuring out himself as a Supreme Court docket justice, Brown allegedly proceeded to kiss the girl in query “a few times” on her cheek, after which touched the small of her again and a leg.

The girl informed the officer that Brown didn’t contact her buttocks, breasts or vaginal space. She stated Brown made her really feel “very uncomfortable.”

She informed the officer that she was “grateful” that Crump escorted her again to her room after Brown’s alleged undesirable advances.

The girl’s mom, who appeared to Balcom to be sober, informed the officer that Brown was “very intoxicated” and “creepy.”

She stated Crump’s use of power was “cheap and essential to get the creepy drunk man away from them.”

Balcom stated he was unable to get Brown’s model of occasions.

‘No crime was decided’

He stated he knocked on Brown’s lodge room door a number of occasions however obtained no response. The resort workers solely knew Brown’s title and mobile phone quantity.

With out listening to Brown’s facet of the story, Balcom concluded that two intoxicated males obtained into a quick bodily altercation after Brown adopted the group again to their lodge room and tried to comply with the ladies inside their room uninvited. 

“Primarily based on the totality of the circumstances, the usage of power appeared cheap and obligatory, and no crime was decided,” Balcom stated.

After Crump went public together with his model of occasions in an interview with the Vancouver Solar, Brown issued an announcement in March refuting among the former Marine’s story.

A judge sits in front of a Canadian flag.
Justice Russell Brown claimed he was punched within the head with out ‘warning or provocation’ throughout the incident in Arizona. (CBC)

“On the night of January 28, 2023, I used to be in Arizona to take part in an awards banquet at a neighborhood resort. Following the occasion, I joined different attendees on the resort lounge. In the midst of the night, a gaggle at a close-by desk invited me to hitch them,” Brown stated in that assertion.

Brown stated that whereas he was chatting with the group, a person recognized as Crump joined the group however didn’t converse to Brown.

“All of us left the lounge at roughly the identical time. Outdoors the lounge, Mr. Crump objected to me rejoining the group and instantly, with out warning or provocation, punched me a number of occasions within the head. Taken abruptly, I used to be unable to defend myself,” Brown stated.

Gover and Heine stated Monday that they’ve uncovered different “proof” they declare refutes Crump’s story.

They stated the brand new proof suggests there have been “obtrusive contradictions, inaccuracies and elaborations” in Crump’s story to police, the legal professionals stated.

They stated the proof consists of surveillance footage depicting Brown’s interactions with Crump’s feminine companions, proof from the lodge bartender, proof from a lodge safety officer who attended to the incident, a recording of Crump’s 911 name and “investigative studies ready by a really skilled and succesful investigator, who’s a former police detective.”

The legal professionals didn’t clarify how this new materials would refute claims by Crump and his feminine companions about that January evening in Arizona.

“This proof and the opposite proof uncovered more and more pointed in a single path: to a calculated plan by the complainant to concoct an account through which Justice Brown was the aggressor — to ‘get out forward of it,’ within the phrases of one of many complainant’s personal companions,” Brown’s legal professionals stated.

“We’re assured that, in mild of all this proof, Justice Brown would have been utterly vindicated on the conclusion of the Canadian Judicial Council’s course of. Nevertheless, the impact of the method on the court docket and the appreciable pressure on Justice Brown and his household, have led him to this determination to retire.”

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