|Some Provided Names Do Not Match Documents At Inquiry
Cornwall News AM 1220
November 21, 2007 — A forensic document examiner could not shed a lot of light yesterday on some of the issues facing the Cornwall Public Inquiry. Brian Lindblom testified about the notes former Ottawa area M-P-P Garry Guzzo had earlier handed over to the commission. Lindblom was asked to analyze the faxes and original copies of Guzzo’s notes because names had been blacked out. He could not say how many different inks were used or when the marks were made. Lindblom says some of the names provided to commission counsel by Guzzo did not match the documents. Garry Guzzo, who traveled from Ottawa to Cornwall, did not even make it to the stand yesterday. He is expected back at the hearings room today.
Names don’t match up; Documents don’t match Guzzo suggestions, says expert
Cornwall Standard Freeholder
21 November 2007
Posted By Terri Saunders
Garry Guzzo still hasn’t named names.
The former Ottawa-area MPP was on the stand last week at the Cornwall Public Inquiry and provided the commission with names he had blacked out on several pages of personal notes related to historical child sexual abuse in Cornwall
A forensic document expert told the commission Tuesday names Guzzo suggested are beneath the blacked-out areas don’t match up in all of the cases.
“Some of the names on the documents are not consistent with the names Mr. Guzzo provided,” said Brian Lindblom, a forensic document examiner and president of Document Examination Consultants, Inc. in Ottawa. “I have not been able to read the names underneath (the black marks.)”
Guzzo garnered significant attention in the spring of 2001 when he threatened to stand in the legislature at Queen’s Park and read aloud a list of prominent Cornwall-area men accused of sexually abusing children.
At the time, Guzzo was calling on the provincial government to call a public inquiry into historical allegations of abuse in the region. The former judge never did “name names,” backing down in the face of suggestions authorities were continuing to investigate the allegations.
Soon after his attempt to force the government’s hand, a four-year OPP investigation wrapped, having laid 115 charges against 15 men. Just one person was convicted – a school bus driver from Newington pleaded guilty to abusing several young people and was eventually declared a long-term offender.
Guzzo has said he made his original notes around the time he was cleaning out his constituency office following the 2004 provincial election.
He said he blacked out some of the names on those documents in advance of disclosing them to commission counsel earlier this fall.
Last week, Guzzo was ordered to return to the inquiry with his originals, and when he did, a number of names were penciled in on the papers.
Guzzo has suggested he made the additional notations soon after redacting his originals, although an examination of the documents indicates at least some of those notations don’t appear to be consistent with lettering somewhat visible beneath dark ink scribbles.
On one document, two names appear to be blacked out near the bottom of the page on the right-hand side. On the left of the page, Guzzo has two names written in pencil.
“The obliteration numbered one in the bottom-right corner of (the page) does not read (as Guzzo suggests),” said Lindblom, “but rather includes a surname that is likely (something else.)”
Questions have also been raised about when the redactions were made on the original documents. Guzzo has said they were made prior to when he faxed them to commission counsel, but some parties have raised concerns some of the redactions on the faxed versions differ in quality from those on the original documents.
“It appears some of them were slightly different,” said Peter Engelmann, lead commission counsel.
“Any faxed versions of the original documents are going to be of a poorer quality,” said Lindblom, who explained facsimile machines create documents with a much lower resolution than a photocopier.
“A photocopy is going to be much sharper. With any fax compared with the original you will always see a cruder reproduction.”
Lindblom said he didn’t see much difference between the documents provided to commission staff weeks ago and the ones Guzzo carried with him to the inquiry last week.
“The faxed copies constitute an accurate reproduction of the original notes,” he said. “Nothing’s been added or detracted.”
Guzzo is expected to re-take the stand today at 9:30 a.m.
Fast facts: The story behind the ink
No determination as to when the redactions were made.
Indications two different inks were used, possibly more.
Hand-printed names in pencil added by Guzzo after the redactions were made often do not correspond with the name underneath the blackening marks.
Faxed copies of the documents sent to commission counsel several weeks ago are accurate reproductions of originals.
Examination suggests originals were photocopied before being faxed to the commission.
In almost every case, not all of the letters of each name were visible during examination; expert often had to guess at what letters could be.
Expert suggested discrepancies in quality and appearnce of blacked out areas between original documents and faxed copies could be the result of facsimile technology.