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Robert Mitchell

Conflict of interest or just the Saskatchewan way?

2005: Robert Mitchell is now head of the Police Complaints Department

Bob Mitchell

Upon retiring from politics, Robert Mitchell picked up some lucrative contracts. One was with the Federation of Saskatchewan Indians for whom he got several favourable financial settlements regarding casinos in the province. FSIN no doubt felt privileged to have a former justice minister acting for them.

Now dozens of people have claimed to have their lives ruined by gambling and some have lawsuits pending. Some are First Nations people. FSIN still have Mitchell on retainer. Another tangled ball of string for the courts to sort out?

1999 on injusticebusters

March, 1999: Robert Mitchell, has just announced his resignation from politics and is coy about future plans.

He should consider fourteen years in the federal pen with Sgt. Brian Dueck and Richard Quinney, as cell mates!

inJusticebusters has this to say to Mitchell: As Justice Minister you knew this case was fishy. You were contacted by Michael Ross's grandparents in Weyburn, you received many communications from many officials.

You knew what was going on and we hold you completely responsible for all of it! You can run, but you can't hide! We agree with you that elected officials who steal public funds should be prosecuted and punished. What do we do with public officials who steal years from people's lives, turning tranquility to torment? And deliberately cover it up! Face the music, Bob. You did wrong! You were named as a defendant in QB 271, 1994 and got your name off the lawsuit while Ed Holgate had carriage of the file. Perjury is still perjury, Bob

Whatever your new exciting job might be, Mitchell, eventually you will have to appear and defend your criminal past!

Meanwhile inJusticebusters is being warned about breaking publication bans. 486 and 486.3 orders are routinely applied for by crown and defense and granted by judges.

These orders are supposed to protect people from unnecessary and intrusive invasions into their privacies, but they do no such thing. While Bob Mitchell was Minister of Justice, he violated such a ban by saying T.S.'s full name during a North Battleford radio talk show. He made a big deal out of resigning for a while until Justice looked into it, declared it was an "honest mistake" and put him back in charge. Would that he would have taken as seriously the other criminal actions which were going on uder his auspices.

Saskatchewan Justice is holding former elected officials accountable for their crimes and has Senator Eric Berntson on trial right now. This demonstrates that it is possible to hold accountable those who acted arrogantly and as though they were immune from prosecution -- untouchable. Elected officials should not steal money from the public purse and they should not proceed to prosecute individuals they know are innocent. They should disclose all exculpatory evidence to accused! Richard Quinney, Matt Miazga, Sonja Hansen, Bruce Bauer, Nancy Sullivan, and all those who participated in the prosecution of John and Johanna Lucas broke the law while Mitchell was their boss and knew about it.

Bob Mitchell

Robert Mitchell was Minister of Justice in 1993. On July 25 of that year, Richard Klassen wrote a letter to the Premier, Roy Romanow, asking for a full public inquiry into the foster parent debacle. Romanow passed the letter on to Mitchell who, three months later, replied giving the government's reasons for refusing to have an inquiry Perhaps when these dishonest politicians write their cover-up letters they assume no one saves them. They expect not to be held accountable for their proclamations. Joyce Milgaard did not forget and we haven't forgotten, either.

  • Minister of Justice who stonewalled the Milgaard settlement. "There's simply nothing left to inquire into. This is a very cold trail and it just doesn't seem productive at all to try to go back and inquire into it further," he said in 1992 after the Supreme Court ordered a new trial. He was quoted in the Globe and Mail as saying he believed Milgaard was guilty and when confronted by David Milgaard's brother Chris, said, "With respect, I feel the air is clear."
  • With respect, it is possible that Mitchell was basing his belief on Prosecutor (later to be Judge) Babs Caldwell's opinion that Milgaard had a long psychopathic history and was Canada's version of Charles Manson. Caldwell, in turn, had accepted as truth much falsified evidence from the Saskatoon police (see Rusty Chartier's letter to StarPhoenix.)
  • During the foster parent scandal and Martensville, he promoted himself as someone who was helping to save the province from horrors too large to speak about.
  • Refused to let the Ross children's grandparents know anything about what was happening while Dueck was preparing their lies.
  • Released the name of a young offender in the Martensville case.
  • Retired from politics during the winter of 1998 and was lauded as distinguished.
  • Has his eyes out for a plum position where integrity should be part of the character reference.
  • July, 2001: Mitchell is representing the people in North Battleford who failed to keep the water supply clean

July 25, 1993

Mr. Roy Romanow
Premier of Saskatchewan
Legislative Building
Regina, Saskatchewan
S4S 0B3

Dear Mr. Romanow,

I am writing to you on behalf of myself, my wife Kari and my three children, Krystal, 11 years, Kayla, 4 1/2 years and Brady, 2 1/2 years, to ask that you order a full public inquiry into the treatment we have received at the hands of the justice system in Saskatchewan.

On February 10, 1993, after a long ordeal that no human being should have to endure, my wife and I, along with six members of my family which included my sister, my two brothers and their wives, my mother, as well as my brother's sister-in-law and her nusband, had charges against us stayed for unspeakably gross acts of sexual abue of three children.

The charges against us were so obviously false that they should never have been proceeded with. The three children, a boy and his twin sisters, made up unbelievable stories about being raped and assaulted almost daily by each of us, men, women and teenagers alike, as well as my wheelchair-bound mother. These same children accused their biological parents of killing and eating several babies, mutilating animals and children, including themselves, collecting their blood and drinking it, poling out animal and human eyeballs and serving them for dinner, and regularly eating feces and drinking urine as part of their meals. The children claimed to remember that this was done to them when they were infants -- one of them said she was two years old and still crawling when she watched her mother slaughter the neighbours' babies and bury them in boxes in her backyard, and she reported on how angry the neighbours were when they came to get their children and were told by the (deaf) mother that the babies were dead! Nevertheless, according to this child, the neighbours did not complain to the police because they had other children at home! Needless to say, the police never looked for nor did they locate any human remains in the back yards of these accused, and neither did they find anyone whose children had been murdered by these people. Also, a social worker and a medical doctor testified at the trial that there had been no signs of this type of massive physical abuse of the children when they were still living at home.

These children were fostered by my brother Dale and hs wife Anita, and at no time did the children mention anything about how they had been mutilated and tortured by their parents. They only made these accusations, first against their parents, and then against Dale and Anita and the rest of us, when the older brother, Michael, was removed from Dale and Anita's home because of his obviously disturbed and violent behavior, which had been fully documented by teachers and social workers alike. (Among other things, the boy threw one of his siters under a moving vehicle, causing her severe injusries.) The bizarre "disclosures" started coming out only when the boy moved into a new foster home where the parents were stong fundamentalist Christians who believed that the boy, Michael, "had the devil in him." In no time Michael and then later his sisters, accused members of our family, no matter how little contact we had had with them. These accusations were taken at face value by the police and the social services, who should have been competent enough to realize that there was no truth to what the children were saying.

Our family has been torn to pieces by these false accusations. We have lost of livelihoods, our reputations, our mental health, and even hope. My sister Pamela, who lost her much beloved adopted son because of these charges has since tried to commit suicide on numerous occasions. It was to protect her from having to g through a trial that my father eventually pleaded guilty to acts that he was not guilty of, and he is now serving a sentence of four years in the Bowden Penitentiary in Alberta.

I am asking you, from the bottom of my heart, to call this public inquiry without delay. We are innocent people who have been injured by a process that completely disregarded our lives and our rights. We want to have our names cleared and the public has a right to know what happened to us because it could happen to anybody, unless these kinds of abuses get stopped. I have enclosed a set of articles that were recently published in the StarPhoneix about my wife and me, my mother and my brother's sister-in-law and her family. They will give you a little glimpse of the hell we have been through and are still living.

Sincerely (signed)

Rick Klassen

11 A Gibson Close
Red Deer, Alberta
T4P 2Z3

Tel: (403) 340-3195

CC.: All Saskatchewan Members of Parliament

The reply:

Minister of Justice
And Attorney General

October 15, 1993

Mr. Rick Klassen
11 A Gibson Close
Red Deer, Alberta
T4P 2Z3

Dear Mr. Klassen:

Premier Romanow has referred your letter to me for a reply. In your letter, you ask for a full public inquiry into the handling of certain charges of sexual abuse against you and members of your family. I have considered that request carefully, but do not believe that a public inquiry is warranted.

As I understand the circumstances, you and other members of your family were charged in relation to the alleged sexual abuse of foster children in the care of your brother and sister-in-law. A preliminary inquiry was held before an experienced Provincial Court Judge. The evidence presented at this inquiry was strong enough to obtain a committal for trial. As you will be aware, the evidence upon which the committal for trial was based was provided by the children involved.

I understand that following the preliminary inquiry, psychiatrists, therapists, councilors and the new foster parents of the children involved advised the crown that the ability of these children to testify had greatly deteriorated because of the trauma they had under gone during the preliminary inquiries and during the trial of the natural parents. The experts who were familiar with the children recommended that they not be subjected to any further traumatization through their involvement in more court proceedings.

The Crown accepted the guilty plea of one member of your family to four counts of sexual assault and decided to stay the charges against you and the remaining members of your family. This course of action was in keeping with the Crowns duty not to proceed with any criminal case where there is no reasonable likelihood of conviction or where it would be contrary to the public interest to proceed.

It appears clear that in this case, the condition of the children had deteriorated to the point where the Crown could not meet the standard of a reasonable likelihood of conviction and faced the substantial risk of exposing already traumatized children to additional harm through a further court process.

I recognize the charges against you have not proceeded to trial. In these circumstances, it is important to remember that our system of justice is based upon the principal that an accused person is considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

At the same time, I assure you that the Crown is very aware of the impact that criminal charges have upon an accused, especially charges of the nature brought against you and your family. Decisions to lay charges and to proceed or not proceed with prosecutions are made only after painstaking consideration of all the issues involved. I am confident that the Crown exercised such diligence in relation to the charges involving you and your family.

I appreciate that this response will not please you, but for the above reasons I think that a public inquiry is inappropriate.

Yours Sincerely

Robert W. Mitchell, Q.C
Minister of Justice and
Attorney General

c.c. Honourable Roy Romanow

Ten years later: See what Eric Cline has to say