Canadian judge quits over misconduct claims from Arizona resort incident

A Canadian Supreme Court justice has resigned from his position following allegations of misconduct, according to the Canadian Justice Council. Justice Russel Brown was accused of being involved in a drunken altercation at an Arizona resort in January, where he allegedly harassed a female guest. Brown, who has denied the allegations, has been on leave since February. The retirement concludes the Canadian Justice Council’s investigation into the alleged misconduct.

The incident in question took place at the luxury Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia while Brown, 57 years old, was attending a gala celebrating a former colleague. A police report filed in January stated that a US Marine Corps veteran claimed Brown touched a female guest without consent and was subsequently punched “a few times” during an argument. Jonathan Crump, a 31-year-old mortgage adviser and US Army veteran, told The Vancouver Sun that Brown harassed his female friend after meeting him in the resort bar late on January 28.

Following the publication of the story, Brown released a statement in response to what he called “false statements in the media by Mr Jonathan Crump.” He confirmed parts of Crump’s account, stating that he joined the group at the table but “did not speak or otherwise engage with him.” The Canadian Justice Council announced in March that it was reviewing a complaint into Brown’s alleged conduct.

On Monday, the Canadian Justice Council stated that since Brown was no longer a judge, its jurisdiction over the complaint against him had ended. “As such, proceedings before the Council that involve Justice Brown have come to an end,” it said.

Brown’s lawyer, Brian Gover, shared a statement from the judge on Monday, saying the allegations were “false” and he had “hoped this issue would be dispensed quickly and would not significantly impact the Court’s business,” but that has not been the case. The statement from Brown continued, “While my counsel and I are confident that the complaint would have ultimately been dismissed, the continuing delay is in nobody’s interests – the Court’s, the public’s, my family’s or my own.”

Brown’s lawyers, Brian Gover and Alexandra Heine, said Brown would have been “vindicated” at the council’s conclusion. They expressed disappointment that, for the first time in the Canadian Justice Council’s history, the complainant’s unchallenged accusations were released to the public. This marks the first time a Canadian justice has stepped down over misconduct claims. The council was set to hold a public hearing into the allegations last week, but Brown requested a delay to consider his options. The council could have decided to dismiss the judge if it determined he had lost the confidence of Canadians. The Canadian Justice Council has recommended the dismissal of five federal judges in the past.

World News

Chris Hollingsworth

Chris studied journalism in the US and worked there for a few years before moving to Thailand in 2021, just as he thought Covid was coming to an end - sadly more lockdowns ensued as he came out of his 14 days of isolation! He now combines his passion for writing and journalism to cover US and global news for The Thaiger.

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