Biker gang mem­ber’s son has clear­ance re­voked

The Hamilton Spectator - - CANADA & WORLD - MICHELLE MCQUIGGE

TORONTO — A Fed­eral Court judge has ruled that the gov­ern­ment was right to re­voke an air­craft me­chanic’s se­cu­rity clear­ance be­cause his father was a mem­ber of a mo­tor­cy­cle gang.

The rul­ing found that Mark Del Vec­chio, who pre­vi­ously had clear­ance to work out of Toronto’s Pear­son In­ter­na­tional Air­port, rep­re­sented a po­ten­tial safety risk in part due to his as­so­ci­a­tion with his father.

The July 18 de­ci­sion from Jus­tice Glen­nys McVeigh up­held a prior de­ci­sion from the Min­is­ter of Trans­port, who has the power to grant or re­voke se­cu­rity clear­ance for those with ac­cess to sen­si­tive air­port ar­eas.

McVeigh agreed with the rea­son­ing that Del Vec­chio’s clear­ance was re­voked on a num­ber of grounds in­clud­ing as­so­ci­a­tion with his father, who is de­scribed in the de­ci­sion as a full-patch mem­ber of the Vagabonds mo­tor­cy­cle gang.

The de­ci­sion says other fac­tors in­cluded Del Vec­chio’s fail­ure to dis­close an al­leged do­mes­tic in­ci­dent and in­con­sis­tent dis­clo­sure of an im­paired driv­ing con­vic­tion.

McVeigh’s rul­ing, how­ever, places most em­pha­sis on the re­la­tion­ship with Del Vec­chio’s father.

“Mr. Del Vec­chio’s as­so­ci­a­tion with his father alone is grounds for can­celling his se­cu­rity clear­ance,” she wrote in her de­ci­sion. “Per­sonal in­volve­ment with or­ga­nized crime is not re­quired just as­so­ci­a­tion.”

The de­ci­sion said Del Vec­chio had been work­ing as a me­chanic since 1992 and owns an avi­a­tion main­te­nance busi­ness op­er­at­ing out of Pear­son.

As part of the job, Del Vec­chio was re­quired to have se­cu­rity clear­ance to work at the air­port. The de­ci­sion said he had suc­cess­fully ap­plied for and been granted clear­ance sev­eral times over the years.

He first en­coun­tered hur­dles when he tried to re­new his clear­ance in 2009.

At that time, the de­ci­sion states, the gov­ern­ment be­came aware of a 1993 con­vic­tion for care and con­trol of a ve­hi­cle while im­paired and a 2007 charge of pos­ses­sion of prop­erty ob­tained by crime.

Del Vec­chio sub­mit­ted doc­u­ments that sat­is­fied the min­istry and his clear­ance was re­newed un­til 2014, the de­ci­sion states.

Del Vec­chio suc­cess­fully reap­plied for clear­ance in 2014, but came to the gov­ern­ment’s at­ten­tion a year later as a re­sult of a record check by the RCMP.

That check turned up the fact that a ve­hi­cle reg­is­tered to Del Vec­chio had been seen parked out­side the home of a full-patch Vagabonds mem­ber, the de­ci­sion says.

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