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McVeigh agreed with the reasoning that Del Vecchio’s clearance was revoked on a number of grounds including association with his father, who is described in the decision as a full-patch member of the Vagabonds motorcycle gang.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