Rondeau Cottagers Not Surprised at Assault Charge for Post

Here is a Headline story printed in Chatham Daily News on Tuesday April 24, 2012: 

 

For some Rondeau cottagers, an assault charge against the Rondeau Provincial Park’s superintendent comes as no surprise. According to the president of the Rondeau Cottagers Association, it seemed inevitable.

“I’m surprised this didn’t happen sooner,” Dr. David Colby said of the assault charge against park superintendent Richard Post.

Members of the cottage association have been at odds with Post for several months with many having referred to the superintendent as a bully. Colby said the victim, who is a senior citizen and retired principal, “is not exactly what you would call a desperado or a troublemaker.”

Chatham-Kent OPP said a complaint was received around 8 a.m. Friday about an alleged assault that occurred in Rondeau Provincial Park. A police investigation determined an occupant of a residence in the park was assaulted, OPP said, adding the victim didn’t suffer any injuries.

Post, 48, of London, has been charged with assault under the Criminal Code, OPP said. He is scheduled to appear in Chatham court May 25.

In the meantime, Post will remain on the job.

Bradley Fauteux, managing director of Ontario Parks, told The Chatham Daily News on Monday: “Until we get a complete review of the situation, the park superintendent is just going to continue to fulfil his regular duties and responsibilities.”

When the review is complete, he said, it will be determined if Post remains on the job. Some don’t agree. “I think at the very least, (Post) needs to be relieved of his duties until such time as this case as been heard,” Colby said. “We think this is only the latest incident in a long litany of inappropriateness by Mr. Post.”

Cottagers contacted the Daily News last September over a YouTube video showcasing Post tearing apart a driftwood creation on the beach, which included the superintendent throwing large pieces of wood while people watched nearby.

Cottagers also expressed concerns about Post during a public meeting with park officials in June 2011. Before this latest incident, Colby said he and association vice-president Brian French went to the OPP and warned them “there is going to be trouble out here.”

The association has advised cottagers to call police rather than have face-to-face dealings with Post, he said.

“The seniors are just scared to death of him,” Colby explained.

He said numerous complaints have been made to Post’s boss, John Salo, at Ontario Parks. The complaints have gone higher up the chain of command but nothing has been done.

“I’m outraged,” Colby said, adding there have been more complaints about Post than all of park superintendents who have served in the 100-plus year history of Rondeau.

When asked if he was aware of the complaints about the park superintendent, Fauteux said it was “inappropriate” for him to comment as the issue is before the courts.

The Daily News asked if Post is found guilty, might he be removed from Rondeau?

“I think when we do the review, it’s going to take into consideration all sorts of things like that,” Fauteux said. “The disposition of that event, I would expect it would play a part, but really until the review is done, it’s tough for me to make a determination.”