TDSB quarrel casts doubt on Goodman case

New allegations have come to light suggesting Donna Quan, director of education for Toronto District School Board, may have threatened to “get” outgoing Eglinton-Lawrence trustee Howard Goodman two weeks before he was charged with criminal harassment.

Quan is widely believed to be the alleged victim in the harassment case, though police refused to name a victim when announcing Goodman’s arrest on Nov. 12.

Trustee Irene Atkinson said Quan’s comment came during a private session on Oct. 29 that was meant for board chair Mari Rutka to share her concerns with other trustees about reports of Quan being uncooperative in regards to transparency.

Atkinson said Quan was leaving the meeting because she did not have legal counsel, and that she asked her on her way out to leave a copy of her contract. She claims Quan snapped back at her, saying “I’m not speaking to you. You’re abusive.”

Atkinson alleges Quan then turned and pointed at Goodman, who was on the opposite side of the room, and said, “I’m going to get you. I’m going to sue you.”

Two weeks later, Goodman was arrested by Toronto Police and charged with criminal harassment and forcible confinement. Police alleged the charges against the three-term Ward 8 trustee were related to a series of incidents dating back to the fall of 2013.

Published reports later identified the victim as Quan, with whom Goodman had had previous run-ins.

Atkinson said she believes that to be the case.

In a Nov. 19 email to the Town Crier, Goodman directed all questions to lawyer Mark Sandler, who has taken over his legal representation from William Trudell.

Trudell had provided interim representation for Goodman immediately after his arrest. Goodman then retained Sandler to represent him for the duration of the case.

Sandler did not immediately return a request for comment on the Atkinson allegations.

A request to Quan’s office for comment was met with a statement by TDSB spokesman Ryan Bird saying Quan would not be responding to Atkinson’s allegations regarding Goodman “at this point in time.”

Midtown trustees Shelley Laskin and Gerri Gershon both refused to comment.

Goodman was first elected in 2003 and did not run for re-election on Oct. 27. Jennifer Arp succeeded him in Ward 8.

He is due in court Dec. 18 to answer to the criminal harassment and forcible confinement charges.