Ex-fire Chief Guilty In Drug Case


i wanna be cool too!
Oct 22, 2005
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21 Sep 2006

by Sarah Deeth,
Gets Year Of Probation For Having Marijuana

Paul Bitten, former fire chief of Asphodel-Norwood Township, pleaded guilty yesterday in Ontario Court of Justice to possession of marijuana.

An additional charge of possession of a controlled substance was withdrawn by federal prosecutor Chris Corkery.

Bitten will receive a conditional discharge provided he follows the conditions of his year-long probation. He was ordered to make a $300 donation to the Norwood branch of the Champions for Youth program.

Corkery said police arrived at Bitten's Helen Street home in Norwood with a search warrant June 21, looking for evidence of a marijuana growing operation.

Police found a bong sitting on a living room table, another bong beside the couch in the family room, and scales, seeds, pictures of marijuana leaves, loose crack cocaine, a homemade crack pipe, topsoil, a how-to manual on growing marijuana and three more bongs throughout the upstairs of the house, court heard.

In the basement, more topsoil was found and six grams of marijuana shake littered the floor, Corkery said.

As police searched the home, Bitten said he knew nothing about drugs in the house, court heard.

Later Bitten admitted to police he knew about the marijuana, but not about the crack cocaine.

"He stated he had tried to grow some marijuana plants in the past, but they died on him," Corkery said.

Police found loose soil in the back of a car parked on Bitten's driveway, Corkery said, leading them to believe marijuana plants were grown and moved to another location.

When police asked Bitten about those plants, court heard, he nodded.

Bitten's common-law partner Nancy Pamela White told police the plants in question were only 15 clones, Corkery said.

The plants have not been located.

"If police had found those plants this would be a cultivation charge," Corkery said.

Corkery described the amount of marijuana seized as "small" but said the amount of growing and smoking materials scattered around the home was an aggravating factor.

Given the personal consequences Bitten has suffered because of the charges, Corkery said, he was not opposed to a conditional discharge.

Bitten's lawyer Dave McFadden said Bitten has suffered embarrassment as a result of the charges.

He resigned his post after 28 years with the fire department, McFadden said, and will likely relocate to another part of the country.

"He's going to be starting over again at the age of 46," McFadden said.

Bitten declined to speak to court.

He was ordered not to possess or consume any non-medically prescribed drugs.

Mr. Justice Robert Graydon warned Bitten if he breaks his conditions he'll lose his conditional discharge and be charged with breach of probation.


stupid... why have crack? He had marijuana! He may want to consider a different common-law partner.

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