Mystery remains after no chemicals found in Ottawa hotel-clearing scare

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SHAFAQNA (International Shia News Association) A Nova Scotia man who made headlines for a public divorce from a decorated Olympian surrendered to Ottawa police Wednesday after driving from the east coast with what authorities initially feared were hazardous materials.

It was Christopher B. Phillips’ 42nd birthday when he emerged just before 9 a.m. from the Chimo HOTEL by winservice86″” style=”width:7.5pt; height:7.5pt;visibility:visible;mso-wrap-style:square” o_button=”t”> – where he had been holed up in a sixth-floor room – in handcuffs and a white hazmat suit.

The details of his high-profile life would become clearer throughout the day, but the mystery surrounding what brought him to Ottawa did not.

Ultimately, city police said they could not find any hazardous materials, but Phillips is still facing criminal charges in Nova Scotia, where authorities alleged he was involved with the discovery of “large quantities” of chemicals.

The United States Department of Homeland Security CONFIRMED by winservice86″” style=”width:7.5pt; height:7.5pt;visibility:visible;mso-wrap-style:square” o_button=”t”> its Ottawa officer was assisting local police with their investigation, while RCMP officers from Nova Scotia were en route to the capital to interview the suspect.

The highly educated man – the former husband of U.S. Olympic gold-medal-winning gymnast Shannon Miller – has had a CAREER by winservice86″” style=”width:7.5pt; height:7.5pt;visibility:visible;mso-wrap-style:square” o_button=”t”> spanning respected professions such as doctor, lawyer, chemist, businessman.

But authorities were obviously concerned about his journey to the capital after a pair of properties linked to his family were searched in Nova Scotia and hazardous material was found, according to police there.

On Monday night, the East Coast Mounties said, they were called about a suspicious package. They subsequently investigated three locations, finding chemical materials in two, according to authorities.

The RCMP subsequently SHARED by winservice86″” style=”width:7.5pt; height:7.5pt;visibility:visible;mso-wrap-style:square” o_button=”t”> a Canada-wide bulletin to first responders and uniformed personnel about Phillips. The briefing note said he was last seen Monday travelling from Moncton, N.B., driving a cube van with a Nova Scotia plate.

“Person reported to have mental health issues/PTSD and has issues with LAW ENFORCEMENT by winservice86″” style=”width:7.5pt; height:7.5pt;visibility:visible;mso-wrap-style:square” o_button=”t”> personnel,” the note said. “Person may have chemicals or hazardous materials in the vehicle.”

The RCMP believed that Phillips had a U.S. military background in biological and chemical warfare. (The United States military could not CONFIRM by winservice86″” style=”width:7.5pt; height:7.5pt;visibility:visible;mso-wrap-style:square” o_button=”t”> a record of Phillips. Its immediately available records, however, only dated back to 1999. Court documents suggest he may have served in the navy.)

It was about 10 p.m. on Tuesday night when an Ottawa police officer spotted the white 2004 Chevy cube van, for which RCMP had asked all police forces to watch, in the parking lot of the Chimo HOTEL by winservice86″” style=”width:7.5pt; height:7.5pt;visibility:visible;mso-wrap-style:square” o_button=”t”> near the St. Laurent Centre.

They proceeded, over the following hours, to evacuate the HOTEL by winservice86″” style=”width:7.5pt; height:7.5pt;visibility:visible;mso-wrap-style:square” o_button=”t”> .

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Phillips’ LinkedIn PROFILE by winservice86″” style=”width:7.5pt; height:7.5pt;visibility:visible;mso-wrap-style:square” o_button=”t”> paints a picture of a veritable renaissance man — an attending eye surgeon at Boston University, Sawyer Business School graduate at Suffolk University, a medical and business law degree from the same institution’s law school.

The details of his life in recent years, as laid out in court documents, paint a more troubled picture.

In a statement to the Citizen, Miller, who won an 1996 balance beam Olympic GOLD by winservice86″” style=”width:7.5pt; height:7.5pt;visibility:visible;mso-wrap-style:square” o_button=”t”> and married Phillips in 1999, said that after hearing the recent news about her ex-husband, her “prayers immediately go to the safety of those around him.”

“I’m thankful that the brave men and women of the Ottawa police department and other LAW ENFORCEMENT by winservice86″” style=”width:7.5pt; height:7.5pt;visibility:visible;mso-wrap-style:square” o_button=”t”> agencies were able to apprehend him and (defuse) the situation without incident,” Miller said.

The two were married at a Baptist church in Miller’s hometown of Edmund, Okla., in June 1999. They separated in 2004. In 2008, Phillips moved to Halifax.

The previous year, Phillips had been issued a licence to practise as a doctor and surgeon in Washington State. He was certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology. Phillips purchased an already operating laser EYE CARE by winservice86″” style=”width:7.5pt; height:7.5pt;visibility:visible;mso-wrap-style:square” o_button=”t”> clinic in the fall of 2007 in Bellingham, Wash., but later had multiple misconduct allegations levied against him and the practice.

In an informal disposition for those allegations reached in March 2010, Phillips agreed not to renew his expired licence to practice.

The resolution came after Phillips had already closed up SHOP by winservice86″” style=”width:7.5pt; height:7.5pt;visibility:visible;mso-wrap-style:square” o_button=”t”> at the clinic in April 2008, according to an Oklahoma news report.

Court records show Phillips was involuntarily hospitalized four times in 2008 for psychiatric issues, including the use of narcotic medications, MOOD DISORDERS by winservice86″” style=”width:7.5pt; height:7.5pt;visibility:visible;mso-wrap-style:square” o_button=”t”> , chronic pain, depression and anxiety bordering on suicidal.

While in the navy, Phillips was injured and became addicted to the painkillers he was prescribed, court documents allege.

Phillips was informed he could go longer practise medicine because of psychiatric illness, according to court documents filed on Feb. 26, 2009, by his lawyer in a BANKRUPTCY by winservice86″” style=”width:7.5pt; height:7.5pt;visibility:visible;mso-wrap-style:square” o_button=”t”> case. He was required to live apart from his wife because they had relationship problems.

“As illustrated in his schedules and lists of creditors, (the) defendant’s life was in shambles and had become one long fight against people who WANTED MONEY by winservice86″” style=”width:7.5pt; height:7.5pt;visibility:visible;mso-wrap-style:square” o_button=”t”> from him while he had no means to earn a living,” his lawyer wrote.

The documents do not state what Phillips’ diagnosis was.

Phillips had claimed his reputation had been destroyed and that had led to his filing for PERSONAL BANKRUPTCY by winservice86″” style=”width:7.5pt; height:7.5pt;visibility:visible;mso-wrap-style:square” o_button=”t”> on July 2, 2008.

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Phillips moved to Halifax thereafter and married Gosia Phillips. Proclamations published by the province of Nova Scotia show that Gosia Eve Phillips legally changed her name in February 2010 from Malgorzata Ewa Klonowska.

His LinkedIn PROFILE by winservice86″” style=”width:7.5pt; height:7.5pt;visibility:visible;mso-wrap-style:square” o_button=”t”> also lists Phillips as the manager of Neurology and Sleep Medicine Associates, Inc., a BUSINESS by winservice86″” style=”width:7.5pt; height:7.5pt;visibility:visible;mso-wrap-style:square” o_button=”t”> registered in Nova Scotia since 2009.

According to the province’s business registry, it operates out of a home at 43 Parkedge Crescent in Dartmouth. That’s one of the locations RCMP were investigating Tuesday. Nothing of note was found at that building.

However, RCMP were also at 54 Lakeridge Crescent, the first location in their investigation. Police descending on that property found a package in the garage containing hazardous chemicals, authorities said.

Police also located hazardous and volatile chemicals inside a cottage on Dyke Road in Nova Scotia.

Property records accessed by the Halifax Chronicle-Herald show Gosia Eve Phillips owns the Lakeridge home. She is also listed as the president of their business. She is a Harvard UNIVERSITY by winservice86″” style=”width:7.5pt; height:7.5pt;visibility:visible;mso-wrap-style:square” o_button=”t”> graduate and neurologist who specializes in sleep medicine and is an assistant professor of medicine at Dalhousie University, according to the university’s website.

According to sources, it was Gosia Phillips who alerted authorities to her husband’s possible whereabouts.

Reached at home Wednesday night, she said she wouldn’t go into details about her husband’s arrest.

“It’s a tough time for us all,” she said. “No comment. THANK by winservice86″” style=”width:7.5pt; height:7.5pt;visibility:visible;mso-wrap-style:square” o_button=”t”> you, though.”

Nova Scotia court records show Phillips has been charged with uttering threats and possession of a weapon for a dangerous purpose during a period ranging from Dec. 26 of last year to Wednesday.

An arrest warrant was issued for him Wednesday morning in Dartmouth, N.S.

The allegations against him have not been tested in court.

City police CONFIRMED by winservice86″” style=”width:7.5pt; height:7.5pt;visibility:visible;mso-wrap-style:square” o_button=”t”> Wednesday afternoon that no hazardous materials were found at either the Chimo hotel or inside Phillips’ vehicle.

The Citizen has learned the chemical authorities were looking for — but failed to find in Ottawa — was osmium tetroxide — a rare and expensive laboratory chemical that stirred up brief INTEREST by winservice86″” style=”width:7.5pt; height:7.5pt;visibility:visible;mso-wrap-style:square” o_button=”t”> as a possible terrorist weapon 11 years ago. Its fumes are toxic to humans.

 

 

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