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Julian Fantino has headed the Ontario Provincial Police since 2006.

Julian Fantino's controversial tenure as the head of the Ontario Provincial Police is coming to an end.

Fantino will be replaced as commissioner on Aug. 1 by Chris Lewis, the Ontario Provincial Police's deputy commissioner.

The changing of the guard, announced by Premier Dalton McGuinty Wednesday, was not unexpected.

When Fantino's contract was extended by the province last year it was made clear he would be replaced one month after the G8 and G20 summits.

There have been rumours that Fantino may be considering running for mayor of Vaughan, north of Toronto, this November.

Fantino has been at the helm of the force since 2006 — the usual appointment time is three years — and his tenure has at times been marred by controversy.

He was accused of trying to influence municipal officials in connection with an ongoing aboriginal occupation in Caledonia, Ont., but the private charge was withdrawn.

Last December charges at the heart of a disciplinary matter involving Fantino were dropped, the same day the cross-examination of Ontario's top police officer was to resume after being delayed by legal motions.

The hearing into misconduct charges against two senior provincial police officers adjourned when Fantino accused the adjudicator of bias during his cross-examination.

His original appointment as commissioner was extended in March 2008 through to the end of October 2009.

In 1969 a 27-year-old Fantino became a cadet with the Toronto Police Service.

In the years that followed, he rose through the ranks and went on to helm the police forces in London, Ont., York Region and Toronto before taking on the role of commissioner.