Pubdate: Fri, 15 Oct 2004
Source: Brock Citizen (CN ON)
Copyright: 2004,
Author: Jeff Mitchell
Bookmark: (Corruption - Outside U.S.)


Fifteen-Year Durham Police Veteran Tom Andrews Docked 40 Hours Of Pay
And Reprimanded

The former head of the Durham Regional Police Drug Enforcement Unit
has been docked 40 hours pay and issued a reprimand after pleading
guilty to insubordination and discreditable conduct.

Det. Tom Andrews, a 15-year veteran of the service, entered the pleas
last Wednesday. The pleas and penalty were part of a deal worked out
between the police service and Det. Andrews and his lawyer, Bernie
O'Brien. Both sides adhered to a pledge not to comment beyond
releasing an agreed statement of facts that was read during a brief
tribunal at police headquarters in Oshawa.

Staff Inspector Brian Fazackerley told tribunal officer Greg Connelly
that Det. Andrews had breached an order not to communicate with former
members of his squad after an investigation into allegations of
criminal activity was launched in February 2003.

He said Det. Andrews, who was moved to the major fraud unit after the
allegations surfaced, made contact with three former members of his
unit as they waited at 17 Division in Oshawa to be interviewed by
investigators in mid-April.

The act of discreditable conduct occurred in the early morning hours
after those interviews, when Det. Andrews followed and spoke to OPP
investigators as they drove to a nearby hotel at which they were
staying, Staff Insp. Fazackerley said.

Det. Andrews was ordered in writing by Deputy-Chief Chuck Mercier not
to have any contact with any of the drug unit members.

He said that, while Det. Andrew's actions were the result of concern
for his colleagues, they were still in contravention of an order from
police brass.

"Many were personal friends from whom he was required to distance
himself over an extended period of time and during a period of
disruption and uncertainty for all concerned," said Staff Insp.
Fazackerley, reading from the statement of facts.

As their former supervisor, Det. Andrews felt compelled to offer his
support for these officers during some particularly difficult
interviews in what is now recognized as a misguided, but genuine
attempt to be supportive of officers he previously supervised and for
whom he held considerable respect.

Soon after the events in April, Det. Andrews was formally charged with
three counts of insubordination and one count of discreditable conduct
under the Police Services Act.

In accepting the guilty plea last week, the force withdrew two of the
insubordination charges.

The deal brings to a close a turbulent period for Det. Andrews, whom
Staff Insp. Fazackerley described as a highly successful and decorated

As head of the drug unit from autumn 2001 until he was removed in
early 2003, he oversaw 273 investigations that resulted in 400 busts
and 1,500 criminal charges, and the seizure of millions of dollars
worth of drugs, he told Mr. Connelly.

But a shadow was cast over the drug unit and its members in January
2003, when a former member of the drug unit sent a letter to Chief
Kevin McAlpine, alleging a variety of criminal activities, including
excessive use of force and theft.

The chief called in the OPP in February 2003. The lengthy
investigation concluded with an announcement in August that there
would be no criminal charges laid.

In making the announcement, Chief McAlpine said there was "no
reasonable prospect of a criminal conviction." An internal Durham
police task force continues to investigate Police Services Act
breaches arising from the allegations.

All of the drug-unit cops involved, including Det. Andrews, have moved
on to other duties.

In accepting the joint recommendation on a penalty last week, Mr.
Connelly said Durham police had sent a message.

"They obviously acknowledge your value as a police officer and a
member of the Durham Regional Police service," he told Det. Andrews.

Det. Andrews did not comment after the tribunal.
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