Pubdate: Tue, 06 Jul 2004
Source: Toronto Star (CN ON)
Copyright: 2004 The Toronto Star
Author: Betsy Powell
Bookmark: (Corruption - Outside U.S.)


RCMP Probes Police Misconduct

Supervisor Among Unnamed Group

Nine police officers, including at least one supervisor, face 55
Police Services Act charges following an internal probe into alleged
police misconduct, Toronto police Chief Julian Fantino said yesterday.

The charges relate to "breaches of rules, regulations, procedures,
those kinds of issues," the chief told a news conference. The
allegations leading to the charges were uncovered during a wider Royal
Canadian Mounted Police investigation into organized crime and
gambling that uncovered alleged police corruption, including the
suspected shakedown of bars by members of the plainclothes unit at 52

Fantino declined to discuss specifics about this latest round of
charges or name the officers facing them. "As soon as they have been
served, we will release their names and the charges against them."

He said that should happen in the "next week or so."

Up until yesterday, four officers had been charged criminally and four
face police act charges since the corruption scandal broke in
mid-April with the announcement that the 52 Division plainclothes unit
had been disbanded, and that Bill McCormack Jr., the son of a former
police chief, had been suspended from his job.

A number of the charges announced yesterday could be added to the
charges already facing seven of those officers, Fantino said.

So far, McCormack Jr., former police union president Rick McIntosh and
two other officers have been charged criminally in the corruption probe.

The charges against McCormack and McIntosh range from fraud on the
government, breach of trust and influence peddling to accepting a
benefit in connection with the alleged shakedown of bars.

McIntosh has resigned from the force and could therefore not be
included in these latest police act charges.

Four other officers, including Mike McCormack ? a union official and
another son of former chief William McCormack ? have been charged
under the Police Services Act for their alleged involvement with a
now-deceased used car salesman who had a criminal record and was a
drug user.

The Mounties continue to probe allegations of a protection racket and
the shakedown of city bars.

Investigators with the service's internal affairs branch had initially
served 21 officers with notice that their conduct was being examined
as prescribed by the Police Services Act.

The act requires officers to receive notices "detailing allegations
. including an order to respond to the allegations in writing."

"As a result of their responses and further investigation, the number
of officers charged has been reduced significantly," Fantino said. All
the officers have been reassigned but remain on active duty pending
the outcome of an internal hearing.

While he had little to say about the new charges, Fantino said he
wanted to "get the air clear" and clarify newspaper reports, which he
said left the impression "that more than 20 officers faced Police
Services Act charges."He also said yesterday's news conference was
part of his ongoing commitment to share information with the public as
soon as it becomes available. He added he is not aware of any more
charges pertaining "to the issues arising from 52 Division situation"
but could not offer any guarantees.

"I repeat my earlier promise: We will continue to investigate wherever
the evidence leads us and take whatever action is necessary."

Staff Superintendent Jane Dick has undertaken a senior management
review of 52 Division and Fantino said her report is on his desk "and
I'll be making my way through that in the next little while."

Fantino asked Dick to examine "the actions and why it happened," in
addition to looking at what improvements might be made.

Toronto's 52 Division plainclothes unit was originally set up to
police downtown bars and after-hours clubs, a job that expanded as the
entertainment district grew.

Fantino has already named Detective Sergeant Mike Davis to choose a
team of plainclothes officers to patrol the theatre district and other
problem areas in 52 Division.

Outgoing Toronto Police Association spokesperson Andrew Clarke, who
resigned yesterday, said he would be making no more official comments
about the new charges.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Larry Seguin