Pubdate: Thu, 18 Aug 2016
Source: Toronto Sun (CN ON)
Page: 4
Copyright: 2016 Canoe Limited Partnership
Author: Michele Mandel
Bookmark: (Corruption - Outside U.S.)


It's Been 9 Years Since Allegedly Bad Officer Was Suspended

For a lucky nine years, Toronto Police Const. Ioan-Florin Floria has 
been sitting at home and drawing his salary while suspended from duty 
on allegations he used his position to assist his friends in an 
Eastern European drug cartel.

Almost a decade has passed since the former traffic cop was swept up 
in a shocking drug bust that saw the alleged kingpins of a Romanian 
gang under arrest for an international operation that swapped 
marijuana for cocaine.

Floria, a 34-year-old breath technician with eight years experience, 
was charged with numerous offences including breach of trust, money 
laundering and accessory after the fact to kidnapping. Police at the 
time said they were surprised when Floria's name surfaced in 
association with some of the other accused in their eight-month 
investigation into the multimillion-dollar drug cartel.

Former chief Bill Blair could barely conceal his contempt at the time 
and assured the public that police corruption was not widespread. 
Floria would later complain that even his police association 
distanced itself and wouldn't pay for his defence.

A jury acquitted him on all charges in 2012.

But Floria was far from in the clear. He was charged with 11 offences 
under the Police Act - six have since been withdrawn - and his 
disciplinary hearing has slowly been winding its way through the 
system. The prosecution is nearing completion: The defence is 
expected to get underway next month and the hearing completed by the 
end of the year.

"It has been a lengthy process but it's been a rather complicated 
case, with many legal issues to deal with. The case is progressing, 
but is progressing more slowly than the service would like," said 
police spokesman Meaghan Gray.

And still Floria collects his salary. The current annual rate for a 
first-class constable is $96,000; nine-year's worth of escalating 
paycheques must amount to at least three-quarters of a million 
dollars - all thanks to taxpayers like me and you.

It's an absolute disgrace.

The serious charges he faces under the Police Act are similar to the 
ones he beat in criminal court: On Nov. 18, 2005, Floria met with 
Simion Ternar, a fellow Romanian-Canadian, who worked for a marijuana 
grow-op. Ternar told the officer he'd been kidnapped and tortured and 
only released after his boss paid the kidnappers $200,000. Floria is 
alleged to have advised the man not to seek treatment for his 
injuries and not report it to police as he'd investigate it himself.

He never did. At his trial, the Crown contended Floria purposely 
derailed the investigation to cover for friends he suspected were 
involved. The traffic cop insisted Ternar had fabricated the whole thing.

On Dec. 23, 2005, another acquaintance told him about a second 
beating and kidnapping of a couple from a North York banquet hall by 
people who spoke Romanian. Once again, police allege Floria failed to 
report the crime and "suppressed information that would have 
prevented the ongoing forcible confinement, torture and sexual 
assault" of the couple.

At his trial, Floria testified that he never knew that two of his 
close friends were members of this drug gang and denied acting on 
their behalf. Yet he's charged under the Police Act with using his 
authority more than 70 times between 2000 and 2006 to access and 
disclose confidential data from CPIC (Canadian Police Information 
Centre) while not on official police business.

He is also accused of advising a friend on how to launder crime 
money: He allegedly told him to register a business as a tradesman 
and Floria would accept his illegal drug money and then pay him back 
with cheques from his account to "give the appearance that G.T. was 
being reimbursed as a tradesman for building renovations."

Floria, who has always protested his innocence, could not be reached. 
His lawyer did not respond to a request for comment.

Ontario remains the only province in the country that prevents its 
police chiefs from suspending officers without pay. At the rate 
Floria's disciplinary hearing is going, this allegedly bad cop will 
have collected a decade's worth of salary before he could be shown the door. 
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MAP posted-by: Jay Bergstrom