Pubdate: Thu, 09 Mar 2017
Source: Bracebridge Examiner (CN ON)
Copyright: 2017 The Bracebridge Examiner Ltd.
Author: Brent Cooper


BRACEBRIDGE - A Bracebridge resident and OPP police officer found
guilty of violating orders from his superiors not to attend a
conference that discussed the legalization of marijuana has received
his punishment.

Sgt. Dan Mulligan, who is a member of the Ontario Provincial Police's
Aviation Services Section/Helicopter Unit, faced one count of
discreditable conduct and two counts of insubordination during a
Police Services Act tribunal in late November at the OPP's general
headquarters in Orillia.

Adjudicator Superintendent Greg Walton last week found Mulligan guilty
of discreditable conduct and one count of insubordination, but not
guilty on the second count of insubordination.

Neither Mulligan nor his counsel, James Girvin of the Ontario
Provincial Police Association, were available for comment on the ruling.

The verdict was made late week, several weeks after Mulligan had been
found guilty by a separate tribunal of two counts of misconduct for
writing a letter to the editor that was critical of his employer.

In the latest decision, Mulligan was charged with the three counts after 
he had been ordered not to attend the Not By Accident Conference, with 
the theme Cannabis Legalization: Is this a trip we want to take?

Mulligan was one of the featured speakers at the Sept. 17 conference
in London. He was speaking at the gathering on behalfof Law
Enforcement Against Prohibition, also known as L.E.A.P., a nonprofit
organization made up of current and former members of the law
enforcement and criminal justice communities who speak out on what
they perceive as the failures of existing drug policies.

Mulligan, who is a member of L.E.A.P., said he had given the
conference organizers a disclaimer that his views did not reflect
those of his employer, but that part had been left off his biography
on the meeting's program.

In his ruling, Walton stated that Mulligan "acted in a manner
prejudicial to discipline which was likely to bring discredit upon the
reputation of the OPP."

He went on to say, "…There is no question Sgt. Mulligan attended this
conference while off-duty, but he presented himself as a serving,
experienced police officer. In doing so, he came perilously close to
putting himself on-duty, in fact that viewpoint could perhaps be taken
by some, but I will not rely on that perspective … the public expects
their police service to display the characteristics of impartiality,
neutrality, fairness and integrity; the public must have confidence
the laws are being applied evenly and fairly. I do not see that Sgt.
Mulligan's behaviour demonstrated those characteristics."

Walton determined that while Mulligan did disobey a direct order from
Staff Sgt. Dan Cameron prior to the conference, the caution made to
him by then- Insp. Mark Andrews on the day of the conference not to
speak did not constitute insubordination.

"Even if I did find this to be an order, in fairness to Sgt. Mulligan,
I would not have found him guilty of insubordination for not following
a second order which is in essence, a mirror image of the original
order," Walton ruled.
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