HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Policy Cuts OPP From Crime Bargains
Pubdate: Thu, 05 Feb 2004
Source: Ottawa Sun (CN ON)
Copyright: 2004, Canoe Limited Partnership
Author: Laura Czekaj


A new OPP policy has been developed to ensure officers don't benefit from 
the proceeds of crime after a Gananoque OPP officer purchased property 
seized during a drug investigation at a bargain price. Sgt. Ed Hickey's 
purchase of property on the St. Lawrence River near Gananoque sparked at 
least two internal OPP investigations and brought to light a gap in the 
force's regulations.

However, charges of corrupt practice and insubordination against the 
veteran cop were withdrawn last week on the basis he had done nothing wrong 
under the OPP's former regulations.

"Having recognized that there was no clear policy concerning this 
acquisition of property, we ended up developing a policy that is now in 
place that will prohibit OPP members from bidding on these properties in 
the future," said Supt. Bill Crate, OPP commander of corporate communications.

In February 2002, Hickey paid $52,500 for a partially finished two-storey 
house and two lots on the St. Lawrence River. The property had been seized 
from a reputed Kingston drug dealer. A press release from police originally 
stated the property was worth $170,000.

Crate said the actual price of the property was not as high as originally 
stated by police and that the offer accepted by Hickey was within 10% of 
the appraised value.

However, the incident was an "embarrassment" to the OPP, which strives to 
earn the trust of the communities it serves, said Crate.

"If the same thing happened today, the outcome would be quite different."
- ---
MAP posted-by: Beth Wehrman