DURHAM, ONT. (680 NEWS) — An Ontario police chief and police board are under investigation by a public watchdog agency after officers came forward with allegations of corruption.
The Ontario Civilian Police Commission (OCPC) — an independent civilian oversight agency with quasi-judicial powers — launched an investigation into allegations made against the Durham Region Police Chief Paul Martin, the Durham Region Police Services Board, and other high-ranking members of the Durham Regional Police Service.
The Solicitor General’s office confirmed the investigation to CityNews and said they have appointed an administrator for the duration of the investigation.
Press Secretary Marion Isabeau Ringuette said the concerns were brought to the attention of Solicitor General regarding the board and the police service and requested the OCPC investigate, but say no one has been relieved of their duties.
According to a lawyer representing seven Durham police officers from different ranks, the officers stepped forward with allegations of “corrupt practices by the senior command.” None of the allegations have been proven.
Peter Brauti tells CityNews the allegations starting coming in November and December of last year, and more came out in early 2019.
Brauti says former Toronto Police Deputy Chief Mike Federico will be acting as the administrator and will be overseeing the police service. He reiterates Durham police chief Paul Martin has not been removed, but his powers have been diminished.
“He will be overseeing the police service and a lot of it’s functions, so a lot of the authority the Chief previously had will be given to the administrator,” said Brauti.
A statement from the Durham Regional Police Services board says Martin will continue to serve as Chief of Police while the investigation is ongoing.
Brauti is not able to detail the nature allegations as the investigation is ongoing, and says he believes it could take up to a year due to the wide scope.
He called the investigation “unprecedented” and added he believes it’s the first ever in the province of Ontario.
The investigation is expected to begin next week.