TORONTO – The Ontario Provincial Police has suspended three officers who are under investigation by the RCMP.
The suspension follows an RCMP investigation that alleges the top leaders of the police force’s union set up a sophisticated network of schemes involving secretly owned companies and offshore investments to defraud union members.
OPP Commissioner Vince Hawkes has suspended Det. Sgt. Jim Christie, Const. Martin Bain and Const. Karl Walsh indefinitely with pay pending the outcome of the investigation.
On the weekend, the Ontario Provincial Police Association dismissed Walsh, who was the chief administrative officer of the union.
The allegations against, which are not tested in court, are laid out in police documents filed with the Ontario Superior Court to obtain search warrants and production orders for a March 6 raid on union offices and other locations.
Court documents released Friday show that among the warrants’ targets were the union’s offices in Barrie, Ont., three vehicles registered in its name and a Toronto travel company.
The production orders sought copies and backups of union email accounts belonging to Christie, Bain and Walsh.
According to the union, Walsh had previously been placed on administrative leave, while Christie and Bain had taken voluntary leaves of absence.
However, the union said in a statement last week that “these actions should not be considered admissions or implications of wrongdoing or liability by anyone or by the association.”
No charges have been laid and an RCMP spokesman said Friday the investigation is ongoing and declined to comment further.