October 27, 2020

OPP union official fired following RCMP investigation into allegations of fraud, theft and money laundering

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483035_452275708147513_1565688909_nBy Adrian Humphreys & Douglas Quan From The Vancouver Sun

OPP union official fired following investigation into allegations of fraud, theft and money laundering

Three Ontario Provincial Police union leaders under suspicion in a still-unfolding fraud, theft and money laundering investigation have been suspended from their policing duties, officials announced Sunday.

The suspensions came one day after it was announced that one of the three officials was fired from his union position.

In a brief statement Sunday, OPP spokesman Sgt. Peter Leon said that Commissioner Vince Hawkes had ordered the suspensions of , a detective sergeant, and Martin Bain and , both constables.

The Ontario Provincial Police Association () had announced earlier in the weekend that its board of directors had voted to dismiss Mr. Walsh as the union’s chief administrative officer.

“Notice of termination has been delivered. Part of that notice requires the return of all OPPA-owned equipment, including vehicle and any electronic equipment,” the short memo says. Michael Briscoe will continue to serve as Acting Chief Administrative Officer, members were told.

Mr. Christie and Mr. Bain previously took a voluntary leave of absence from their union duties as president and vice-president.

The shakeup in both the union and police service comes amid troubling allegations that the top union leaders were involved in the misuse of funds.

The unproven allegations include unusual condo purchases in the Caribbean, “high-risk” investments in the Cayman Islands, secret ownership in a travel company that the OPPA was instructed to use for all of its travel arrangements and other suspicious acts, including questionable expenses and vacation time claims.

Union brass are accused of trying to downplay an audit last fall that found “significant unusual transactions” and “vague” investment policies.

The RCMP carried out searches at the OPPA’s headquarters, private homes and offices on March 6.

An affidavit in support of the search warrants made public on Friday also named Andrew McKay, a Toronto lawyer who often represents police associations and officers accused of wrongdoing, and two business partners: Klara Kozak and Noel Francis Chantiam.

“The totality of the alleged behaviour demonstrates an ongoing breach of trust which is being committed by Walsh, Bain and Christie that has escalated in sophistication and significance to the point where they are now believed to be using a lawyer, a nominee, a consulting firm, a travel company, an offshore company and offshore investments to profit and deceive the OPPA membership,” the affidavit said.

Mr. Walsh was also a failed Liberal candidate in Barrie during the 2011 provincial election and his LinkedIn profile identifies him as a director of the Ontario Pension Board. When he ran for public office in 2011, his campaign said he spent 14 years in the military, including a volunteer assignment as a United Nations peacekeeper in Kosovo, before joining the OPP.

Repeated requests for comment from the three union officials under investigation have gone unanswered. Mr. McKay, Ms. Kozak and Mr. Chantiam have all previously declined to discuss the allegations with the Post.

The OPPA represents about 6,200 uniformed officers and 3,600 civilian employees, making it one of the largest police unions in North America.

IMAGE: Karl Walsh, who was the chief administrative officer of the Ontario Provincial Police Association.

For more on this story go to: http://news.nationalpost.com/2015/03/14/opp-union-official-fired-following-rcmp-investigation-into-allegations-of-fraud-theft-and-money-laundering/#ixzz3UbYrW2lr

See iNews Cayman related story published March 16 2015 “OPP officers at centre of RCMP investigation suspended [Cayman Islands named]” at: http://www.ieyenews.com/wordpress/opp-officers-at-centre-of-rcmp-investigation-suspended-cayman-islands-named/

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