A dozen Hamilton Police Service officers are now being paid to sit at home — and in at least one case, behind bars — because of a provincial policy that is costing the city half a million dollars every year.
Factoring in the seven officers arrested Tuesday from the high profile ACTION team, five of whom have been criminally charged in an alleged fake ticket writing scam, the Hamilton Police Service has 12 officers under paid suspension.
Police Board chair Lloyd Ferguson said that the paid suspension policy is costing the city $500,000 annually.
Hamilton Police Chief Glenn De Caire has backed the fight for unpaid suspensions for the past year, including bringing the issue to the annual general meeting of the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police in 2014. The ask is now before the provincial government for consideration.
The public push came after Hamilton Police inspector David Doel collected more than $550,000 in pay and then retired before having to face a tribunal process last year. Doel faced 14 charges under the Police Services Act including having sex on the job, keeping pornography on his work computer and using video equipment and the national criminal database for his own personal use.
Currently, there are several Hamilton Police officers on paid suspension. Some of the known include:
- Det. Cons. Craig Ruthowsky is in policy custody after being denied bail following charges related to a Toronto Police gang investigation, Project Pharaoh. He is charged in connection with cocaine trafficking, breach of trust and participating in a gang, among others. His charges stem from actions he allegedly took while under suspension for a similar charge, some three years earlier.
- Cons. Robert Hansen was arrested and charged along side Ruthowsky in 2012, when he was then-described as a 12-year veteran of the force who was charged with fabricating evidence and perjury.
- Cons. Don Sauve, of Caledonia, is a 15-year veteran of the force who is awaiting Police Act charges after having his criminal charges withdrawn.
- Cons. Paul Manning was arrested and charged for allegedly sending a threatening e-mail. When he was arrested, police found a firearm not stored safely, which led to additional charges.
- Sgt. Jason Howard is awaiting Police Act hearing, stemming from allegations of fraudulent submissions of benefit claims.
Five of the seven ACTION team officers have been named by police. The charged five include:
- Const. Bhupesh Gulati, 31: conspiracy to commit an indictable offence, namely intent to mislead by fabricating provincial offences notes; four counts of fabricating evidence; four counts of breach of trust.
- Const. Shawn Smith, 37: conspiracy to commit an indictable offence, eight counts of fabricating evidence, eight counts of breach of trust and obstructing police.
- Const. Steve Travale, 40: conspiracy to commit an indictable offence, seven counts of fabricating evidence, seven counts of breach of trust.
- Const. Staci Tyldesley, 29: conspiracy to commit an indictable offence, 10 counts of fabricating evidence, 10 counts of breach of trust.
- Const. Dan Williams, 32: conspiracy to commit an indictable offence, two counts of fabricating evidence, two counts of breach of trust.
A previous version of this story said Cons. Don Sauve was facing criminal charges. He is in fact awaiting Police Services Act charges.Jun 18, 2015 9:44 AM ET