Sgt. Derek Mellor’s police act hearing over sexual misconduct-related charges has been postponed because his lawyer is sick – and the public likely won’t get to know until at least November if the disgraced Hamilton police officer gets to keep his job.
Superintendent Mike Shea said on a conference call Tuesday that Mellor’s lawyer Leo Kinahan contacted him on Monday and said he wasn’t well enough to attend a Tuesday hearing.
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Mellor was originally scheduled to have a hearing Monday. The 14-year veteran of the service was once the lead of Hamilton Police’s anti-human trafficking initiative dubbed “Project Rescue.” He pleaded guilty earlier this year to nine Police Services Act charges after engaging in sexual acts and sending lewd messages as well as photos and videos of his penis to sex workers and colleagues.
Some of those sex workers had contacted Det. Const. David Hartless — who also worked on Project Rescue — about the messages.
“For the record, I just wanted to state that the prosecution was prepared to present lead evidence today in the form of calling police Const. Hartless, and as a result of the adjournment, we are obviously not going to be calling that evidence,” police lawyer Marco Visentini said during the call.
The hearing will reconvene for a conference call on July 24 to set date for the proceedings to move forward. Visentini said he is seeking a minimum of three hours next week to hear Hartless’s testimony.
He also said the prosecution has secured time in early November to complete the evidence and submissions.
“It is our intention and our hope that that week we will have everything completed and the submissions as well, and the matter will be in your hands for decision,” Visentini said to hearing officer Robert Strathdee.
Mellor has been suspended from duty with pay since he was charged in December 2012. He made $101,614.24 in salary and $736.26 in taxable benefits in 2013.