Whitehead back on Hamilton police board
Coun. Terry Whitehead is coming back to the police services board and will face no punishment.
The Ontario Civilian Police Commission (OCPC) has concluded its investigation into allegations of misconduct against Whitehead, the board announced Friday.
Whitehead will return to the board at its next meeting on Tuesday.
“They found there were no grounds to move it to a hearing,” said Coun. Lloyd Ferguson, the acting vice chair on the board. He would not comment on the specifics of the investigation, citing “privacy issues.”
Ward 4 Coun. Sam Merulla told CBC Hamilton that his information is Whitehead is facing “no repercussions.”
“My understanding is there is no punishment,” Merulla said.
Whitehead could not be immediately reached for comment.
In an interview earlier this summer, Whitehead told CBC Hamilton the police board prompted the Ontario Civilian Police Commission to launch an investigation into his behaviour as a board member.
Anytime an investigation is launched, the board member is automatically suspended. The board requested the commission investigate Whitehead's conduct on April 18.
No one on the board would say what specific issues led to Whitehead's suspension. Whitehead has speculated that the accusations against him include public arguments with police chief Glenn De Caire and former board appointee Jim Kay, as well as throwing some papers on a desk during a meeting and his candour with the media.
Whitehead said no one from the board had spoken to him about his behaviour before the investigation was launched. "The behaviour they're talking about is no different than I've seen coming from other board members," he said.
The police services board has been in a state of disarray for months because of personnel changes. After Whitehead was suspended, city council appointed Ferguson to take his spot as a temporary substitute.
The board then went back and forth with the OCPC for months over whether or not Ferguson’s appointment was “lawful.”
When Coun. Bernie Morelli had to leave the board temporarily for health reasons, that left Mayor Bob Bratina as the only council appointed representative on the board, alongside provincial appointees.
The board elected Bratina as board chair to succeed previous chair Nancy Di Gregorio, but he resigned after the fallout over the shooting of former steelworker Steve Mesic.