Edmonton police officer admits using steroids
Officer demoted from sergeant to constable
A crisis of conscience will cost police officer Adam Toma more than $20,000. It will also derail his fast-tracked career.
This morning the 10½ year Edmonton Police officer pleaded guilty to discreditable conduct and deceit.
Toma admitted that in the spring of 2012 he asked EPS Detective Greg Lewis about using a human growth hormone (HGH). He wanted to lose weight.
According to an agreed statement of facts entered at the disciplinary hearing, Lewis discouraged Toma from taking HGH, but suggested he take the steroid winstrol instead.
In April of 2012, Toma said Lewis gave him a bottle of yellow pills. He paid Lewis $100 and began taking the anabolic steroid also known as stanazonol.
Toma said the steroids aggravated his achilles tendon so he stopped taking the pills.
Months later, in January 2013, Toma approached Lewis again and asked if he could have some "stuff."
One more time $100 and pills changed hands. And, once again, the steroid had the same negative impact on Toma's achilles tendon.
The Alberta Serious Incident Response Team launched an investigation into steroid trafficking within the Edmonton Police Service and interviewed Toma on May 15, 2014. He denied having any knowledge about Detective Lewis ever possessing or distributing steroids.
A month before the investigation began Detective Lewis told Toma "well, you're safe. The only one that knows about it is you and I."
But two months after being interviewed by ASIRT, Toma had a change of heart. He contacted ASIRT asking if he could be re-interviewed.
At that point, he confessed to buying steroids from Lewis on two occasions.
Toma wanted to come clean with the EPS Professional Standards Branch at the same time. But they told him to wait until the ASIRT criminal investigation was complete.
On March 6, 2015, ASIRT announced criminal charges against Detective Lewis and Constable Darren French for trafficking anabolic steroids.
A week later, Toma admitted his steroid use to the EPS Professional Standards Branch.
In a joint submission, the lawyer representing the Chief of Police and Toma's defence lawyer recommended a two year demotion from sergeant to constable, a $20,783.40 drop in pay.
Presiding Officer Supt. Mark Logar agreed with the recommendation.
"When there is deceit, a significant penalty should be imposed."
"He's not going to be viewed very favourably by a number of members in the service. I know I'm not supposed to say that, but it's blindingly obvious. So I applaud your courage in coming forward," said Logar.
Logar added steroid use "is not right,"but pointed out the "tremendous personal consequences to him being truthful" including financial consequences for Toma that he said are "positively staggering."
Toma sat with his hands folded on the desk in front of him throughout the disciplinary hearing.
When the hearing ended, Logar observed the immediate demotion in Toma's rank, "constable, good luck to you," he said.
Toma and his lawyer declined comment outside the hearing room.