Ottawa

Police association head staying on despite charges

The head of the Ottawa Police Association (OPA) says he's not stepping down despite criminal charges filed against him this week.

Matt Skof charged Wednesday with breach of trust, obstruction of justice

Matt Skof, president of the Ottawa Police Association, said he won't step down despite the criminal charges against him. (CBC)

The head of the Ottawa Police Association (OPA) says he's not stepping down despite criminal charges filed against him this week.

Ontario Provincial Police charged OPA president Matt Skof Wednesday with breach of trust and obstruction of justice.

"I have cooperated fully with the OPP and will continue to do so as this matter moves forward," Skof wrote in a statement to members Thursday afternoon. CBC News obtained a copy of the statement.

In it, Skof notes police Chief Charles Bordeleau has formally suspended him even though he was already on leave from the force.   

"While technically I am still an employee of the service, the collective agreement provides full release for a number of sworn and civilian members to fulfill their representation responsibilities with the OPA. The chief is aware of this, but persists in taking this step," Skof said.

No details on charges

OPP haven't explained why Skof was charged, but his arrest came after Ottawa police requested the provincial force's help to investigate the source of an unverified audio recording containing allegations against West Carleton–March Coun. Eli El-Chantiry.

El-Chantiry was the head of the city's police board at the time of the recording.

The recording, which was posted online in mid-2018, contained unsubstantiated claims about alleged criminal activity involving El-Chantiry. ​One of the voices on the recording also appeared to discuss sensitive details of an ongoing police investigation.

Skof said his priority remains serving OPA members.

"The Ottawa Police Association is a separate and distinct organization from the Ottawa Police Service. It has its own interests which, from time to time, can be in conflict with the Chief and the Board," he wrote.

Skof thanked members who have reached out to offer their support, and vowed to continue working on issues affecting them.

now