OPA, president sue Ottawa police chief over suspension
Police association, Matt Skof suing Chief Charles Bordeleau in ongoing dispute
The Ottawa Police Association (OPA) and its president, Matthew Skof, are suing the Ottawa police Chief Charles Bordeleau, the latest development in an ongoing feud.
The suit, served to Bordeleau before an Ottawa Police Services Board meeting Monday afternoon, claims a suspension order barring Skof from Ottawa Police Service (OPS) facilities and rescinding his access to OPS police computer systems, violates his charter rights.
According to the statement of claim, Bordeleau also directed Skof not to attend public meetings of the police services board.
The suit alleges that Bordeleau is deliberately violating Skof and the OPA's constitutional rights through abuse of authority and unlawful interference in Skof's ability to advocate for his members.
The complainants are suing for $250,000 in damages plus costs, as well as an injunction to end the suspension order. They also are suing for $250,00 from Bordeleau for "misfeasance in public office."
Skof charged in January
In January, Skof was formally charged by the OPP with breach of trust and obstruction of justice, prompting Bordeleau to issue the suspension order after Skof refused to step down from his position with the OPA.
The charges stem from an unverified recording of Skof discussing alleged illegal activity involving Coun. Eli El-Chantiry, then chair of the police services board.
Skof has denied having anything to do with the matter.
The suit goes on to claim that the suspension order and ban "significantly infringe on and interfere with [Skof's] ability to express his views and represent the right and interests of the OPA and its members."
It details an incident on Jan. 31, 2019, when Skof was unable to enter the police station on Tenth Line Road to meet with officers involved in a Special Investigations Unit probe, forcing him to conduct the meetings by phone and in a car.
"The entire episode was humiliating for him and the OPA and it was suboptimal in terms of providing assistance," according to the suit.
The Ottawa Police refused to comment on the suit as it's before the courts. Police services board chair Diane Deans also declined to comment.