Ottawa

Ex-deputy chief negotiated resignation with police board during Convoy turmoil: affidavit

The Ottawa Police Services Board will not disclose the details of any financial settlement reached after the resignation of a former deputy chief who had been suspended for allegations of sexual harassment since March 2020.

While suspended from force, Uday Jaswal collected more than $500K in salary

Uday Jaswal, former deputy police chief with the Ottawa Police Service, speaks to CBC Ottawa on Sept. 12, 2019, about sexual harassment allegations filed against him. (CBC)

The Ottawa Police Services Board will not disclose the details of any financial settlement reached after the resignation of a former deputy chief who had been suspended for allegations of sexual harassment since March 2020 — during which time he collected more than a half million dollars in salary.

That settlement was negotiated in the shadow of the fall of one chief, during the police board's own upheaval, and in the middle of police and city-wide efforts to deal with the Freedom Convoy, according to Uday Jaswal's own affidavit filed as part of a motion to adjourn his misconduct hearing.

In a statement to CBC News after Jaswal's resignation, police board chair Coun. Eli El-Chantiry said "In keeping with its standard practice, the board does not comment publicly on personnel or labour relations matters."

According to Ontario Civilian Police Commission (OCPC) tribunal filings, Jaswal and his lawyer filed a motion to adjourn his disciplinary hearing specifically so he could negotiate a settlement with the police board before his hearing, prompted by what he said were "personal circumstances involving me and my family."

Jaswal said in the affidavit it was "an opportunity to refocus my career" and said former board chair Coun. Diane Deans communicated to him in writing that the board would discuss it in camera on Feb. 28.

"I am requesting this adjournment to allow my employment counsel the opportunity to fully negotiate with the Ottawa Police Services Board," Jaswal said.

"I can confirm that any successful negotiation here may result in rendering these (disciplinary) proceedings moot."

Charged, suspended, charged again

Jaswal was suspended with pay in March 2020 after being charged with misconduct under the Police Services Act for allegedly sexually harassing and touching female Ottawa police employees.

He was hired by Ottawa police in 1995. He rose to the rank of superintendent before leaving the city in 2016 to be deputy chief for the Durham Regional Police Service near Toronto.

Jaswal rejoined Ottawa police as deputy chief in 2018 before the Ottawa allegations against him came to light in 2019 and an investigation in Durham into allegations of corruption became public.

He was charged in 2020, less than two years into his contract with the Ottawa police board, with six counts of misconduct — three counts of discreditable conduct and three counts of insubordination — under the Police Services Act for allegedly sexually harassing the three Ottawa Police Service (OPS) employees.

In 2021, he was charged with another two counts of discreditable conduct in connection to the Durham investigation.

All of those charges were officially withdrawn by the OCPC on March 29 because the commission doesn't have jurisdiction to hear cases against resigned or retired police officers.

Jaswal swore affidavit in middle of force, board turmoil

Jaswal's affidavit to the tribunal was dated Feb. 16 — the same day Deans was removed as board chair and one day after former chief Peter Sloly resigned in the aftermath of his handling of the protests. 

It was also the day El-Chantiry was named board chair.

On Feb. 24, the newly comprised police board met in a special meeting to be briefed on the protracted protests.

But in camera, according to the agenda for the meeting, the board discussed two "labour relations" matters and a "personnel" matter.

Jaswal resigned from the Ottawa Police Service effective the very next day, Feb. 25. 

His motion to delay the start of the hearing was ultimately denied by the disciplinary tribunal. Jaswal resigned as a police officer the Friday before his Monday hearing.

According to Ontario's public salary disclosure lists for 2020 and 2021 — years Jaswal was suspended — he collected $506,104.47 in salary.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Shaamini Yogaretnam

CBC Ottawa reporter

Shaamini Yogaretnam is CBC Ottawa's justice, crime and police reporter. She has spent nearly a decade covering crime in the nation's capital. You can reach her at shaamini.yogaretnam@cbc.ca or 613-220-2486. You can find her on Twitter at @shaaminiwhy

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