Canada These Toronto cops have been suspended with pay for three and a half years and counting

01:56  11 august  2018
01:56  11 august  2018 Source:   thestar.com

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Dominelli has 13 years ' experience with Toronto police, while Young has been with the force for two- and - a - half years . Both were from the city's central 13 division, and have been suspended with pay since Jan.

a man wearing a suit and sunglasses posing for the camera: From left, Toronto police officers Joshua Cabero, Leslie Nyznik and Sameer Kara were found not guilty of sexual assault last year stemming from a January 2015 incident in a downtown hotel room.© Provided by Toronto Star Newspapers Limited From left, Toronto police officers Joshua Cabero, Leslie Nyznik and Sameer Kara were found not guilty of sexual assault last year stemming from a January 2015 incident in a downtown hotel room.

One year since they were acquitted of sexually assaulting a colleague, three Toronto police officers remain suspended with pay, marking three and a half years that the trio has been compensated while off work.

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Consts. Leslie Nyznik, Sameer Kara and Joshua Cabero have not been charged with professional misconduct under the Police Services Act in connection to the 2015 incident. Officers who are charged criminally often also face police act charges regardless of the outcome of their criminal case.

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This article originally appeared on VICE Canada. We now know a hell of a lot more about the two Toronto cops who allegedly got so high while on Constable Jamie Young is facing four misconduct charges and Constable Vittorio Dominelli is facing six—both have been suspended with pay .

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Due to a time limit placed on misconduct charges under the province’s Police Services Act — six months after an incident or after a complaint has been made — Toronto police have had to appeal to the civilian police board for permission to lay misconduct charges in this case.

It has been more than three years since a female parking enforcement officer, whose identity is protected by a publication ban, came forward with allegations she was sexually assaulted by the off-duty officers in a downtown hotel room. An investigation was launched by Toronto police professional standards, resulting in the criminal charges.

Meaghan Gray, a spokesperson for the Toronto police, said in an email this week that an appeal has been drafted “and submitted to the board for consideration.”

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The officers, both from the city’s central 13 division, have been suspended with pay since Jan. 28. Dominelli has 13 years ’ experience with Toronto police, while Young has been with the force for two and a half years .

It’s not clear when that appeal was made. Gray said she did not know the date it was sent, and a Toronto police board spokesperson said decisions about police misconduct charges beyond the six-month time limit are confidential — a decision made by the board at an April 2016 meeting.

Peter Brauti, the lawyer representing Cabero, called the delay “unacceptable.” Brauti said he could understand why the service might have wanted the officers “in a limited role” while the charges were outstanding, but said they have since been found not guilty.

“Their desire is to return to work,” Brauti said, noting the Toronto police’s professional standards division — the unit that lays misconduct charges against officers — “attended the trial each and every day.”

“At the conclusion of the trial they knew exactly what the evidence was, so why, 12 months later, are they sitting around, suspended and not able to work?”

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Young was the officer in charge of the seized substances and it’s alleged that she “failed to account for ” three packages of chocolate At least one of the cops had a colourful online footprint. This included a Twitter video of Dominelli Vittorio Dominelli is facing six—both have been suspended with pay .

President of the Toronto Police Association Mike McCormack also said he would not be commenting on the investigation but confirmed that two officers have been suspended with pay pending an investigation.

One year ago this week, Superior Court Justice Anne Malloy found the three officers not guilty of one count each of sexual assault, stemming from a January 2015 incident. Malloy concluded she could not convict the officers beyond a reasonable doubt due to inconsistencies in the complainant’s account, but noted she did not necessarily believe the testimony of Nyznik, who was the sole officer to testify during the trial.

She was also critical of the officers’ behaviour on the night in question, when the group was participating in a “rookie-buy night,” a booze-fuelled initiation ritual that has since been banned by Toronto police. Among the concerns Malloy raised in her ruling was the fact that Nyznik — while the group was at the Toronto strip club the Brass Rail — lied to a stripper and told her the group was “a pornographic movie crew.”

Michael Lacy, the lawyer representing Kara, said that “given that the matter is still not complete as (Kara) remains suspended from active duty, it would be inappropriate to comment at this time.”

The lawyer representing Nyznik could not be reached for comment for this story.

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If the Toronto police board decides misconduct charges should be laid against the officers, it will launch a tribunal process that could stretch for months or longer, with the officers likely suspended with pay for the duration. If found guilty of misconduct, the consequences range from a reprimand to dismissal.

A Toronto police constable’s base salary ranges between $66,462 and $94,949 per year, according to the service’s website.

Ontario is the sole province in Canada where police chiefs do not have the power to suspend officers without pay unless they are sentenced to jail time. Police chiefs have long been calling for changes that would allow them greater powers to suspend officers without pay — in part because it’s a source of frequent public complaints.

Through its policing legislation, the previous Liberal government proposed changes that would expand the circumstances under which police chiefs could suspend officers without pay. Premier Doug Ford has criticized that omnibus legislation, known as the Safer Ontario Act of Bill 175, saying it “hurt policing efforts in the province.”

Ford’s government has already halted the implementation of one part of that legislation — a new act governing the police watchdog, the Special Investigations Unit — and has said his government would conduct “a full and thorough review” of the remainder of the legislation, some of which is scheduled come into effect next year.

Wendy Gillis is a Toronto-based reporter covering crime and policing. Reach her by email at wgillis@thestar.ca or follow her on Twitter: @wendygillis

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