RCMP probes city's top two police officers 0
File photo of Pembroke Police Chief Dave Hawkins
Pembroke’s two top police officers are the subjects of a criminal investigation by the RCMP, QMI Agency has learned.
It’s just the latest controversy for the 134-year-old force.
Chief David Hawkins and Deputy Chief John “Drew” Mellon are the subject of a probe by the commercial crime unit, part of Ottawa’s RCMP A-Division, the unit that specializes in corruption and fraud investigations.
RCMP spokeswoman Lucy Shorey confirmed there is an investigation, but said it was policy not to discuss the particulars of what Hawkins and Mellon are accused of.
She said the RCMP took over the probe after being handed the file from the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP).
Pembroke police services board chairman Mike Lemay had “no comment” about the investigation when contacted at home by QMI Agency.
The chief didn’t attend the most recent police service board meeting, held April 26, for which minutes were posted online. Both he and Mellon were present for the Feb. 26 meeting.
Pembroke Mayor Ed Jacyno said he was unaware of the investigation.
“I haven’t a clue about that,” he said. “I wasn’t aware of that at all. It’s news to me.”
Contacted at police headquarters, Hawkins said any comment would have to come from his lawyer, Ian Johnstone.
“I can’t really give you any statement,” he said.
Mellon confirmed he was being represented by the same lawyer.
Asked if he had any comment, Mellon replied, “I just said all I want to say, thanks.”
Johnstone, a lawyer with Toronto-based Johnstone, Daniels and Cowling, specializes in representing police chiefs, deputy chiefs and police services boards.
Johnstone, who has been ill but returned to work June 27, didn’t return multiple daily messages or e-mails.
The troubled Pembroke force won’t be around much longer.
The city signed a deal with the province to provide police services beginning next year at an estimated cost of $5 million.
Council passed a bylaw initiating the agreement between the city and the ministry of community safety and correctional services June 19 by a recorded vote of 7-2.
Previous chief Blair MacIsaac left the job in disgrace in 2007 after being given a 90-day unpaid suspension for pleading guilty to five counts of discreditable conduct under the Police Services Act.
MacIsaac admitted he slapped Const. Jeff Cotnam on the side of the head with an open hand on May 12, 2005.