Wednesday, April 18, 1990

Cal Miller and Lisa Priest

p. A1.

Chief irate over publicity in escort case

Publicity over accusations of a sex-for-pay service is hurting morale and making it difficult to manage the force, Metro's police chief says. Metro Police Chief William McCormack said yesterday that he will open any necessary files for the Ontario Police Commission if they launch an investigation into allegations that three male police officers were involved in an escort agency.

McCormack said one police officer quit the force after being linked to the agency, but an internal investigation uncovered no evidence to show other officers were involved.

He said anyone who has information which would contradict the findings of detectives from Metro's internal affairs unit should file a complaint with Clare Lewis, the Public Complaints Commissioner.

Sex case publicity harmful, chief says

No evidence has been found to substantiate a former call girl's claim that two officers on the force performed sex acts for money, McCormack said.

But the publicity is "hurting morale and is preventing us from continuing to maintain good discipline," he said. Police management is gravely concerned with the continual regurgitation of allegations to which responses have already been provided, a statement released by McCormack said.

"Further, this continual harassment is seriously impairing any ongoing internal investigation," his statement said.

Constable Gordon Junger resigned from the force March 1, after hashish possession charges against him were dropped in court. Allegations of wrongdoing by Junger and two unnamed officers were made by a 26-year-old former call girl, who said she operated the escort agency with Junger.

"The two officers have been investigated and there is no tangible evidence whatsoever to either charge them with a criminal offence or under the Police Act," the chief's statement said.

McCormack maintains the drug charges were withdrawn because the former call girl, who lived with Junger in the townhouse where hashish was found in December, said she would recant her evidence at the trial.

The woman denies this. When asked about this discrepancy, McCormack answered: "Who do you believe? The word of the police chief or that of a prostitute?" The force will not make any further public comment on the matter, the chief said.

The former call girl turned in Junger for operating an escort service, which advertised with the slogan "Pleasure can be yours."

The Star reported on the agency's operations and on Junger's resignation after the drug charges were dropped. When the investigation of Junger and the other officers began in early December, the woman said, she had call sheets for the escort agency containing the other officers' names and their visits to customers.

In December and January, the woman turned over to police a number of audio tapes containing phone calls between her and Junger about the agency's operation. After numerous requests, she said, the tapes were returned. She wanted them as evidence for a possible paternity suit. She is seven month pregnant.

McCormack said the repeated news stories are causing him concern because they appear to be impairing the force. "Where it's causing me concern is that it has already been clarified six times over," he said. "I can't operate if they continue like this."

Police commission chairman June Rowlands said she has no complains about how police investigated the escort service. "I believe what I've been told -- that the evidence has been very thoroughly investigated," she told The Star's Alan Story.

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Created: March 30, 1998
Last modified: March 31, 1998

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