Wednesday, August 28, 1991


Police said officer faced firing probe told

A woman was assured by the Metro police internal affairs department that an officer, who is still on the force, would lose his job if he was convicted under the Police Act, an inquiry has heard.

"They explained to me that because of the seriousness of the offence, he'd lose his badge," said the woman identified only as Jane Doe. She testified yesterday at the provincial inquiry into the practices of Metro police's internal affairs department. Members of the media heard her testimony in a separate room in order that her identity be concealed. She testified about the department's treatment of her complaint in November, 1989, that Constable Brian Whitehead had used his position to extort sex from her.

Whitehead was demoted after pleading guilty to Police Act charges of corruption and deceit last spring. The inquiry has heard that he was arrested in the woman's apartment after a two-week investigation by Detective Sergeants Donald Caisse and Richard Lundy of the internal affairs department. At the time of the arrest, Whitehead was charged with sexual assault and extortion, although these charges were never formally laid.

Originally, the woman said, she was satisfied with Police Act charges being laid because she simply wanted Whitehead off the force. "I wasn't concerned with how he was removed from the force as long as it was done properly," she said. "I felt that given what he'd done to me ... it was inappropriate to have a person like this on Metro's police force."

She has always wanted her identity concealed, she said, and the department officers assured her that Police Act charges would achieve this more effectively than would criminal charges.

Several weeks after the arrest, however, she said she wanted criminal charges laid. "They told me it was a labor relations issue and that criminal charges would not be appropriate and would not be pursued... They also told me that if that happened, my anonymity would be lost and that the media would be all over me." She also said the officers told her a deal had been made with Whitehead, in which his job would be preserved if he pleaded guilty to Police Act charges. "Detective Sergeants Caisse and Lundy told me of the deal. They said the probable outcome of Police Act charges would be (a loss of vacation time)," the woman said.

Commission counsel Graydon Sheppard asked if this might have been plea bargaining rather than deal-making.

"It had to be more than a plea bargain because they said they wouldn't lay criminal charges," the woman replied.

The woman told the commission the department withheld information from her and "stonewalled her." She was not given Whitehead's last name for many months.

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Created: December 4, 1998
Last modified: December 4, 1998

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