Friday, September 10, 1993

Bob Brent

p. A7.

Officer's appointment "temporary,"
chief says

Metro police Chief William McCormack says he is reviewing the controversial appointment of a senior officer who was named as a disciplinary trials judge despite having been disciplined in the Junger/Whitehead scandal.

"There has been an embroilment of misunderstanding around this whole issue," McCormack said yesterday as the Metro police services board voted to approve new criteria for filling the trials judge post.

The chief stressed that the appointment Staff Inaspector Allan Griffiths as an alternate trials judge had been intended as a temporary measure and "not a promotion."

"They were permanent appointments until I wrote to him," board chair Susan Eng countered in an interview. "Now They are interim appointments."

McCormack told board members that he will submit a list of potential candidates for the job to the board for approval. "I have not the authority ... to make promotions. You, the board, have all the authority," he said.

The chief said later in an interview that Griffiths "has no great interest in that position at all. It's just a fill-gap."

McCormack had come under fire from board members for making the appointment despite a request from the board in July that he report on the criteria for filling the job "prior to the slection of a new trials officer."

The chief shot back Wednesday when he issued a new release -- along with a directive that it be read to all officers -- lambasting Toronto Star columnists Rosie DiManno and Clayton Ruby for "wanton, senseless attacks that were undoubtedly politically motivated."

DiManno had questioned the appointment of Griffiths and quoted Eng as saying McCormack doesn't "get it" for naming an officer who had been tainted by the Junger/Whitehead scandal.

Griffiths 49, former head of the police trials preparation unit, was "admonished" by the force for his role as the prosecutor in disciplinary hearings for Constable Brian Whitehead.

Whitehead who was accused of extorting sex from a prostitute was demoted after a trials judge refused to accept a deal in which Whitehead would have forfeited 21 days holiday time.

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