Wednesday, January 27, 1999

Scott Magnish

Sgro rakes board

Vice-chairman defiant as she faces ouster

Toronto's Police Services Board is more interested in a "quit 1999" than keeping the force accountable, its soon-to-be-deposed vice-chairman said yesterday.

And if the board is counting on Judy Sgro to sit quietly while fellow board member Jeff Lyons lobbies for her position, the councillor said, they can forget it.

"I'm not sure the current board is an effective watchdog anyway," said Sgro, who vowed to continue airing its dirty laundry in public even if she loses her vice-chairman's seat in tomorrow's vote.

"They're saying 'sit on the board, ask your questions in private, don't raise difficult issues and everybody will be happy.'

"It looks like when you try to hold the police accountable, this is what happens. I don't believe this is what the general public wants."


Board chairman Norm Gardner said there's "no validity to that comment whatsoever" and predicted the board would be "every inch the watchdog it has always been."

"Nobody has been asked to keep quit; nobody's trying to shut her down," Gardner said, admitting only that he's spent the past year "putting out a lot of fires she started," and her "outspoken" ways are a hindrance, not a help.

Board member Jeff Lyons simply characterized Sgro's style as "different" from his. "I suppose they're no great fans of hers, but the union had nothing to do with my campaign," Lyons said, adding he hadn't even met association president Craig Bromell until a few weeks ago. "There's no sinister conspiracy here. It's just me."

Sgro and the police association locked horns on several occasions, culminating in calls for her resignation after she equated the union to cops in Louisiana "where you dare not ask the police anything or you'll be found dead in the back of a car." Sgro later apologized.

Toronto Police clippings... [Fiona Stewart]

Created: February 14, 1999
Last modified: February 14, 1999

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