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The Tribune was told by various, separate parties that the complaint involved the Chief striking an officer from behind while berating him, though the officer was not named and the sources would only speak anonymously out of fear of reprisal. They did not witness the alleged incident and said they could not verify its veracity, only stating that this was the crux of the complaint.
The president of the WN Police Association, the bargaining unit representing uniformed staff of the service, was also very careful in answering questions about the complaint. Constable Patrick Gladu confirmed that the complaint had been brought to the board around Oct. 24, but would not give full details of the allegation. He did suggest that it was serious by stating “if it was one of us [officers], chances are we would have been suspended.”
When questioned on Monday, Nov. 20, Gladu said he had not yet gotten confirmation from the Board as to whether an investigation had begun. “They’re looking into the matter, conferring with the head of the Police Board of Ontario, basically looking for guidance,” he stated. Asked if the Chief and the complainant were both still at work, he said only that “everything is just as before, nothing has changed.”
While sources have said the Chief had agreed to avoid being alone with the complainant and to let his Inspector deal directly with uniformed members, Gladu would not confirm the exact details of accommodations. “The Association has made recommendations to which the chief agreed,” was all he would offer. Asked about his reticence to speak, Gladu said that in Pembroke, the chief of police sued two members of his service personally and that was a fear among local officers.
by Suzanne Gammon
WN Police Chief Chuck Seguin’s professional conduct has been called into question after an officer claimed to have been struck behind the head by his superior, an allegation that was brought to the WN Police Services Board by the WN Police Association around October 24.
The Tribune learned of the complaint on Nov. 2, and immediately contacted Police Board chair Barry Bertrand for confirmation. On Nov. 6, Bertrand provided an email saying only “I do not have any information to provide to you at this time.”
An inquiry with the Ontario Civilian Police Commission (OCPC) Registrar revealed that a complaint had indeed been received and that the WN Police Board was seeking to have the matter investigated by the independent body. “I can confirm that the Board has received a request from the West Nipissing Police Services Board to initiate an investigation into an allegation of misconduct against the Chief. The Commission is currently discussing with the Board how that investigation is likely to proceed,” indicated Sylvia Cheng, Communications Director for the Safety, Licensing Appeals and Standards Tribunal Ontario, an arm of OCPC.