OPP officer acquitted on breach of trust charges

Police corruption is a form of police misconduct designed to obtain financial benefits, other personal gain, or career advancement for officers in exchange for not pursuing, or selectively pursuing, an investigation or arrest. One common form of police corruption is soliciting or accepting bribes in exchange for not reporting organized drug or prostitution rings or other illegal activities. Another example is police officers flouting the police code of conduct in order to secure convictions of suspects — for example, through the use of falsified evidence.

OPP officer acquitted on breach of trust charges

Postby Thomas » Fri Dec 12, 2014 10:18 am

Sgt. Dennis Mahoney-Bruer was arrested in May 2009 after an internal investigation.

MILTON—An OPP officer alleged by the Crown to have fabricated evidence to receive kickbacks from towtruck companies has been found not guilty of breach of trust.

Superior Court Justice Dale Fitzpatrick, on Thursday found OPP Sgt. Dennis Mahoney-Bruer not guilty of three counts of breach of trust and three counts of attempting to obstruct justice.

The hearing at a Milton courthouse lasted just over five minutes. Fitzpatrick said he will provide written reasons next week, but made a point of directly addressing Mahoney-Bruer.

“I do want you to consider yourself extremely fortunate that the evidence generally allowed you the benefit of the court’s doubt,” Fitzpatrick told Mahoney-Bruer.

He told the officer not to interpret the verdict as an “endorsement” of his actions and gave him “a very clear warning,” that he might not receive the same benefit if he finds himself in court again.

“It will never happen, Your Honour,” said Mahoney-Bruer, wearing a dark suit and purple tie.

“Good luck, sergeant,” Fitzpatrick responded.

Sgt. Dennis Mahoney-Bruer was arrested in May 2009 after an investigation by the Ontario Provincial Police Professional Standards Bureau.

His charges stemmed from three incidents in May 2009. One involved a driver charged with speeding. The other two involved drivers charged with speeding 50 km/h over the limit, or “stunt” driving.

During Mahoney-Bruer’s September 2013 trial, the Crown alleged he fabricated evidence so as to give tickets to drivers and was motivated by the kickbacks he received from towtruck drivers.

In Ontario, driving 50 km/h over the limit results in an immediate seven-day vehicle impoundment and an immediate seven-day licence suspension, according to the Ministry of Transportation. Drivers convicted of the charges face fines up to $10,000 and a sentence of up to six months.

In court documents from 2009, Mahoney-Bruer was ordered not to speak with two men who run Mississauga towing companies. The men told the Star in 2009 they didn’t know why they were mentioned in the case.

Mahoney-Bruer was not charged with accepting kickbacks.

Outside the courtroom, he refused to answer questions about his future with the OPP and would not comment on the verdict.

“Obviously he’s very happy. He’s very relieved because this has been hanging over his head now for more than five years,” Harry Black, Mahoney-Bruer’s defence lawyer, told the Star. “I can tell you that these (police) prosecutions take a big toll and a heavy toll on people.”

Mahoney-Bruer, 54, is a 17-year veteran of the OPP and served with the Port Credit highway safety detachment. He is currently suspended with pay, said OPP spokesperson Sgt. Peter Leon.

Mahoney-Bruer was charged with discreditable conduct under the Police Services Act in 2009. In criminal matters, the OPP’s Professional Standards Bureau waits until the matter is concluded before proceeding, Leon said.

“What will happen is they will now look at everything again and very closely take into consideration what has been said in the criminal proceedings,” Leon said.

He said the OPP would not comment on the case until they receive Fitzpatrick’s written reasoning.

Crown attorney Molly Flanagan, who was in court to receive the verdict but did not prosecute the trial, declined to comment on the case.

The Crown attorney who prosecuted Mahoney-Bruer’s trial, Andrew Cappell, did not respond to a request for comment from the Star.

Leon said he could not comment on the status of the three cases involving drivers who were ticketed by Mahoney-Bruer. In 2009, a spokesperson told the Star the OPP were working with the Crown to withdraw the drivers’ charges.

With files from Alyshah Hasham and Kenyon Wallace

http://www.thestar.com/news/crime/2014/ ... arges.html
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Judge warns OPP sergeant before dismissing criminal charges

Postby Thomas » Fri Dec 12, 2014 10:21 am

Judge gives OPP sergeant warning before dismissing criminal charges

MILTON - A Port Credit OPP sergeant accused of breach of trust and obstructing justice was given a stern warning by a Superior Court judge in Milton today before being acquitted on all counts.

Sgt. Dennis Mahoney-Bruer, 54, of Burlington, was found not guilty of the charges but remains suspended with pay because he now must face Police Services Act charges of discreditable conduct, his lawyer Harry Black confirmed.

Mahoney-Bruer offered no comment after Justice Dale Fitzgerald's ruling and ducked out of a side entrance from the courthouse, avoiding photographers and reporters.

The officer, a 17-year veteran of the OPP, was arrested after the OPP's Professional Standards Bureau allegedly found speeding and racing charges were laid against drivers based on false evidence.

Mahoney-Bruer was accused of charging drivers with speeding and racing/stunt driving based on false evidence.

Much tougher penalties have been in place these last few years for drivers doing more than 50 km/h over the speed limit. Their vehicle is impounded for seven days, their driver's licence is suspended for seven days and, if found guilty, there's a minimum $2,000 fine.

Furthermore, courts can impose a licence suspension of up to 10 years for a second conviction. For a first conviction, the maximum suspension is two years.

Mahoney-Bruer was charged with three counts of breach of trust and one count of attempting to obstruct justice.

The officer testified in his own defence and, despite being acquitted of the charges, received a strong warning from the judge.

"Consider yourself extremely fortunate," he told the officer, adding the ruling and the two-week trial should serve as a "very clear warning you may not receive the benefit (should you appear before the courts) again."

Black said his client is relieved the five-year court ordeal has ended.

"It’s been very hard on him, on his family," he said, noting Mahoney-Bruer has grown children. "His career was at stake. People don't realize the toll that takes."

Mahoney-Bruer was never charged with accepting kickbacks from tow truck drivers. However, owners and managers of Mississauga towing companies say OPP detectives asked them if they had ever paid Mahoney-Bruer to use their services or heard about Mahoney-Bruer allegedly receiving kickbacks from other towing companies.

The judge's written reasons won't be available until next week.

http://www.mississauga.com/news-story/5 ... l-charges/

http://www.bramptonguardian.com/news-st ... l-charges/
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