RCMP search OPP union office in Barrie as part of criminal investigation
Three senior members of the Ontario Provincial Police Association are off the job, following a search of the union’s office in Barrie by the RCMP.
In a statement, the OPPA says RCMP officers executed a search warrant on Friday and obtained items from the head office, which included the offices of OPPA president Jim Christie, vice president Martin Bain and chief administrative officer Karl Walsh. The search was part of a criminal investigation.
The RCMP confirms to CTV News that officers also executed search warrants at houses. However, due to the search warrants being sealed, RCMP would not confirm which residences and who they are owned by.
The association says they are cooperating with the RCMP investigation. Both Christie and Bain have taken voluntary leaves of absence, while Walsh has been placed on administrative leave by the OPPA board of directors.
"It's not the Ontario Provincial Police Association, nor the OPP who are under investigation, it's individuals associated to the association," says RCMP Const. Jean Juneau.
However, sources indicate the Mounties are acting on a complaint and are looking into allegations of theft, fraud, criminal breach of trust, laundering proceeds of crime and fraudulent concealment.
“These actions should not be considered admissions or implications of wrongdoing or liability by anyone or by the Association,” the OPPA said in a statement. “The Association has no knowledge of any charges being laid against any persons at this time.”
At this point the RCMP says charges haven't been laid, but investigators are continuing to go through all the evidence seized from the union offices.
The OPPA is the union that represents Ontario Provincial Police officers.