Ottawa police deputy chief won’t serve as interim chief as misconduct probe continues – Ottawa


Ottawa police Deputy Chief Uday Jaswal will not serve as interim chief for two months this summer as the Ontario Civilian Police Commission (OCPC) investigates allegations of misconduct levelled against him that relate to his time as deputy chief of the Durham Regional Police Service.

On Friday, the Toronto Sun reported that a preliminary report by the OCPC alleges Jaswal, along with Durham’s chief of police and chief administrative officer, “may have acted in an overbearing, intimidating, harassing and/or tyrannical manner towards both sworn and civilian members of the police service.”

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Board chair Coun. Diane Deans addressed the commission’s investigation in a statement delivered to the board at its meeting on Monday afternoon, calling the allegations “serious” but “unproven.”

Deans said Jaswal told her the allegations are “unfounded” and that he is “confident that a fair and transparent investigation will serve to clear him entirely.” Still, she said, Jaswal proposed that “it would be better” that he not assume the role of acting police chief on July 1 while the board searches for a new chief of police.

“I appreciate Deputy Jaswal’s concern for the well-being of the organization and therefore will be recommending to the board that Deputy (Steve) Bell remain in the role of interim chief,” Deans said before the board convened in camera on Monday afternoon.

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Global News has not been able to independently confirm the nature of the allegations made against Jaswal or the contents of the OCPC’s preliminary report. Jaswal declined to speak to reporters on his way out of Monday’s meeting, deferring to the police board’s statement.

According to Deans, the OCPC informed the board in a letter that it had been asked by Ontario’s solicitor general “to initiate a preliminary review and then a possible investigation … into the conduct of senior members of the Durham Regional Police Service and the ability of the Durham Police Services Board to provide proper oversight into the administration of the police service.”

The commission did launch an investigation and has asked the Ottawa Police Services Board to help it preserve the integrity of its probe, Deans said.

“To that end, the board will not be making any further public statements on the issue,” she said.

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Durham police Chief Paul Martin has been temporarily stripped of a few of his responsibilities as the commission’s investigation unfolds, a spokesperson for Solicitor General Sylvia Jones confirmed to Global News on Friday.

Officials say former Toronto police Deputy Chief Mike Federico has been appointed as an administrator to oversee parts of the Durham Regional Police Service in the meantime.

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Before he moved to the Durham Regional Police Service in 2016, Jaswal served with Ottawa police for 21 years as an officer and superintendent. He returned to the national capital after the Ottawa Police Services Board appointed him deputy chief of the local police force on August 1, 2018.

Jaswal was sworn in on September 24.

After former police chief Charles Bordeleau retired from the force on May 4, Bell and Jaswal were scheduled to share interim chief responsibilities for a period of four months. Bell has been serving as acting chief since May 5; Jaswal would have taken over on July 1 and served until August 31.

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The board is expected to appoint a new leader for the police force later this year.

Last week, the board launched a public survey asking residents what it “should be looking for in an ideal candidate.”

“Community members can provide their feedback through an online survey on what they believe are the issues and challenges facing the Ottawa Police Service; the top priorities for the next Chief of Police; and the required attributes, skills, and experience needed to be successful in the role,” the board wrote in a statement on May 21.

– With files from Nick Westoll

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