Thursday, April 12, 1990
Chief promised no charges if officer quitA Metro police constable involved in a sex-for-money escort service was told to leave the force, but wouldn't resign until he was assured he wouldn't face criminal charges, Chief William McCormack says. "That was no problem for us because we couldn't charge him" given the results of the internal investigation, McCormack said in an interview yesterday. "But we did everything we could to secure a conviction against him."
Unable to build a criminal case against Constable Gord Junger, the thrust of the investigation became to "get rid of this son of a gun" through Police Act charges, McCormack said.
The force was bound by law to give the officer a letter stating that he had worked for the police department, he said. In return, Junger agreed not to file a grievance over his dismissal.
Drug charge droppedJunger, 29, was investigated in connection with the operation of an escort service in which men and women were recruited to have sex for money. He was suspended with pay on Dec. 6 and resigned March 1, one day after a minor drug charge against him was dropped.
A federal prosecutor dropped the charge because the only witness who could testify that the drugs belonged to Junger intended to recant her evidence, McCormack said.
The chief said he twice informed the police commission about the investigation and was at a loss to explain the inability of some commissioners to remember the briefing.
Police commission chairman June Rowlands confirmed McCormack's version of events. She suggested other commissioners have forgotten about the briefing because it came at the end of a seven-hour meeting. Junger's name does not appear in minutes of the meeting because McCormack briefed the board after the commission recorder had left, Rowlands said.
Three police commissioners including Metro Chairman Alan Tonks, couldn't remember the Junger case when first asked about it.
"Let me categorically emphasize that there is no evidence of misdoing relative to his (Junger's) resignation and no special treatment," McCormack said. "There's nothing more sacred to us right now than cleansing this force of people we do not wish to have on this force."
Had he stayed on the force, Junger would have faced a series of charges under the Police Act, including discreditable conduct, breach of secrecy and misuse of the police computer. McCormack said the investigation into Junger's conduct was pursued with vigor, but not enough evidence was found to secure a criminal conviction because:
The investigation's conclusions were reviewed by morality squad officers who decided charges could not be laid. A crown attorney was not asked to review the decision.
"It would have been a much easier thing for us to lay criminal charges. That's the best thing you can get from the force's point of view," McCormack said. A criminal conviction could have resulted in Junger's automatic dismissal, while Police Act charges can take years to deal with, he said.
"The main thrust behind this investigation was to show the rest of the force that there was no tolerance to this activity whatsoever," he said.
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