Saturday, March 2, 1991
Rowlands says board didn't try to see deal in sex-for-pay caseThe Metro Police Services Board has never asked to see the controversial resignation agreement of former constable Gordon Junger, who left the force amid a sex-for-pay scandal.
Board chairperson June Rowlands told an Ontario Police Commission inquiry yesterday that at the time Police Chief William McCormack seemed unwilling to show her the written agreement. "I don't know how I got that impression, but it was a very clear impression," Rowlands testified.
In the Jan. 19, 1990, contract the police agreed to withdraw a drug possession charge and destroy evidence relating to Junger's "personal and business dealings" with Roma Langford, a highly paid call girl who lived with the officer.
Board members decided not to press the chief to provide a copy of the contract at the time because they felt it was more appropriate to examine "the whole situation, the issues, not the details of the agreement."
A task force was created by the board to review its relationship with Metro's internal affairs unit. The task force's report was entered as an exhibit at the inquiry yesterday.
In cross-examining Rowlands, commission counsel Blenus Wright expressed his incredulity that board members would not want to see the resignation agreement before setting up the task force. "The governing body of the Metro police force hasn't even read it (the agreement)?" he asked.
Rowlands said the police services board (formerly known as the board of commissioners) would not have had the authority to pursue "in any meaningful way what had transpired to give rise to that agreement."
Junger, a nine-year police veteran, was arrested on a drug possession charge in December, 1989, on the strength of evidence supplied by Langford. She later recanted that evidence.
Police officials also believed Junger was involved in prostitution. In earlier testimony, McCormack said a videotape of a police sting operation clearly showed Junger acting as a male prostitute.
The Ontario Police Commission inquiry is examining the Junger affair and the operation of Metro's internal affairs unit, which investigates allegations of wrongdoing made against officers.
Rowlands testified yesterday that she was "absolutely taken by surprise and disturbed" when she later learned of the resignation agreement.
McCormack never told her about the existence of a written contract between Junger and the force, even after allegations of a "deal" were made in articles published by The Star in April, 1990, she said. "The chief said there was no special deal, that it was an agreement without substance," she said.
Frank D'Andrea of the Ontario Police Commission finally brought the written agreement to her attention in late April or early May, 1990, Rowlands said.
D'Andrea asked Rowlands whether an inquiry was needed into the Junger affair and the conduct of Metro's internal affairs unit.
"I supported the inquiry on the basis of the allegations made in the press," Rowlands said. "Given the general concern created by these allegations, I felt it had to be publicly aired."
Asked her opinion of the agreement, Rowlands said it was poorly worded and "was not the right kind of deal." However, Rowlands said Metro's police services board strongly supports the idea of signing resignation agreements with "errant" police officers.
She said, it's in the public interest to get rid of bad officers quickly. In its task force report, the police services board also recommended that;
The inquiry resumes May 13.
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