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OPP officers at centre of OPPA probe suspended from force

By Maryam Shah, Toronto Sun

OPPA president Jim Christie.

OPPA president Jim Christie.

Three OPP officers — all once high-ranking members of the Ontario Provincial Police Association — have been suspended from the force with pay, according to the OPP.

Det.-Sgt. Jim Christie, Const. Martin Bain, and Const. Karl Walsh were ordered suspended from duty by OPP Commissioner Vince Hawkes this weekend.

The suspensions come just a week after the OPPA offices were raided by the RCMP as part of a criminal investigation.

“As a result of the RCMP-led investigation, this is something Commissioner Hawkes deemed to be necessary,” OPP spokesman Sgt. Peter Leon said.

Christie, the president of the OPPA and Bain, vice-president of the union, recently took leaves of absence from the association. Walsh, the former chief administrative officer, was fired.

The OPP referred all further questions to the RCMP, which could not be reached for comment. Acting president Doug Lewis has previously said that he is “shocked” by the allegations contained in the ITO and that the OPPA is cooperating fully with the RCMP’s investigation.

The OPPA did not respond to a request for comment on Sunday night.

An Information To Obtain (ITO) released on Friday alleged there are reasonable grounds to believe Christie, Bain, and Walsh committed theft, fraud, criminal breach of trust, and laundered criminal proceeds.

None of the allegations have been proven in court and no charges have been laid.

According to the ITO, employees of the almost-10,000-strong police union complained about suspected fraudulent activity in October 2014.

— With files from Antonella Artuso


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