It’s not often you hear a Chief of Police outraged about something that’s gone on in his own force. But it’s clear that’s how Hamilton police Chief Glenn de Caire feels now that suspended police Inspector David Doel is no longer facing police act charges for allegedly having sex on duty pornography on his work computer, and using police resources for personal reasons. As Lisa Hepfner reports, Doel’s dodging the charges because he’s announced his retirement.
David Doel rushed out after a minutes-long tribunal hearing, in which police lawyer Lynda Bordeleau said Doel’s intention to retire on March 31 of next year meant the hearing would be stayed and the charges dropped. Hamilton Police Chief Glenn de Caire is frustrated: “I actually have no ability to refuse a resignation or retirement. So once an officer decides that, it’s very clear. We lose jurisdiction in the case and we cannot proceed any further.
Doel’s lawyer wasn’t there. Harry Black, seen here with his client earlier in the week, was responsible for most of the delays that stalled the proceedings for four years, while Inspector Doel collected more than half a million dollars in salary. Doel will retire six months before he’s eligible for a full pension.
De Caire: “What we have on our hands is a system full of legislative waste. The fundamental issue is that the taxpayer should not be on the hook years and years at a time, when we have no connection to the misconduct that we allege took place in our workplace.”
Doel lives with his wife and children in this home on Tally Ho drive in Dundas. Neighbours say it’s worth at least $850,000 and that he moved from a smaller home across the street after winning $1.7 million in a 2003 lottery windfall, along with several other officers.
The allegations that will never be tested, were that he had an affair with a police employee, and after it was over, that he used police equipment and information to stalk her.
De Caire: “We have 800 officers. We put 1,2,3 matters before the tribunal every year, so it’s relatively rare.”
I also spoke with Police Board Chair Bernie Morelli who agrees the process has to change. He says the half million Doel collected in salary pales compared to what is likely millions in legal bills over the past four years. Although Hamilton police didn’t have those exact figures for me. The chief says the assumption of innocence is fine. But there is a requisite duty to be timely so the taxpayer is not on the hook. He’s also concerned that Doel’s hearing was to be held entirely behind closed doors. He says there is some info that should be heard in camera but that shouldn’t be the norm. He says the bar is very very high for in camera hearings, and that bar is rarely met.