A high-ranking Toronto police officer is facing misconduct charges under the Police Services Act for allegedly allowing her nephew to leave the scene of a crash, in turn contravening the force’s conflict of interest policy and removing an investigator’s ability to determine if alcohol was a factor in the collision, hearing documents say.
Insp. Joyce Schertzer made her first appearance before a police disciplinary tribunal Tuesday morning. She did not enter a plea to the charges.
According to hearing documents, the charges stem from an incident back on May 1. Schertzer was working at 11 Division when she allegedly got a call from her daughter, who said Schertzer’s nephew had been in a “bad accident.”
The hearing documents allege that Schertzer then arranged for an officer from her division to be dispatched to 14 Division, where the crash happened.
“In calling for a unit from your division, you circumvented the priority system to the benefit of your family,” the charges read. “While on scene, you were the first to speak to your nephew. You gathered information about the collision and became actively involved in the investigation. You then had a private conversation with the investigating officer and your nephew was advised he could leave the scene.”
Hearing documents also state that a vehicle involved in the crash had damaged city property, so a traffic services officer had to attend to investigate — but that officer didn’t have a chance to determine whether or not alcohol might have been a factor in the collision.
“The investigation was interrupted as a result of your nephew being removed from the scene,” the charges read. “You failed to ensure that a thorough investigation was conducted into the collision.”
The charges also allege that by getting involved in the investigation, Schertzer violated the force’s conflict of interest policy.
The hearing documents go on to allege that Schertzer did not make notes of the statement provided by her nephew, and did not collect evidence in accordance with police procedure.
CBC News reached out to Schertzer’s lawyer for comment, but did not immediately receive a response.
Schertzer is the latest high-ranking officer with Toronto police to be investigated for misconduct this year.
Supt. Scott Baptist was suspended with pay in August following a complaint that he made inappropriate comments to a woman at an event in Quebec City.
Supt. Riyaz Hussein, who led the service’s disciplinary hearings office, was charged with impaired driving following a crash in Pickering, Ont., in January. He is currently performing administrative duties pending the results of his criminal and disciplinary hearings.
Supt. Stacy Clarke, meanwhile, is facing Police Services Act charges over allegations that she interfered with the Toronto police promotions process by providing “confidential” information to a handful of officers ahead of their interviews.