Ombudsman Ontario

Ombudsman Ontario

August 28, 2013 16:50 ET

Statement by Ontario Ombudsman André Marin: Apology to Detective Constable Scott Dennis, Durham Regional Police Service

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Aug. 28, 2013) - Today, for the first time since I alerted the Durham Regional Police Service (DRPS) about hateful tweets directed at me by one of their members on August 8, the DRPS provided my office with concrete information exonerating the officer whose name was attached to the offending Twitter account.

Sergeants John Grant and Tony Romano of the DRPS Professional Standards Unit met with Deputy Ombudsman Barbara Finlay and Gareth Jones, Director of my Special Ombudsman Response Team.

They advised them that their investigation is still ongoing. However, they provided their assurance that they are confident, based on the digital, witness and other evidence they have gathered, that Detective-Constable Scott Dennis - whose name and badge number were used to create the Twitter account in question - was in no way responsible for it.

They indicated that they have identified the perpetrator as another DRPS officer, although they did not share details. An as-yet-unnamed supervising officer is apparently facing unspecified, non-criminal disciplinary charges in connection with using Det.-Const. Dennis' identity to attack public officials (myself and a Toronto councillor).

In light of this information, I apologize to Det.-Const. Dennis for any distress that my role in this matter may have caused him and his family. I have reached out personally to him to convey my regrets, and I have spoken to his lawyer. I am satisfied that Det.-Const. Dennis is innocent of any wrongdoing in this case.

I understand this has been a very difficult time for Det.-Const. Dennis, and I hope that in addition to my apology, he will also receive a proper apology from both the colleague who fraudulently impersonated him, and his police service.

I want to stress that I have the highest regard for professional police officers who put themselves on the line in service of the public, and I have no reason not to believe that Det.-Const. Dennis is among those upstanding officers whom I admire.

I am happy to co-operate with the DRPS' continuing investigation and am in the process of arranging to meet with the sergeants at the first available opportunity.

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