NEWS

OPP union dumps chief executive Karl Walsh as RCMP inquiry continues

03/15/2015 12:22 EDT | Updated 05/15/2015 05:59 EDT
The Ontario Provincial Police Association has cut ties with its chief administrative officer amid an ongoing investigation into allegations of fraud, breach of trust and money laundering by a handful of union officials.

On Saturday, the OPPA notified its members that a notice of termination had been delivered to Karl Walsh, the now-former chief administrative officer for the union.

The email to members indicated that Michael Briscoe will continue to serve as the union's acting chief administrative officer.

Walsh, who ran for a provincial seat in the 2011 election for the Liberals, had been put on administrative leave just days before the OPPA terminated his employment.

James (Jim) Christie, the union's president, and Martin Bain, the union's vice-president, have taken voluntary leaves of absence.

The union has said that the managers' leaves should not be considered an admission of wrongdoing.

None of the three managers have been charged with a criminal offence. And none of the allegations have been proven.

However, the RCMP have stated in documents used to obtain search warrants that they believe these managers were involved in:

- The unusual investment of union money in condos in the Bahamas.

- The formation of a company to provide exclusive travel services for both union business and personal travel by members

- The formation of a consulting company to advise the union about investments, including a three-year deal that would bill the union $5,000 a month.

- Questionable vacation and travel expenses billed to the union, in some cases totalling more than $100,000 a year.

In court documents, the RCMP have listed the names of other individuals, who are not members of the OPPA executive, who are also under investigation.

The RCMP probe began in October following complaints by union staff alleging fraud.

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