The Ottawa police officer who leaked a report to media detailing Coun. Peter Clark’s traffic stop for a breath test earlier this month will face disciplinary action.
Police Chief Charles Bordeleau ordered the inquiry by the force’s professional standards unit on Tuesday — the day information about Clark’s May 7 traffic stop was widely reported by Ottawa news agencies.
Clark had his licence suspended for three days after he blew a “warn” on a roadside sobriety test. That means he had between .05 and .08 mg of alcohol in his blood.
The Rideau-Rockcliffe ward councillor did not face a criminal charge, however.
Clark, 75, was pulled over on his way home from a Vanier strip club, The Playmate. Clark has admitted drinking wine that night, however he denied that he attempted to intimidate the officer by mentioning his position as a city councillor, and mentioning Bordeleau’s name.
According to published reports, Clark said the officer “asked me what I did and I told him … now somehow or another he has spent three weeks building this fantasy, if that’s what it is, because it distorts totally what went on that night.”
The leaked police report also states Clark slowed down near two known prostitutes — which Clark also disputed.
Bordeleau, however, said the report would have been filed that same day — not “three weeks” later.
“People can read into Mr. Clark’s comments, in terms of, the way they want,” said Bordeleau. “As Chief of Police, you know, officers submit police reports in a very timely manner and describe the events that take place. I have no reason to believe that the events surrounding this incident are unfactual.”
When asked about the effect of Clark’s comments on the morale of his officers, Bordeleau said “officers aren’t concerned about this … I’m not hearing any rumblings whatsoever around this.”
If investigators can determine who leaked the report, they will be charged with insubordination under the Police Services Act, said Insp. Joan McKenna. She said the standard penalty is a loss of pay for one to three days if found guilty after a hearing.
While it’s common for internal investigations to occur when classified information is divulged, Ottawa Police Association president Matt Skof said the officer who conducted the traffic stop acted appropriately that night.
“There should be no question about these officers’ actions,” Skof told the Sun. “What society tasks us with is to remove intoxicated drivers. So that’s exactly our mandate. The officers should be commended for doing their jobs.”
As the professional standards unit investigates the leak, Skof said he’s unsure how much money it will cost.
“The sad part is we’re going to be deploying resources on this, and for what?” said Skof.