The Toronto Police Service has stigmatized a senior officer facing internal bullying and sexual harassment charges and deprived him of the presumption of innocence at his upcoming disciplinary hearing, his lawyers say.
Staff Insp. Steve Izzett was charged last year with insubordination, discreditable conduct and deceit under the Police Services Act for actions that allegedly included the inappropriate kissing and touching of a female subordinate officer, bullying and destroying computer files after learning he was under investigation.
Last October, Keith Hoilett, the retired judge hearing the case, denied Izzett’s motion challenging his jurisdiction and asking that the charges be dismissed because of procedural missteps by the Toronto Police Service.
Izzett’s lawyer, Won Kim, had argued the police service continued its internal investigation longer than allowed. Izzett then appealed Hoilett’s decision to Divisional Court, which dismissed his application in April of this year, calling it premature.
Today, Izzett is bringing a motion seeking leave to appeal from that divisional court ruling. It is a “written” hearing with no oral legal arguments. Izzett’s disciplinary hearing at police headquarters is scheduled to begin next Monday.
In their factum, Kim and co-counsel Megan McPhee say the Divisional Court made a “clear departure from the established principles of law that challenges to jurisdiction ought to be heard at the outset of a proceeding.”
The factum also states the Toronto Police Service has engaged in the “intimidation of witnesses,” disciplining senior officers which “serves to intimidate others who might otherwise serve as positive defence witnesses…”