Report released on former Espanola Police Service complaints – civil lawsuits possible

Members of the former Espanola Police Service Association could be launching several civil lawsuits against former Police Chief Steve Edwards following the release of an Ontario Civilian Police Commission report.

Former association president, Ed Stortz, says the association received the report last Friday, a full year since it was released to the town and the former police board members.

Stortz says back in 2017 requests were made by the former police board to the Commission to LOOK INTO cases of sexual harassment, verbal abuse as well as drinking allegations.

Stortz says Edwards was placed on leave and the commission interviewed 10 officers and nine civilians in 2018.

Edwards did not have to respond to the allegations since the police service disbanded, and the investigation was dropped.

He adds due to the disbandment, the commission had to drop the investigation because Edwards was no longer a police officer.

Stortz says despite it taking a year to receive the report, several members are now looking at possible civil lawsuits against Edwards.

Edwards could not be reached for comment.

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