Province appoints administrator to run Durham police after complaints of corruption, abuse of power

Following allegations of corruption and abuse of power against several high-ranking members of the Durham Regional Police Service - including its chief Paul Martin - a special administrator has been appointed to oversee the force.

Solicitor-General Sylvia Jones released a statement late Friday, saying after receiving concerns, she directed the Ontario Civilian Police Commission to conduct an investigation.

"We have confidence in the OCPC to take the appropriate steps to investigate the allegations that have been brought forward," she said.

While Jones said no one has been relieved of their duties, the lawyer representing several officers who made the complaints said bringing in an administrator - former Toronto Police Deputy Chief Mike Federico - is unprecedented.

"That's never happened before in the history of Ontario," Peter Brauti told CP24. "In essence, the chief has been stripped of some of his responsibilities."

Brauti said it's unclear which responsibilities he's lost.

The Toronto Star reported last April that allegations include senior officials threatening lower-ranking officers with madeup accusations.

The Star reports they were in an attempt to get dirt on officers who had fallen out of favour with management, as well as officers lying under oath to protect Martin.

Brauti said it's not just Martin and executive members, but civilian officers as well.

"We have a couple of people who are now retired and I would suggest were forced out as a result of the mistreatment, but of course now they're going to have their day."

Brauti said the complaints go back a half-decade and the entire investigation may take a year to complete.

"A number of these people tried to address their concerns within the organization and in essense you ended up in a situation where people were investigating themselves and clearing themselves," he said, adding when outside forces were brought in to investigate, reports never got addressed.

He also credited Federico as one of the most ethical and respected police officers in Ontario.