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Former Thunder Bay police chief facing charges

By CJ Goater Apr 12, 2024 | 2:55 PM

A second former member of the Thunder Bay Police Service has been arrested and is facing multiple charges.

Sylvia Hauth former Thunder Bay Police Service Chief has been charged with obstructing a public or peace officer, breach of trust by a public officer,  and two counts of obstruction of justice.

The accused has been released from custody and is scheduled to appear in court in Thunder Bay on May 7, 2024.

“We welcomed and fully cooperated in the investigation. It is another step toward resolution of this matter, and our ability to wholly move forward as a police service. TBPS is committed to fulfilling our duties and responsibilities, serving with pride and protecting with compassion,” said Police Chief Darcy Fleury in a statement.

“It is my hope that community members will not allow the results of this investigation to overshadow the ongoing dedication and quality service provided by our TBPS. Our Members have remained committed and embraced a culture of accountability. As the justice process is carried out, we will continue our path forward, learning from the past in order to make the most of the future.”

This comes as the Ministry of the Attorney General requested that the Ontario Provincial Police investigate allegations of misconduct by members of the TBPS in 2021.

Hauth first joined the force in 1993 after serving in multiple departments including criminal investigation, uniform patrol and community services. She was eventually promoted to Deputy Chief and Acting Police Chief, before taking on the full role in 2018, before retiring on January 27, 2023.

At the time of her retirement, Hauth was served with a Notice of Hearing on three counts of alleged misconduct under the Police Services Act, all relating to the investigation launched against Thunder Bay Police Service board member Georjann Morriseau.

The Ontario Civilian Police Commission expressed concerns about the management of discipline in the police service, the conduct of criminal investigations by its officers, and the ability of senior leadership to administer day-to-day operations in good faith and compliance with the PSA.

A reaction from the Thunder Bay Police Service Board.

“As a Police Service Board, it is our job to oversee how policing is provided to the people of Thunder Bay. Among other roles, it is our responsibility to create policies to ensure good governance, ask critical questions to ensure the highest standards of policing are being met, and monitor the performance of the Chief of Police. Former Chief Hauth was suspended following Police Service Act charges laid by the Ontario Police Civilian Commission in 2022 and resigned prior to the scheduled hearing in January 2023.”

“Our Board appointed Chief Fleury, the Service’s first Métis Police Chief, for his extensive experience in investigative, operational, and administrative leadership, as well as his track record of building bridges with both Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities”.

“Both Chief Fleury and Deputy Chief Hughes have been focused on the implementation of various recommendations, upholding the highest standards of policing, ensuring a healthy work environment, and most importantly, building trust with the community.”

“Board members remain seized with our mandate and collective responsibility to ensure the Thunder Bay Police Service is governed effectively so the city can have confidence in its police service.”