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Screen Capture - Chief of police Darcey Flurey and Police Service Board Chair Karen Machado

Thunder Bay police chief recognizes “erosion of trust” after latest charges against former member

By CJ Goater Apr 15, 2024 | 7:35 PM

The police chief in Thunder Bay is acknowledging an “erosion of trust” among the public after another ex-member of the force faces charges.

Darcy Fleury made the comments during a press conference on Monday and was flanked by Police Service Board Chair Karen Machado as they addressed charges against former police chief Sylvie Hauth.

Hauth is accused of obstructing a public or peace officer, breach of trust by a public officer, and two counts of obstruction of justice.

Machado also concedes public trust is shaken.

“The criminal allegations brought forward by the Ontario Provincial Police are deeply disturbing. There is a legal and ethical expectation that information provided by Thunder Bay Police Service is truthful and factual both to the board and to the community,” said Machado “It is critical for our community to have faith in the system that provides oversight to the Thunder Bay Police Service. I understand how these allegations have caused further doubts in these institutions and the system of policing and police oversight in Thunder Bay.”

Hauth’s arrest marked the third former or current member of the service to be charged in relation to a request from the Ministry of the Attorney General that had the Ontario Provincial Police investigate allegations of misconduct by members of the TBPS in 2021.

The former lawyer of the police force and a current officer are both also facing charges.

The lawyer has been charged with including obstructing a public or peace officer, breach of trust by a public officer, and three obstruction of justice charges.

The officer has been charged with assault, breach of trust by a public officer, and obstruction of justice.

Machado explained how bringing in a new chief of police was the start of progress for the police force.

“As a board, we have a vision to modernize the service for the future and build truth and trust with the communities we serve; That vision began with the appointment of Chief Fleury nearly one year ago,” explained Machado. “Both Chief Fleury and Deputy Chief Hughes have focused on delivering this from the implementation of various recommendations to upholding the highest standards of policing, ensuring a healthy work environment and, most importantly, building trust with the community.”

Machado and Fleury were not members of the board or service respectively at the time the alleged misconduct occurred, but stated they are here to help pave the way to rebuild trust.

“Thunder Bay Police Service began a new path almost a year ago, with a focus on creating an internal learning environment and ensuring employees are provided the best opportunities to grow and develop their skills and careers, and doing our very best to rebuild healthy partnerships,” said Fleury. “Our team is committed to fulfilling our duties and responsibilities, serving with pride and protecting with compassion.”

Hauth is scheduled to appear in court in Thunder Bay on May 7.