Sentencing hearing begins for Calgary police officers convicted of corruption

A sentencing hearing began Monday morning concerning three current and former Calgary police officers who are guilty of corruption-related offences.

Brian Morton, Brad McNish and Anthony Braile were convicted last April after being found to have participated in a two-year campaign targeting a woman who was in the middle of a bitter custody dispute.

Submissions concerning Morton got underway Monday; however, those for McNish and Braile were postponed until later this month because of witness and lawyer scheduling issues.

It's not yet known what the defence lawyers or Crown prosecutors are seeking for a sentence.

It's expected Justice Bryan Mahoney will sentence all three men on March 5.

The victim was Akele Taylor, whose wealthy ex-boyfriend, Ken Carter, hired a private investigation firm to harass her.

The firm was run by retired CPS officer Steve Walton and his wife, Heather. They employed current and former officers, including Morton, McNish and Braile.

The Waltons and Carter were also convicted of charges related to the harassment of Taylor. 

Meghan Grant/CBC

Taylor testified she was terrorized for two years as the Waltons and their employees surveilled, stalked and harassed her. 

A GPS unit was installed on her car, and friends of Taylor were offered thousands of dollars in exchange for disclosing negative information about her.  

Braile and Morton were convicted of bribery, harassment and unauthorized use of a computer system. Morton also faced a guilty verdict on a charge of breach of trust.

McNish was found guilty of unauthorized use of a computer system and breach of trust.

​The charges of bribery and unauthorized use of a computer system relate to the officers being paid to do searches on internal Calgary Police Service databases — CPIC and PIMS.   

A sentencing hearing will take place later this year for Carter and the Waltons. 

Defence lawyers Pat Fagan, Jim Lutz and Paul Brunnen represent Braile, Morton and McNish, respectively.

Leah Boyd and Julie Snowdon are prosecuting the trio.

Braile was fired by CPS in 2016 for professional misconduct relating to a 2008 high-speed chase. Morton and McNish remain suspended without pay.