A high-ranking Toronto police officer has pleaded guilty to seven police act charges after interfering with the force's internal promotions process by providing confidential information to multiple officers ahead of their interviews.
During a hearing on Thursday, Supt. Stacy Clarke, who has been with Toronto police since 1998, pleaded guilty to three counts of breach of confidence, three counts of discreditable conduct, and one count of insubordination linked to incidents that happened in 2021.
Clarke is currently still on active duty as a superintendent, a Toronto police spokesperson told CBC News. She was suspended in January 2022, but was reinstated the next month, Toronto police say.
According to an agreed statement of facts in the case, Clarke was promoted to superintendent in July 2020, and was assigned to 42 division in 2021.
She often acted as a mentor to police officers who were looking to be promoted, hearing documents say, listing six constables who were participating in the process to become sergeants.
Eligible applicants for promotion completed an exam in October 2021, and then if they passed, were required to do an interview before a three-person panel that included Clarke.
Sending out questions in advance
According to hearing documents, those interviews were structured so that all candidates being interviewed on a given day were asked the same questions — with questions changing day to day, and some being re-used during the process.
Clarke, hearing documents say, acknowledged that she knew about a November deadline for any mentoring, but she continued to hold mock interviews after the fact.
On Nov. 29, 2021, Clarke was on an interview panel with two other senior officers. Shortly after their first interview was done, she then took photos of the question and answer rubric and sent them to constables who had interviews scheduled that day and the next, according to the statement of facts.
Hearing documents lay out how Clarke sent questions to officers ahead of time for subsequent interviews, as well as calling a constable to share prospective questions and further conducting a mock interview "where she posed questions asked during the panels that she had already presided over in the week prior, sometimes word for word."
Sentencing dates to be set next month
Clarke also acted as a member of the interview panel for Const. Horace Harvey, according to the statement of facts, without disclosing that they were longtime family friends, or that they had a mentorship relationship.
"Superintendent Clarke admits that she should have informed her panel chair of her conflict of interest," the statement of facts reads.
Harvey later pleaded guilty to one count of discreditable conduct for cheating during the promotional process and received a six-month demotion. The other officers involved received "unit level" discipline of between 10 and 20 days without pay.
The statement of facts also says that in the course of reviewing Clarke's phones, messages were discovered between her, a civilian employee and a member of the police services board that were "inconsistent with the Service's commitment to anti-racism."
Dates for a sentencing hearing are to be set next month.