Ottawa police chief administrative officer dismissed after allegedly misusing company vehicle

·2 min read
Ottawa Police Service chief administrative officer Jeff Letourneau is no longer with the force following a unanimous decision by the Ottawa Police Services Board (Ottawa Police Service - image credit)
Ottawa Police Service chief administrative officer Jeff Letourneau is no longer with the force following a unanimous decision by the Ottawa Police Services Board (Ottawa Police Service - image credit)

Ottawa Police Service chief administrative officer Jeff Letourneau is no longer with the service following allegations he was using a company vehicle for personal use and not paying taxes for it.

In a statement issued Monday, the Ottawa Police Services Board wrote that effective immediately, "Letourneau is no longer employed in the Ottawa Police Service, as a result of a unanimous decision."

The decision comes after a letter was submitted to the board in late March by the president of the Ottawa Police Association Matt Skof.

The letter details allegations it received from an anonymous email, that was also sent to city council. It said that Letourneau, who approves purchases of the OPS fleet, was using a fleet vehicle and not paying the taxes on it. It is also unclear if Letourneau was authorized to have use of a company vehicle in the first place.

Potentially thousands in unpaid taxes

The letter points to the Sunshine List, which discloses salaries earned by city employees that exceed $100,000. According to that list, Letourneau earned more than $242,000 as chief administrative officer last year, but only paid $1,060 in taxable benefits. Comparatively, another former executive with a similar salary paid nearly $13,000 in taxable benefits in 2018.

Between 2018 and 2020, Letourneau has only paid between $860 and $1,060 in taxable benefits a police executive, amounts that don't make sense according to Skof.

It's believed Letourneau has used the vehicle for personal trips outside of city limits and also used for his daily commute to work from his residence in Braeside, so it would have "well over 150,000 kilometres on it," Skof said. Between maintenance, gas and mileage, Skof said there's a lot that may have been spent "all at the taxpayers expense."

"I think the taxpayers would take quite exception to having that amount of money go missing ... by the very person that holds the budget for the entire police department."

Skof said how much "misuse may have occurred" could only be discovered through an investigation by the Ottawa Police Services Board.

Board looking for replacement

In its statement, the board said Police Chief Peter Sloly "has implemented interim measures" until it finds a replacement for Letourneau.

The board went on to write that it "is committed to transparency and accountability and will continue to make decisions that earn the highest level of trust."

"Due to the confidential nature of personnel matters, the board will not be providing any further comment," reads the statement.

At this point, there are no charges against Letourneau and the allegations have not been proven in court.

CBC reached out to Letourneau Monday evening for an interview but he declined to comment.