A senior Ottawa police officer has been suspended from duty amid an ongoing misconduct investigation, CBC News has learned.
Supt. Mark Patterson was suspended on Wednesday, according to a force-wide email sent by interim police chief Steve Bell that was obtained by CBC.
"We take this very seriously, and the matter is being fully investigated by the Professional Standards Unit," Bell wrote in the email.
Ottawa police will not comment on the nature of the allegations, nor did they reveal the scope of the investigation to officers, but sources say it involves multiple complainants.
At the time of his suspension, Patterson was superintendent of the intelligence directorate and was overseeing units such as intelligence and surveillance. He has previously been a public-facing senior officer in charge of recruiting new cops to the service.
Patterson served as one of the incident commanders during the weeks-long Freedom Convoy occupation earlier this year, before he was removed by then chief Peter Sloly.
"While the investigation continues, it is important that we respect the process and await the findings before drawing any conclusions," Bell said in the email. "Wellness supports are being put in place for the individuals involved in this investigation."
Patterson's suspension came on the same day he was scheduled to deliver a disciplinary decision in an unrelated misconduct case. Patterson is a disciplinary hearing officer and adjudicates cases of officer misconduct for the service.
The other appearance was cancelled on Wednesday morning. Patterson was suspended around the same time.
Ottawa police began investigating the alleged misconduct themselves, but have since asked the Ontario Provincial Police to take on the investigation. Typically, the force asks outside police agencies to investigate officers of rank for the sake of transparency and accountability.
Patterson's suspension comes with pay.