A four-month long investigation by the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC), with the assistance of the Toronto Police Service, culminated in the dismissal of eight TTC transit enforcement officers, five of whom were arrested and face numerous charges of attempt to obstruct justice and fabricate evidence. All are employees of the TTC.
It is alleged that five officers submitted false provincial offense tickets to individuals of no fixed address for offenses such as solicitation on TTC property (panhandling), loitering or trespassing. Evidence gathered through the investigation alleges that the officers in question were not at the locations where these falsified tickets were supposed to have been issued.
The falsified tickets were never served on the individuals named on the tickets, therefore no fines were ever paid. The TTC, however, will cancel all falsified tickets and ensure those named face no future prosecution for failure to pay the fines set out on these tickets.
As the investigation proceeded, TTC investigators and police also uncovered misconduct by three other transit enforcement officers. While there is no evidence of criminal wrongdoing, the misconduct uncovered resulted in the TTC terminating, with cause, the employment of those officers.
A review will now be undertaken by the TTC, with the assistance of the TTC’s internal audit group, to enhance or strengthen controls and procedures already in place around the issuing of provincial offences tickets.
“I am profoundly disappointed in today’s news,” said TTC CEO Andy Byford. “The public should have absolute confidence and trust in all that we do. The men and women in uniform who are responsible for the safety and security of our customers must meet a high standard of conduct, and rightly so. When evidence came to light that some had not met that standard, the TTC acted swiftly and decidedly. Integrity, accountability and transparency are critically important to me as the leader of this organization. I want to thank Chief Bill Blair for his assistance in helping us bring this matter to a quick resolution.
“The TTC’s vision statement is an aspirational one: to be a transit system that makes Toronto proud. The actions of a few will not deter us from this vision; these individuals do not represent what I know to be the professionalism and dedication of the men and women of the Transit Enforcement Unit, nor do they represent the other 12,000 employees of the TTC who work hard for the people of Toronto day in and day out.”