Senior Toronto cop denies degrading junior officer

By Betsy Powell Court Reporter, Toronto Star

Thu., Dec. 7, 2017

A veteran Toronto police inspector denies she ever did or said anything to degrade a sexual harassment complainant during the time she was under her supervision. “I can’t imagine how,” Insp. Pauline Gray testified at the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal on Thursday. “I don’t know how to respond to something that didn’t happen.”

Const. Heather McWilliam alleges she was sexually harassed while working at 23 Division, in North Etobicoke, and that covering up such behaviour was part of the broader culture within the Toronto Police Service.

Lawyer Amandi Esonwanne, who represents the Toronto police board, asked Gray if she rose up the ranks because she learned to “shut up to get along” during her 30 years in policing.

“A lot of things could be said about me in policing; getting along is not one of them. I am not known for going along, or getting along with the brotherhood to cover (up) anything. (It’s) not my style,” Gray responded.

McWilliam has testified Gray, her supervisor during a wiretap project that was part of a murder investigation, “hated every other female officer other than” herself, and that she was made to feel like she didn’t matter and wasn’t part of the team.

“She (McWilliam) was always liked and she was certainly part of the team,” Gray said.

As for the suggestion that she hates women cops: “I don’t hate police women. I love them,” Gray said.

“I’ve spent the bulk of my career mentoring, coaching, encouraging women to move up through the ranks or move laterally to places that they want to go.”

McWilliam told the tribunal that Gray had, on one occasion, said women officers were meant to stay in and do paperwork, while male cops hit the road.

“Rubbish,” Gray replied. “The vast majority of what we do is paperwork.” She added McWilliam’s job description was to stay in the wire room and compile and organize intercepted phone calls.

Several times, Gray said McWilliam “did a great job.” Gray said they both had, in fact, wanted to continue working to prepare the case for court.

Gray was asked about what has been described as the “penis mug” at the long-running tribunal. The mug is inscribed with a comment “You and your penis should go to hell,” along with the name of a woman whose phone calls police secretly recorded.

The quote resonated with the team because the woman who made the remark was finally “standing up” to a cheating cad who had tried to pass off a $34.95 ring as a $10,000 diamond, said Gray, who joined the service in 1988.

At the end of the wiretap project, Gray had the mugs inscribed as a “memento” and brought them to a “takedown” party.

During cross-examination, McWilliam’s lawyer, Kate Hughes, asked Gray if she still thought that doing this was appropriate. Esonwanne objected, saying it wasn’t up to Hughes to be the “social police.”

McWilliam is seeking $54,400 in compensation as well as potential changes to training or policy.