A Toronto police officer who was involved in a previous arrest of serial killer Bruce McArthur is set to appear before a disciplinary tribunal next week on charges of insubordination and neglect of duty.
Police will not comment on the exact nature of the charges against Sgt. Paul Gauthier, but a lawyer representing Gauthier is defending his client’s role in a 2016 incident in which McArthur was arrested but not charged.
McArthur, who pleaded guilty this week to eight counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of men with ties to Toronto’s gay village, had been interviewed by police a few years ago in a separate, unrelated incident.
The force’s professional standards unit launched an internal investigation related to the McArthur case in March 2018, two months after the self-employed landscaper was first charged with murder.
The review was sparked when the detective leading the probe said he came across some “concerning” information while reviewing two previous investigations into five missing men from the gay village.
In a statement Friday night, attorney Lawrence Gridin defended Gauthier’s actions and said his client has “great sympathy for the victims and the community.
“The decision not to charge Bruce McArthur for the 2016 incident was made in conjunction with Det. Gauthier’s supervisor and based on the information available at the time,” Gridin said.
“McArthur’s monstrous nature was difficult to uncover because he led a life of extreme deception, not because of anything to do with the 2016 arrest.”
Gauthier is set to appear before the police service’s Disciplinary Hearings Office at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, a Toronto police spokesperson said.
“We do not confirm any other information before an officer makes an appearance before the tribunal,” Const. Allyson Douglas-Cook said in an email Friday.
The Canadian Press