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Windsor police officer loses appeal of conviction and penalty for donating to the Freedom Convoy

Police move in to clear downtown Ottawa near Parliament hill of protesters after weeks of demonstrations on Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston Police move in to clear downtown Ottawa near Parliament hill of protesters after weeks of demonstrations on Saturday, Feb. 19, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Cole Burston
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Const. Michael Brisco will be forced to work 80 hours without pay after he was convicted of one count of discreditable conduct for donating $50 in February 2022.

Brisco appealed the Police Services Act conviction and penalty handed down in May 2023 by Superintendent (Retired) Morris Elbers.

During a one-day hearing in front of the Ontario Civilian Police Commission (OCPC), Brisco’s three lawyers made arguments similar to those during the initial hearing.

For the first time, however, Brisco argued an “abuse of process” because of how the donation was discovered by WPS in the first place.

Briscos’ donation, along with many others, was only discovered after hackers attacked an online crowd-funding site and posted the donor details online.

Lawyers argued using that illegally obtained information against an officer is a “grave error that calls the integrity of the entire police disciplinary system into question.”

“The Commission declines to consider this argument on the basis that it was not raised before the Hearing Officer,” the decision reads, noting they would only consider new arguments in “exceptional circumstances.”

The OCPC ruled against the three other arguments made by Brisco’s lawyers in upholding the Hearing Officers’ initial conviction and penalty.

According to the decision, it is not the role of the OCPC to “second-guess” Elbers’ decision but is to assess whether or not he “fairly and impartially” applied the “dispositional principles” to the case.

“We can only vary a penalty decision where there is a clear error in principle or relevant material facts are not considered,” the decision reads.

Through his Windsor lawyer, Brisco declined to comment.

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