Police superintendent named in lawsuit set to retire Wednesday

By  | January 30, 2018 | 11 Comments | Filed under: Waterloo Police class action lawsuit
News07:20 PMWaterloo Region Record
pat Dietrich

Police Superintendent Pat Dietrich, seen in 2014, is expected to retire on Jan. 31. – Record file photo

WATERLOO REGION — A police superintendent named in a pending class-action lawsuit is retiring on Wednesday.

In a sudden move, Insp. Pat Dietrich will be leaving the service after more than three decades as on officer.

The police service wouldn’t comment on the retirement, saying they do not speak about the employment status of current members. But Dietrich’s voice mail at police headquarters said he would be retiring as of Jan. 31.

Dietrich is named in the gender discrimination and harassment lawsuit, in an affidavit by Sgt. Karin Eder. She alleges Dietrich sent a photograph of his penis and asked her for a naked photo of herself in return and wondered when they were going to “take it to the next level.”

She refused and he stopped talking to her.

Eder said she never made a formal complaint about Dietrich because although she was told to do it, she didn’t because she believed the supervisor would likely only get a warning.

Dietrich started his career with Waterloo Regional Police and climbed the ranks to superintendent. He oversaw various units including drugs and was in charge of the public safety unit. He spent two decades as a member of the Waterloo Regional Police Band colour guard.

Earlier this month, the police union filed a grievance against the service requesting an investigation into allegations of gender discrimination and harassment outlined in sworn affidavits in the class-action lawsuit.

In an email sent to its members, the Waterloo Regional Police Association said it is filing grievances in connection with allegations against supervisors who are not in the union. As a superintendent, Dietrich is not part of the union.

“The affidavits contain allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination as well as workplace bullying by managers,” union president Mark Egers said in the email which The Record has obtained.

In the email, Egers said the union is “requesting interim remedies from the service” as the grievance proceeds.

“The association believes that all of our members should be treated with respect and dignity and we take our role as executive representative for members very seriously. We will continue to work with and for our members on advancing equality rights at the Waterloo Regional Police Service,” Egers said.

When reached Tuesday for comment, Egers said he could not respond because the association is also named in the suit.

Asked for comment, police board chair Tom Galloway said the board does not get involved in employee matters unless it involves a resolution and those matters are presented to the board in a closed meeting of the board.

“I can’t comment on employee relation matters,” he said. “This is union/management business.”

Police Chief Bryan Larkin has said he won’t comment on the allegations before the courts. He has said the service is committed to ensuring a workplace free of harassment and discrimination.

The allegations that make up the grievance stem from affidavits from Sgt. Karin Eder and Sgt. Shelley Heinrich. Both officers are among additional witnesses in the case.

The class-action suit is lead by Const. Angelina Rivers, former constable Sharon Zehr and retired superintendent Barry Zehr, who is married to Sharon Zehr, on behalf of all female members of Waterloo Regional Police. Total damages being sought are $167 million.

The suit alleges that female officers were routinely harassed, mocked and bullied by male peers and colleagues. When they went to their supervisors and the union for help, they felt dismissed and isolated. None of the allegations have been tested in court.

In her affidavit, Heinrich said the police system is run by men who engage in sexual harassment and there is no independent oversight to protect women.

Eder alleges a supervisor showed her a stack of photographs of him having sex with different women. In another instance, the same officer grabbed her by the waist and pressed his penis into her buttocks and asked “What’s in it for me?” when she asked to have her lunch changed.

In her claim, Eder said the force’s lawyer, Gary Melanson, told her he had a dream about her and that they were “spooning” at a hotel. He complained frequently about not having sex with his then wife. He often commented on her appearance and insisted she go to his place for lunch.

In her affidavit, Heinrich said she took her complaints to supervisors but they were “discouraged, disregarded and otherwise ignored.”

Heinrich said in one case she wanted time off after banking lieu hours and went to her supervisor at the time, Staff Sgt. Matt Torigian, who later became police chief.

Heinrich says Torigian told her it would be career suicide if she presented an overtime slip with her lieu hours. Torigian said she would be a CFL — a constable for life.

Torigian retired from the service and is provincial deputy minister of community safety.

lmonteiro@therecord.com , Twitter: @MonteiroRecord




11 Responses to Police superintendent named in lawsuit set to retire Wednesday

  1. lvann_11@sympatico.ca'
    Tom Vann January 30, 2018 at 8:46 pm

    The light of day is coming through the cracks. I can see attempts at perjury happening. Someone will take the stand…lie and whamo. Nailed. Of course the retirement is just a coincidence. I have no idea how Mike and Frank feel about taking the stand but they better be careful because they can’t change now. Saying the wrong thing will cost them. Perfect time for a SIS trip. Sorta like the Mayor going to China and bringing back millions of jobs. The politicians will soon distance themselves or come out condemning people soon I believe. Five months till trial and counting. Sleeping pills will soon be out of stock at Shoppers. No comment will soon be the favorite words at the Police station. That lawyer was foolish and he will be paying the Ferryman and so might this Pat guy. Yikes!

  2. gwhetham@live.ca'
    Gladys Smith January 30, 2018 at 10:19 pm

    Is this the Policeman that sent a picture of his junk to a fellow female Officer, When this goes to Court and everybody will see his stuff, his Mother will be so proud of her boy..I would retire too, get the hell out of Dodge.

  3. kefran@bell.net'
    John Denver January 31, 2018 at 6:04 am

    Hmmm…are these allegations hitting a ‘nerve’ somewhere? According to the Affidavit this is the Upstanding Officer that sent a picture of ‘the junk in his trunk’ to a female officer. Sure appears like the allegations in this document are beginning to speak volumes among the force. Now the perception here seems to be saying I better leave because this is just ‘hitting too close to home.’ If the allegations as severe as they are weren’t true why would this officer retire so quickly? Perception here looks like ‘guilty’ even though we have been told everyone is innocent until proven guilty. Perhaps the WRPS is trying to DRAIN THE SWAMP??

  4. kefran@bell.net'
    Solomon January 31, 2018 at 6:24 am

    There is another evil I have seen under the sun. Kings and rulers make a grave mistake when they give authority to foolish people and low positions to people proven of worth. I have seen servants riding horseback like princes–and princes walking like servants
    When you dig a well, you might fall in
    When you demolish an old wall, you could be bitten by a snake.
    When you work in a quarry, stones might fall and crush you.
    When you chop wood, there is danger with each stroke of your ax

    Wise words bring approval, but fools are destroyed by their own words.

    Ecclesiastes 10:5-10, 12

    Very wise words written by a very wise man that really apply to today. Think about them ..

  5. lvann_11@sympatico.ca'
    Tom Vann January 31, 2018 at 9:11 am

    Soloman was the wisest man on earth at the time. Here is the meat and potatoes…”We will prove these are lies, made up stories, fake pictures and acts of disgruntled people with stagnant careers.” We will vilify all the great and honorable people of the force. Keep your retention pay, bonuses, and raises coming. The cost of poker just went up folks. This is starting to look like it won’t even make it to court and it’s only January.

  6. kefran@bell.net'
    Justice January 31, 2018 at 10:01 am

    Fake pictures??? Fake Affidavits?? Is this whole thing a fake class action law suit? So if all this so ‘fake’ why would Mr. Dietrich announce his retirement?? Was it a case of this is hitting too close to home and I better get out before the alligators bite me in the ass??

    • kelly@fit4duty.ca'
      Kelly Donovan January 31, 2018 at 1:54 pm

      There will be many more “retirements.” My money’s on Larkin next.

      The service lawyer, Melanson.. Is he even on the radar of the Law Society? He paid a female of the service off, what was the $7,000 for?

      What about Torigian? He occupies a Deputy Minister chair at Queen’s Park, no one cares that he doesn’t know how to identify a conflict of interest? …

      I could go on, and on.

      • kefran@bell.net'
        RK January 31, 2018 at 4:01 pm

        Kelly: I have brought your book and am reading it and am finding it very enlightening. I also would love to sit down and chat with you about all this..what can we do to keep this on the ‘front burner’ I would love to see Frank Monterio in Court trying to lie his way out of the things he said and the thing he did. As for Mann, I feel that he is guilty by association because he did nothing to stop it. Seems to me he was kind of ‘spineless’..let me know how I can get in touch with you

        • kelly@fit4duty.ca'
          Kelly Donovan February 13, 2018 at 1:09 am

          Sorry RK, just saw this now. For starters, I think the public need to start demanding SOMETHING be done about the class action… Suspensions, admin duties. Whatever. They removed me from my position for merely exposing the corruption to the board, I did nothing nefarious, yet these men are accused of completely inappropriate conduct for a superior, and still hold their positions of authority.

          Secondly, I have written our ministers and attorney general MANY TIMES about the corruption in policing. They all want the issue to outlive their term in office. Been happening for decades. It’s time someone holds the provincial government accountable for the waste of taxpayer dollars on internal politics.

  7. Debbie Duff Vitez January 31, 2018 at 5:08 pm

    Kelly Donovan
    Fit4Duty – The Ethical Standard

  8. lvann_11@sympatico.ca'
    Gary Prince February 1, 2018 at 7:23 pm

    Pinocchio has nothing on this dude. I just so happened to wake up and wanted to retire while I can with the full Monty. Give me my money. I did nothing wrong…ask the Chief. The women made me do it….honest. It was not my fault, l was drunk. Give us sensitivity training and l will stay. l’m going to run for council. Everyone is lying about me. l am a good guy. Did l say everyone is lying but me? Pass me the donuts.

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