Some Cambridge residents suggest Monteiro, Mann step down after being named in police suit

By  | January 26, 2018 | 19 Comments | Filed under: Waterloo Police class action lawsuit
NewsJan 25, 2018by Liz Monteiro Waterloo Region Record

WATERLOO REGION — Some Cambridge residents are asking that councillors Frank Monteiro and Mike Mann step down because both retired officers are part of allegations in a pending class-action lawsuit.

In a Facebook group called ‘Cambridge Citizen Discussion on local politics,’ some residents say the two men should resign their seats on council because they are named by plaintiffs alleging gender discrimination and sexual harassment at Waterloo Regional Police.

Margaret Barr of Cambridge said the two councillors should step down until the lawsuit is settled.

“They should take a leave. I’m not asking for their resignation,” said Barr, who suggested the men can put their names on the ballot again during the municipal elections slated for October.

“Do the honourable thing and step down,” she said. “These are serious allegations and for the good of the city and the accountability of taxpayers, let the people decide if you should be let back in.”

The class-action suit is lead by six plaintiffs who allege the police service and the police board are part of a culture of sexual harassment and misogyny.

The plaintiffs include three current police officers, two former officers and a retired superintendent. Only one officer is on active duty.

The plaintiffs are Sgt. Karin Eder, Sgt. Shelley Heinrich, Const. Angelina Rivers, former constable Vera MacKenzie, former constable Sharon Zehr and retired superintendent Barry Zehr. Zehr, who retired last April, is married to Sharon Zehr.

The allegations in the suit have not been proven in court. Total damages being sought amount to $167 million.

The claim says the officers were routinely harassed, mocked and bullied by male colleagues and supervisors. When they spoke up to supervisors and their union, they felt dismissed and isolated.

In her affidavit, Eder says Monteiro “came up behind me in the lunch room and lifted my skirt over my waist, revealing my under garments, in front of several officers.”

Eder says Monteiro referred to female genitalia as “split tails.”

Other officers are also named in the suit. In one case, an allegation is made against a current superintendent, Supt. Pat Dietrich, who allegedly sent a photograph of his penis to Eder and asked for a photo of her in return. She refused.

The officer said she went to then Deputy Chief Mike Mann about the superintendent’s behaviour.

The officer said Mann urged her to make a formal complaint but when she asked what would happen, he, along with other officers and service employees, said the officer would likely get a warning and that would be it.

“While Mann advised me that Dietrich would not be involved in any transfer meetings where my future was discussed, to the best of my knowledge, he continued to participate in every transfer meeting where my transfers have always been denied,” Eder said in her affidavit.

In the affidavit of another plaintiff, Vera MacKenzie, who quit the police, said she was called a derogatory term by a senior officer. She said Monteiro, who also worked with the officer, said the offensive comment was the supervisor’s favourite word.

Contacted on Thursday, both Monteiro and Mann said it would be inappropriate to comment as the allegations are before the courts.

“When the time comes, I would like to explain myself,” Monteiro said.

Monteiro said he supports women coming forward with allegations of misconduct.

“I encourage women to come forward and speak up,” he said.

“I look forward to the opportunity when I can give my side of the story,” Mann said on Thursday.

“The public needs to look at this in the full context,” he said. , Twitter: @MonteiroRecord



19 Responses to Some Cambridge residents suggest Monteiro, Mann step down after being named in police suit

    Tom Vann January 26, 2018 at 3:42 pm

    I just found out Margaret Barr is back in town (sounds like a song). I used to read her columns and have enjoyed her company and direct talks. Her comments in the Record were to the point and seems to me to be the best path for the 2 ex-cops to take for our city and council integrity. I think it will be near impossible to see another cop elected again. I may be wrong but both Margaret and I being wrong is rare. I passed on the Police report to her when the 2 cops showed up at my door after I got it back from my council. Those 2 cops at my door were good cops and I have no ill will towards them. Our City Hall sent them. I believe we need the bad apple cops removed across this country. Let the badge return to a higher standard to bring back public faith. This case is on many lips in this region. What really is upsetting is the Chief and the lawyer comments to the media. Of course they were done on purpose but they were in very poor taste. It would go a long way in the public eye if Mike Mann and Frank Monterio stepped back and took leave as Margaret suggested. Funny that Larkin took over as the Provincial head of Chiefs so close to the date this case took off. Really not that funny. I had no idea this case was going on till today. OOPPSS I’m lying. Remember when Mike Mann had the chance to back Liggett? Remember when Frank refused to apologize to Liggett. I seem to remember the word stupid being mentioned about something at council. I can’t recall the story. I wonder how Harvey Wienstein is making out these days? I listened to an old Bill Cosby tape the other day. He was a funny guy. By the way; where the heck is O.J.Simpson? Ole’.

    Alan Marshall January 27, 2018 at 9:26 am

    Currently at 68 years of age I grew up in a time when massive change was going on in our world. Women had stepped into the working world big time when many young men were overseas during WW2. Well post-war, in hindsight, yes I saw subtle or “polite” discrimination. Never other than City of Waterloo-public works did I see blatant, rude, ignorant, in your face nastiness or worse. That said I was successfully brainwashed at the time despite public school, high school and even university to believe that women weren’t mentally tough enough, physically capable or even emotionally/psychologically equal to men. Our school system despite all its’ flaws, in hindsight, I believe did help to reverse the stereotypes I grew up with. That and just plain life has given me a totally different outlook. Perhaps having a daughter who is an overachiever has aided and abetted my transformation. Regardless the point is that there are many men who have not overcome their upbringing. It is difficult to admit that one has held archaic and self-serving beliefs for a long period of time. That said no man brought up here in Canada would ever honestly state that the abusive name calling, butt grabbing and skirt lifting behaviour stated in the lawsuit against the Waterloo Regional Police Service could ever be O.K.. That is another whole level of stupidity, cowardice and abuse of authority way beyond a simple (& incorrect) belief that we males are inherently superior.

    Maggie January 27, 2018 at 1:16 pm

    Sorry Tommy – Monteiro said Hicks quoted him wrong – he meant “SO STUPID. And he did not apologize to that female or to Legitt. I guess when you are him, apologies are below you.
    It just shows what his opinion is of females. Not contest here!

    Ricky Bell January 28, 2018 at 2:55 pm

    Mike Mann is involved with the Conservatives. Maybe not for long.

    What January 28, 2018 at 4:22 pm

    STUPID?? Why would Frank mention that word at Council? What was he referring to?

    Tom Vann January 28, 2018 at 6:17 pm

    What. That was in response to Rande’s filing I believe from Frank. It appeared a fair case but the integrity person tossed it and I believe he called the action stupid. I am not sure how many have been filed on Frank but I think he is in the lead. A new look council looks to be in the cards next election. With the on going Police case and Pam’s DUI case people seem fed up with teachers and cops that are highly pensioned being on council. Of course this is just talk around town. We know how Cambridge elections get worked out. I can’t say for certain but light might be shed on a mayor candidate by June.

    Brenda Price January 29, 2018 at 5:15 pm

    Boot them off council Mr. Mayor. Lack of action show acceptance.

    Concerned January 30, 2018 at 9:16 am

    It is interesting to see that our Mayor hasn’t got a voice on these allegations at all. It seems that these councillors are maybe seeing their punishment in more ways than one. How are they looked at in this City since these allegations have become known to this community? Do you look at them as upstanding citizens worthy of being the voice of the people on City Council? Do you look at them with respect if you were to see them in a coffee shop or walking down the street? Do you see them as having any credibility now that the allegations have come out naming these two in our community. Next let’s think of our Council…these are members who we have elected to be our do you feel about them making decisions on your behalf given the severity of these allegations? and what about our City as a whole? How do others look at us regarding these allegations? Is the City of Cambridge now clothed in a veil of shame? Can we hold our heads up high or do we have to hang them in shame because of these allegations? Some may say that these two do not reflect the whole City and I have to agree with you, but these two have also tarnished our reputation…so if someone asks you where you live and you reply Cambridge, what do you think they will be thinking? These allegations need to go to court and a judge needs to render a verdict on this

    Puzzled February 4, 2018 at 9:48 am

    Brenda – is you refer to the photo on here of Mann & Craig hugging the women – then your statement rings true – “Craig condones Mann’s actions” – he needs to take a position in this. And so does McGarry & Wynn. Wow cannot believe they are all so spineless. What else is new.
    Craig is probably too busy thinking up another costly item we don’t need similar to the BRIDGE TO NOWHERE. Paid out of Hydro surplus funds – from us the Taxpayers. & A $48,000. sign. What next? Complex where it should not be!!!$$$
    Could that 1 1/4 million not have gone to a Preston Dam that needed replaced 9 9 years ago??
    Craig just does not make sense any more!

    Linda whetham February 4, 2018 at 12:42 pm

    This makes me sad, I have known Mike for 30 years and have always found him to be a honest, classy Guy, so I personally will wait for the verdict on this fellow before I will condemn him…

    Puzzled February 4, 2018 at 3:30 pm

    No one is condemning him. It is to be proven. But in decency he should step down until this is decided.
    And if he did this on his own – he would be respected for it.
    But Linda, you were not there when they ripped another councilor up & down for something much minor compared to this possibility.
    You had to have been there for that, Mann was included in condemning his fellow Councillor & did nothing, therefore, the reasoning for his stepping down until this is over.
    You need the whole picture!

    Alan Marshall February 5, 2018 at 12:04 pm

    Puzzled & Linda: I think you’re both right. I certainly wasn’t there when he condemned his fellow councillor…but if Linda Whethem has known and or worked with him for thirty years I would certainly respect her opinion that he’s an honest, classy guy. Perhaps his sins are more of omission when he was a police officer than of commission. It is very possible that an honest, classy guy might not feel up to taking on the culture and power structure within the police even if he knows their behaviour is wrong. Very few of us are all black or all white. We all have strong points as well as major weaknesses.

    Linda whetham February 5, 2018 at 8:30 pm

    No, I was not at the meeting where another Councillor was ripped up and down, please tell me what Councillor Mann said at this meeting. I think your comments Alan are bang on, I think the one about taking on the culture and power structure within the police is a priceless statement, maybe that is why Mann retired..

    Puzzled February 5, 2018 at 9:03 pm

    Well Linda he just sat there & let Reid ream the Councillor out. It was totally embarrassing. And Mann holding his head in his hands like he was ashamed of what was going on – but had no guts to say anything, I suppose as he did in his job. It sounds about the same situation – bu time will tell.
    It’ll get sorted out, but I do not like phoniness & that show at the Council meeting to me – was that. If you have enough conviction to know it was wrong – then you need to step up. Right! But then again, as Alan says, guess this is his weakness. Not strong enough to stand up to do the right thing. And afraid of Craig as most of the Councillors are. (only 3 thinkers in the lot).

    Tom Vann February 6, 2018 at 10:19 pm

    Mike might be a friend of yours Linda but he follows Doug’s lead. He never backed Liggett on conduct and has his hands full with issues at the moment. Hey, people don’t like me but it isn’t the end of the world.

    Linda whetham February 7, 2018 at 1:00 pm

    It is Mann’s First Term, I also followed Mr. Craig’s lead during my first term on Council, until I said my truths and was kicked to the curb by Craig, it has not happened to Mann yet, You really have to be in Craig’s circle to truly understand the power he has over people, Tom you were not around when one of your “Thinkers” in the lot was so close to Craig for years, took her some time to get the Picture of what he is really like, As far as your words Puzzled make sense, The only Councillor that I have ever seen stick up for another Councillor was Rick Cowsill, Mann right now probably thinks Craig is O.K. until he gets kicked under the Bus..I only know that Mann (and I am not a personal Friend of his) has always treated me with respect and honesty for the last 30 years.

    Tom Vann February 7, 2018 at 3:30 pm

    Yeah, I remember sending you a gift Linda for sticking up for the taxpayer on some issues. I always liked Rick. He was always nice to talk to and like you Linda got nowhere with the mayor. I thought you knew Mike from Kiwanis. Doug even ripped Ben on occasion. Ben was always fun to talk to. I also liked Doug at one time till the 2010 election mess he had Alex do. I think he tossed Frank under the bus on the Multiplex issue and I don’t think Frank ever recovered. I heard he got Andrew to run to split the vote. I always said Doug could have been the best mayor ever but pet projects got in the way as though he had a personal agenda. Not sure if it will be ward 1, 7 or 6 for me this time around. I will choose near the end rather than show my hand. I also know who was involved in stealing many of my signs. A little birdy told me and another saw someone in a truck. Politics Linda is a dirty business but doesn’t have to be.

    Linda whetham February 7, 2018 at 6:11 pm

    Yes Tom you bought me flowers that made my day, Mann was not a member of Kiwanis, I only know him from Temple Baptist School where my daughter and Mann’s children attended, His whole Family played in the Breslau Concert Band where my daughter also played, we owned a Robin’s Donut shop across the road from the regional Police station on Maplegrove and whenever Mann came in he would never accept a free coffee he said he considers that graft, He has only ever been respectful, kind, and honest in any dealings I have had with him, I like the words that Alan has stated and think that is what happened not that that is the proper way to deal with the truth, I do not know what the Deputy Chief’s Job description is and how much he has to listen to what the Chief tells him to do..

    Ruth Becker March 9, 2018 at 10:35 pm

    Cambridge is having a crisis within it’s council chambers that must be be addressed this coming election if two members attempt re-election. The vizard worn by Mr. Monteiro and Mr. Mann must be removed during this upcoming court case with the W.R.P.S. According to the affidavits I have just read. Their tumid years in the police department will be a day of victory for the women of this region’s police force. Mr. Monteiro’s disgusting comments and actions degrade women far past any acceptable level. If found guilty Mr. Mann and Mr. Monteiro must step down from political office for the benefit of the city of both Cambridge’s reputation and the W.R.P.S.

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