Senior Toronto cop reportedly ‘halts’ investigation into nephew’s car accident

A senior Toronto police officer is accused of obstructing an investigation into a ‘serious accident’ involving his nephew in May, preventing a fellow officer from determining whether alcohol was a factor in the crash, allegations allege contained in recently released police documents.

Insp. Joyce Schertzer made her first appearance in Toronto Police Court on Tuesday, facing three allegations of professional misconduct stemming from a May collision involving a family member.

Schertzer — a former homicide detective and the latest of several high-ranking officers to face misconduct allegations this year — pleaded not guilty during the brief hearing.

None of the allegations have been proven in court. Neither Schertzer nor his attorney immediately responded to Star’s request for comment.

According to a document describing the alleged incident, Schertzer was working at Division 11 downtown on May 1 when she received a call from her daughter that Schertzer’s nephew had been in a « serious accident. »

The charging document alleges that Schertzer arranged for one of his division’s officers to be dispatched to the scene of the collision, downtown to another police division, « bypassing the priority system in favor of your family, » according to the documents.

Schertzer is accused of going to the scene herself and being the first to speak to her nephew, according to the documents.

“You have gathered information about the collision and are actively involved in the investigation. You then had a private conversation with the investigator and your nephew was told he could leave the premises,” the police document states.

The document alleges his nephew’s vehicle caused damage to city property, prompting the Toronto Police Traffic Services Unit to attend the scene to investigate the collision – but the officer assigned to the inquest « did not have the opportunity to determine whether alcohol could be a contributing factor to the collision and required further investigation.

“The investigation was interrupted following the evacuation of your nephew. You failed to ensure a thorough investigation was conducted into the collision,” the document states.

Schertzer is also accused of failing to take notes on the statement provided by the driver – her nephew – and of failing to collect evidence.

« By involving yourself in the investigation of your nephew’s motor vehicle collision, you failed to meet the Service Governance Standards of Conduct relating to conflicts of interest, » the police document alleges.

The case returns to court in January.

In January, two Toronto police superintendents were charged with allegations of professional misconduct. Supt. Stacy Clarke is currently being charged as part of an internal investigation into allegations of « promotional improprieties » and the superintendent. Riyaz Hussein – then head of the force’s disciplinary court – was charged with criminal offenses and professional misconduct after he allegedly drove while impaired and collided with a delivery truck on Highway 401. The cases are still before the court and tribunal.

In April, Insp. Chris Boddy pleaded guilty in court to dishonorable conduct after being found guilty of impaired driving.

Officers found guilty of professional misconduct by the police court face penalties ranging from reprimand to dismissal.

Wendy Gillis is a Toronto-based reporter who covers crime and policing for the Star. Contact her by email at or follow her on Twitter: @wendygillis


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