CORNWALL, Ontairo – Cornwall Police Services Cst. Kevin Wells is appealing a sentence and convictions handed down by a disciplinary hearing last month.
Last month a disciplinary hearing being presided over by retired OPP Superintendent Greg Walton found Cst. Wells guilty of four charges, two counts of Discreditable Conduct, one count of Neglect of Duty, and one count of Deceit.
The charges stem from an incident where Cst. Wells allegedly drove with an expired license and damaged a CPS cruiser. Cst. Wells then allegedly took the vehicle to be looked at by a mechanic that was not approved by the CPS. Furthermore, Cst. Wells allegedly concealed the nature of the damage.
In his sentencing, Walton gave Wells one week to resign or be fired by the CPS. Wells’ appeal has lead to a stay of the sentence.
“We are appealing all four counts on a number of grounds where we say the hearing officer erred,” said Lawrence Greenspon of Greenspon Granger Hill Lawyers, Counsel to Cst. Wells.
Greenspon cited strong character witnesses and performance evaluations that were submitted by the defense.
“Cst. Wells is well liked by his peers and his supervisors,” reads an excerpt from his 2017-2018 performance review. “Cst. Wells has always policed at a high level . . . He is consistently the highest producing constable for charges for I Team and one of the top in the police service.”
Walton noted that a high number of active CPS officers wrote character witness statements for Wells. He estimated that nearly 10 per cent of the total number of active officers wrote statements on his behalf.
“This all occurred on one shift and there was never any risk to the public,” Greenspon went on to say.
The penalty that the defense was seeking in the sentencing hearing was a demotion and a loss of 80 hours pay.
There is no date set yet when Cst. Wells’ appeal will be heard by the Ontario Civilian Police Commission (OCPC).
Cst. Wells has a second hearing coming up on Dec. 7 on a separate matter where he is facing 19 counts of Discreditable Conduct.