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Durham region detective to face discreditable conduct charge in Twitter case

Ontario Ombudsman André Marin announces that he will be launching an investigation into what direction is provided to police by Ontario's Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services with respect to de-escalating conflict situations during a press conference at Queen's Park in Toronto on Thursday, August 8, 2013.

matthew sherwood The Globe and Mail

A Durham regional police detective will face a discreditable conduct charge after the police service says it found the source of some inappropriate tweets that caused a stir last month.

The force says the detective's name will not be released until a public hearing on the case begins Oct. 1 in Whitby, Ont.

The force began an internal investigation after it said inappropriate comments were made on Twitter to the Ontario ombudsman and a Toronto councillor regarding a police shooting in the city.

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Ombudsman André Marin apologized late last month for wrongly naming another Durham region detective as the culprit behind the series of offensive tweets.

The lawyer for Det.-Const. Scott Dennis later said his client accepted the apology.

Marin had said he believed Dennis was behind a Twitter account using the fake name "Joe Mayo" that was directing offensive messages at him.

But the Durham police force said Dennis was on annual leave at the time and did not know about the account, which investigators said was set up by a fellow officer without his knowledge or consent.

The tweets appeared Aug. 8, before Ombudsman Marin was to give a news conference on the shooting death of 18-year-old Sammy Yatim on a Toronto streetcar.

Durham police Chief Const. Mike Ewles has asked a veteran OPP officer to serve as the hearing's officer to ensure openness and transparency.

Meanwhile, Durham regional police say the officer facing the disciplinary charge has been moved to a different assignment in a non-supervisory role.

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