Just hours after Sylvie Hauth said she’ll retire next year as Thunder Bay’s police chief, Ontario’s civilian police oversight agency announced Thursday it will hold a hearing into misconduct allegations against her.
Hauth has been accused of three counts of misconduct under Ontario’s Police Services Act:
- That she failed to take the appropriate steps to address allegations against Deputy Chief Ryan Hughes.
- That she provided misinformation about that investigation to the Thunder Bay Police Services Board.
- That she failed to take the appropriate steps to address allegations of wrongdoing about other members of the Thunder Bay police.
The Ontario Civilian Police Commission (OCPC) has been investigating these charges since February. They have not been tested or proven, and a date has not been announced for the disciplinary hearing.
On Thursday morning, Hauth announced in a statement to media that she’ll retire June 14, 2023.
She said she has informed the city’s police services board of her impending retirement, which would come after 30 years in the force.
“I am hopeful that my one-year notice will provide adequate time for the board to initiate a recruitment and succession planning process for my replacement,” her statement says. “I remain committed to my role as chief and will do everything I can to ensure a proper transition takes place with the newly appointed chief in 2023.
“In my capacity as chief of police, I have dedicated myself to organizational change within our service, in a collaborative, consistent and transparent way. I can say with confidence that the Thunder Bay Police Service will continue to evolve thanks to the people who remain focused on serving and protecting all members of this great community.”
A police spokesperson said Thursday that Hauth is not doing interviews at this time, as her retirement announcement is on the agenda for next week’s meeting of the police services board.
Bill Mauro, Thunder Bay’s mayor and a member of the police board, said Thursday the process to replace Hauth will be discussed at the meeting.
Mauro also noted he doesn’t have a vote, as the board is currently being overseen by an administrator.
“On a process like this, I’m not sure that I need a vote, but certainly, I think it’s never too soon to start the process. And I don’t mind saying that I really do hope … that serious consideration is given to going outside of the service to find a full-time replacement.”