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TTC’s enforcement unit opts for change in leadership

Riders wait for an approaching TTC subway at the the Main Street Station on Thursday, May 21, 2009.

Randall Moore/The Globe and Mail

Two of the top officers in the TTC's enforcement unit are no longer working with the transit agency as it tries to draw a line under embarrassing allegations of corruption among some workers under their command.

Spokesman Brad Ross confirmed Monday evening that there had been a change of leadership in the unit that would allow the TTC to move forward "in a new re-invigorated way." He would not identify the people who left but two sources said they were unit commander Fergie Reynolds and Al Findlay, one of the most senior officers reporting to him.

Five officers were charged in January with fraud and obstruction of justice for allegedly writing false tickets to cover up slacking off on duty. Another three people were fired.

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No one alleged wrongdoing by Mr. Reynolds or Mr. Findlay, who were well-liked in the unit, and the former commander noted in recent months that it was an internal investigation that turned up signs of impropriety. But the allegations shocked the unit and left the transit service embarrassed.

It was not clear the terms under which the men, both former police officers, left the unit. Mr. Ross would not reveal whether severance will be paid, saying only that they "will work within the confines of our budget to make sure that there are no additional costs associated with this change."

"It's about moving forward in a new direction for the unit," the TTC spokesman said. "We are embarking on special constable status, we are going to have an entire fare enforcement plan that will need to be deployed with the new streetcars. The time was right to make some change to allow for all of these things to happen in a positive way."

The eight enforcement officers fired in the ticket scam comprised nearly a fifth of the patrol strength of the unit, which struggles to cover the system. Lawyers on behalf of the five who face charges have appeared twice in court on their clients' behalf but no pleas have been made.

In spite of the negative attention brought by the alleged corruption, the TTC hopes its enforcement unit will regain special constable status this year. It's a designation it lost amid concerns about a parallel police force, and one they believe will give their officers the power to do a better job of keeping the system safe.

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About the Author

Oliver Moore joined the Globe and Mail's web newsroom in 2000 as an editor and then moved into reporting. A native Torontonian, he served four years as Atlantic Bureau Chief and has worked also in Afghanistan, Grenada, France, Spain and the United States. More


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