Following that news that Durham police allowed one of their own officers to operate a dispensary in the town, at least one member of the local police board is demanding answers for why constable Phil Edgar received permission to run the business.
Pickering councillor and retired Toronto police sergeant Bill McLean sits on the police board and said he’ll be asking how Edgar was able to operate his dispensary, Living On Inc., when the board next meets.
“I think it’s our job as a board to ask those questions and get those answers,” McLean said.
The police department has refused to discuss the issue since it was discovered saying that it’s a private “employer-employee matter,” and, as a personnel issue, has no place being discussed at the public board.
“It’s nothing to do with the Police Services Board. They don’t oversee anything like this,” said Edgar.
After the Toronto Star discovered the connection to Edgar, the officer said he “stepped back” from the dispensary and said he’s deciding which career he will continue in, cannabis or police service.
Rules for police in Ontario state that, before any second job or business ownership can be completed that may involve a conflict of interest, officers must receive the permission of the police chief.
McLean said he was told that the Durham police were told they legally needed to approve Edgar’s ownership of the dispensary, according to records.
Police have not provided the legal opinion to the public or direct commented on Edgar’s business.
“While our decision making is subject to limitations in the legislation, the Service would never knowingly approve a request for secondary employment that is illegal,” a police spokesman said. “At any time, should new facts come to the attention of the Service that would change the context of a secondary employment approval, the Service may take any steps deemed necessary, including revocation of the approval.”
Edgar said he believed the dispensary was licensed for business.
“From my view, everything Living On was doing was ethical and legal. If we’re helping people, and it’s all ethical and legal, then I have no problem with it,” Edgar said.