OPP officer told to quit -- or else


Tue, October 5, 2004

A 30-YEAR OPP officer obsessed with gambling was ordered to resign or face dismissal yesterday for stealing thousands of dollars from the police vault to feed his addiction. Det. Const. John Gregory, 50, who spent years undercover while infiltrating illegal gambling houses, showed no emotion as he was told to surrender his badge following a Police Act hearing at OPP headquarters in Orillia.

Gregory was found guilty of discreditable conduct after he admitted to repeatedly dipping into the police vault and stealing a total of $16,000 from 1998 to 2000.

Gregory would frequent secret gambling houses often run by organized crime and routinely gamble away all of his allocated money from the OPP, then head for the bank to eventually gamble away $100,000 in family money.

He was previously found guilty of theft in a criminal court for the same incident and received a conditional discharge.

The adjudicator at yesterday's hearing, retired York Regional Police deputy chief Terence Kelly, said Gregory was a gambler long before he became an undercover officer in gambling houses. "I have the greatest difficulty in relating his gambling addiction solely as a direct result of his employment," said Kelly. "The theft ... was well-planned, premeditated."