Dec. 11, 2004. 01:00 AM

Cop accused of having sex on cruiser
Allegedly tried to frame colleague for drunk driving Niagara officer facing 8 charges of police misconduct



ST. CATHARINES—A Niagara cop is accused of having sex on the hood of his cruiser in a public park and trying to frame a senior officer for drunk driving.


Const. Eric Mattison, 35, faces eight charges of misconduct under the Police Act, including deceit, discreditable conduct and neglect of duty.


Details of the charges, related to incidents in 2003, were released for the first time yesterday at the request of the Hamilton Spectator.


Mattison, who is suspended with pay, denies the allegations. "All I have to say is I'm innocent and this is a smear campaign," he said yesterday in a phone message.


Mattison's 13-year police career has been blemished by criminal charges, including convictions for soliciting prostitution and assault. His father is former Toronto police officer David Mattison, who murdered his wife and dumped her body parts in Lake Ontario.


The younger Mattison, who is married with children, was scheduled to answer to the misconduct charges this fall, but the Police Act hearing was delayed for medical reasons.


Mattison suffers from post traumatic stress disorder because of a car accident and is under a doctor's care, said his lawyer Gary Clewley.



A meeting is set for Jan. 11 to pick a new hearing date. But Clewley said his client likely won't be healthy enough to face the tribunal in the near future. He also raised the possibility that Mattison might not return to the force because of his medical condition, perhaps removing the need for the hearing.


The internal charges against Mattison stem mainly from a traffic stop in September, 2003 when he arrested Staff Sgt. Steve MacLeod, a 32-year-veteran, for impaired driving.


The service held an internal investigation and in March said both MacLeod and Mattison would face disciplinary action under the Police Act.


The charges against MacLeod, however, were withdrawn last month when a further investigation showed his blood alcohol level didn't breach the Police Act.


According to the documents, police allege Mattison's version of events was "false, misleading and inaccurate."


A 30-page document released to the Spectator yesterday outlines a series of allegations against Mattison.


Clewley said his client was just doing his job. "He didn't frame anybody." The other charges relate to an early August night in 2003, when Mattison was on traffic duty in Port Colborne.


According to the document, Mattison was approached by two women he did not know. The women said they would like to drive their convertible car while bare breasted and asked Mattison if that would be legal, police say.


Mattison offered to drive one of the women to the car. She left in the cruiser, while another Niagara Regional officer drove her friend to the same spot.


Police say Mattison stopped at a local park where the pair had consensual sex on the hood of the cruiser. Youths were walking in the park so Mattison and the woman quickly dressed.


Police also allege Mattison twice used a police computer during the evening to get information about the women.


In 1994, Mattison was caught in an undercover prostitution sting in Niagara Falls. He was found guilty of soliciting a prostitute and fined $200.


In 1999, Mattison pleaded guilty to assault after he struck a drunk person. Mattison's life has been scarred by personal tragedy. His brother was killed in a car accident in 1989. Mattison's father received 10 years in the death of his wife Nicole.