Ottawa cop in hot water for doing personal searches on police databases


OTTAWA -An Ottawa cop who searched police databases for personal use faces a possible demotion and a pay cut of up to $40,000.

Const. Daniel Bargh was found guilty in November of deceit and two counts of insubordination under the Police Services Act.

The prosecution said Wednesday it wants Bargh stripped of his level one constable status to that of a level four, the rank of a new officer. The demotion would cut Bargh's annual salary to $40,000 from about $80,000.

The trial mainly focused on the 100-plus searches Bargh made on police databases, including the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) and the Ottawa police records management system (RMS).

Defence lawyer Bill Carroll argued for a suspension of up to 22 days. If a demotion is warranted, the defence asked that it be to the rank of level two, but for three to six months.

Carroll said Bargh was an immature and naive officer when he joined the force in 2004 but in the last year and half has grown up.

Bargh has been working at the central information desk since returning from long-term leave October 2008. Two of his supervisors wrote they believe Bargh has matured a great deal and is now an upstanding officer that can be trusted back on the road.

During the trial, the adjudic at o r heard Bargh ran the names of an ex-lover, family, friends and fellow cops.

Part of Bargh's defence was that he needed to run names of officers for updates on investigations and to refresh his memory about incidents.

But when some of the officers appeared as witnesses in the hearing, they couldn't explain why Bargh would need to run queries on their names.

The trial also examined Bargh's alleged association with a man police knew to be a cocaine dealer at the time.

In convicting Bargh of deceit, the adjudicator found the officer lied to internal investigators about knowing the supposed drug dealer.

Bargh was acquitted on two charges of discreditable conduct after the prosecution failed to prove that he had a relationship with the suspected drug dealer and that he bad-mouthed a colleague in public.

An adjudicator will render his decision April 9.