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Toronto officer facing misconduct probe says nephew wasn’t impaired in crash

A senior Toronto police officer facing multiple misconduct charges for allegedly interfering with an investigation into a single-vehicle crash involving her nephew testified Monday that she would have arrested him if she suspected he was impaired.

Insp. Joyce Schertzer’s nephew crashed into a city-owned utility pole on Lake Shore Boulevard West on May 1, 2022. The incident resulted in Schertzer being charged with three counts of professional misconduct under Ontario’s Police Services Act.

“He was completely sober. He said he was shook up. He was wet from standing in the rain. There was no odour of alcohol on him. His eyes were clear and they were not bloodshot. His speech was not slurred. He had no odour,” she testified at the Toronto police tribunal on Monday.

“If I thought for one second that my nephew was impaired I would have arrested him myself.”

The officer has pleaded not guilty to discreditable conduct, insubordination and neglect of duty charges under the Police Services Act.

Schertzer said that on the day of the incident, she got a call from a family member that her nephew lost control of his pickup truck and slammed into a light standard. She said she was working that Sunday at 11 Division and sent a patrol car to the scene from her division.

She also showed up at the scene and met with the investigating officer.

It is alleged that Schertzer arranged for an officer from her division to be “dispatched” to 14 Division where the crash occurred, circumventing the usual priority system “to the benefit of your family,” according to tribunal documents. It is also alleged Schertzer attended the scene herself and became “actively involved in the investigation.”

She testified on Monday that she did not visit the scene of the crash to interfere with the investigation but to make sure her nephew was well and safe.

“I went there for the safety and well being of my nephew,” she said. “I needed to advocate for him if he had any trouble communicating.”

She also testified that she thought Lake Shore Boulevard West was in 11 division not 14 division, which sit next to each other.

The hearing is set to continue Tuesday. 

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