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8 TTC transit officers fired for writing phony tickets, misconduct

The TTC has fired eight of its transit enforcement officers, five of whom are facing criminal charges for allegedly writing false provincial offences tickets to homeless people.

The officers were charged with attempting to obstruct justice and fabricating evidence.

TTC chair Karen Stintz said the employees allegedly wrote the tickets to “cover up for the fact that they weren’t at work.”

“This was a way of not going into work,” she said.

“Their job is to protect the public trust within the transit system, and that trust has been violated by their actions.”

The other three officers were fired for undisclosed misconduct, but not charged.

The charges and firings come after a four-month investigation by the TTC and Toronto police.

Five of the officers were accused of writing phony tickets for offences like panhandling on TTC property, loitering and trespassing.

TTC spokesman Brad Ross called the alleged falsification of hundreds of tickets a co-ordinated effort and said homeless people who were known to TTC staff were targeted because they were unlikely to show up in court and had no fixed address with which to track them down.

Ross also said it’s the TTC’s policy to help the homeless find shelter, rather than further burden them with fines.

“It’s not our practice to issue tickets to homeless people,” he stressed.

The TTC said it will cancel all falsified tickets and assure the persons named in them won’t face any legal or financial consequences.

A full internal TTC review will take place surrounding the issuing of provincial offences tickets.

“I am profoundly disappointed in today’s news,” said TTC CEO Andy Byford. “The public should have absolute confidence and trust in all that we do.

“Integrity, accountability and transparency are critically important to me as the leader of this organization.

The charges:

Michael Schmidt, 44, of Barrie, was charged with:

  • two counts of attempt to obstruct justice
  • two counts of fabricate evidence

Svetomir Catic, also known as Tony, 45, of Oakville, was charged with:

  • two counts of attempt to obstruct justice
  • two counts of fabricate evidence

Jan Posthumus, 44, of Toronto, was charged with:

  • three counts of attempt to obstruct justice
  • three counts of fabricate evidence

James Greenbank, 48, of Milton, was charged with:

  • Attempt to obstruct justice
  • fabricate evidence

Neil Malik, 38, of Ajax, was charged with:

  • Attempt to obstruct justice
  • fabricate evidence

The accused are scheduled to appear in court on Feb. 26.