“Chief Gauthier how do you plead to that amended allegation?”

Police Chief Gauthier rose from his chair and answered, “Guilty”

Timmins Police Chief John Gauthier is pleading guilty to a discreditable conduct allegation

The amended disciplinary charge was determined at a public hearing before the Ontario Civillian Police Commission (OCPC)


Gauthier’s lawyer’s said the Chief is pleading guilty to acting in a manner likely to bring discredit on the reputation of the Timmins Police Service. However, the Chief is pleading NOT guilty to acting in a manner prejudicial to discipline.

Both are disciplinary issues, not criminal offences.

According to information provided from the OCPC, it is alleged that Chief Gauthier accepted a couple of traffic tickets from then City Councillor Gary Scripnick

It is alleged that Gauthier gave Scripnick a free pass, by willingly pulling the tickets from the docket which stemmed from a traffic light offence in May 2013.


On May 19th, 2013, then-city-councillor Gary Scripnick was stopped at a red light at the intersection of Lafleur Drive and Shirley Street in Timmins.

This intersection was the subject of three separate complaints by Scripnick to the city engineer, that “the particular light was malfunctioning and did not change from red to green when oncoming traffic approached the lights.”

Constable Kevin Clement of the Timmins Police Service pulled up behind Scripnick’s stopped vehicle at the red light.

It was then, that Scripnick exited his vehicle and approached Cst. Clement’s window to ask him for help with the “malfunctioning” light”. Cst. Clement did not recognize then city councillor Gary Scripnick and claims he was not aware that the light had malfunctioned in the past .

After hearing Scripnick’s complaint, Cst Clement told Scripnick that he would have to take his complaints and concerns to city council or the city’s engineering department.

Frustrated, Mr. Scripnick told Cst. Clement that he was going to go through the red light anyway. Constable Clement did not tell Scripnick not to proceed through the red light.

Scripnick returned to his truck and waited for three cars to make their turn before driving through the red light at Lafleur and Shirley.

Immediately after running the red light, Cst. Clement turned on his emergency lights and followed Scripnick through the intersection, pulling him over.  Both Scripnick and Cst. Clement then exited their vehicles.

Cst. Clement describes Scripnick as “agitated” as Scripnick tried to explain that he was a City Councillor – urging Clement to call his supervisor.

When Cst. Clement asked Scripnick for his insurance, it was determined his insurance was expired.

Scripnick asked Cst. Clement if he could just quickly drive to his house to grab a valid insurance card for the officer.

Scripnick told Clement he lived roughly 150 metres away from the location he was pulled over, and that he just needed to run home and grab the valid insurance.

It was then that Cst. Clement returned to his police cruiser to announce the traffic stop over the radio.

Immediately after announcing the traffic stop, Clement received a phone call from his colleague (Constable Matthew Beerman). Beerman told Clement that he had just recently issued a ticket to Scripnick for a red light infraction AND he had also given Scripnick a warning for not having a valid insurance slip inside his truck.

Upon discovering these previous infractions, Cst. Clement called his supervisor, Staff Seargent Danny Charest.

Charest told Clement that he was not aware of any issues with the “malfunctioning” lights at that particular intersection. Charest reiterated to Cst. Clement that Gary Scripnick was not exempt from the Highway Traffic Act, just because he is a city Councillor.

Clement warned Sgt. Charest that a frustrated Scripnick was likely going to file a complaint about him.

After finishing speaking to his superior, Cst. Clement returned to Scripnicks truck to issue two certificates of offence or “provincial offence notices” for going through a red light and for failing to produce valid insurance.

While this was happening, Scripnick was recording the conversation. Clement advised Scripnick that he too was doing the same.

The interaction between the two was recorded by the in-car dash camera in Constable Clements patrol car, but the audio was not turned on at the time.

After letting Scripnick go, Clement observed the “malfunctioning” lights at Lafleur Drive and Shirley Street and did not observe any problems for 16 minutes.

He emailed Staff Seargent Charest and Seargent Chypyha and described everything he observed at the traffic light. Clement asked that they (Charest and Chypyha) forward his email to Police Chief Gauthier.

A copy of the ticket (PONs) was placed in a locked box in the traffic department.

But Scripnick was already sending emails to Chief Gauthier and then-Mayor Tom Laughren about the traffic stop and the ticket issued by Clement.

In the email to Gauthier, Scripnick included his audio recording of the conversation between him and Clement.  Mr Scripnick wanted to make the Chief aware of the manner in which Clement spoke with him – claiming he didn’t like it.

On Monday May 20th 2013 on a statutory holiday, Chief Gauthier, in plain clothing and an unmarked police car, went to see Scripnick at his home. Then, the two went to the intersection and drove through it at least three times.

The lights that Scripnick claimed were malfunctioning were functioning properly each time.

Scripnick told Gauthier that there are in fact times when the lights don’t work.  The two then returned to Scripnicks residence, meeting for 30 minutes.

Later, Gauthier emailed Clement, reiterating that Scripnick’s issue with the lights at the intersection was brought up at council meetings in the past.

In the email, Gauthier tells Clement that Scripnick “acknowledges that he should have been more patient, that he did go through the red light, and that he should have waited for you to tell him to go through”. Gauthier also requested via email that Clement NOT process the PONs (ticket)

He said if Clement still had the PONs, to place them in an envelope for him (Gauthier). Gauthier told Clement that if the tickets were already in the locked box, he advised he could have them removed. It was then that Clement told Sgt. Charest about the email correspondence between Gauthier and himself.

The sentencing hearing is adjourned for June 11th and 12th