OPP Constable Glenn McLean was found not guilty today on 1 count of theft of an Intoxilyzer. It sounds like a pretty unremarkable story until one explores the history of this bizarre trial that began with 26 charges.
On October 13th, 2015, McLean appeared before Superior Justice Michael Varpio, at the Sault Ste. Marie Courthouse where he pled not guilty to 26 charges that ranged from theft from his place of employment- Elliot Lake OPP detachment, myriad assault charges and multiple charges of fraud and theft from the Anishinabie Naadmaagi Gamig Substance Abuse Treatment Centre (ANGSAT).
The charges against McLean stemmed from the witness statements of McLean’s former girlfriend –Karen Querat (Bedard). Querat was arrested on November 20th, 2013 and pled guilty on August 8th, 2014 to charges of fraud over $5,000 – $129,927.74 to be exact. Querat, the former bookkeeper for Blind River’s ANGSAT, nicked 20,000 bucks from the centre between August 2012 and January 2013. The remaining $110,000 in misappropriated funds was embezzled after meeting her boyfriend, OPP Constable, Glenn McLean, on January 29th, 2013.
Querat alleged that McLean not only had full knowledge of her illegal activity but encouraged her to continue embezzling money from the organization. Querat further alleged that McLean was violent, abusive and had stolen 33 litres of gas and an Intoxilyzer from work.
In April 2016, after days of dizzying and verbose testimony from star witness- Querat, that included allegations that McLean: threatened to chop her up and feed her to the beavers; beat her many times; indulged his sexual appetite with a minor; intimidated her to continue to steal funds from her employer; crafted the cover story that she came into an inheritance; and oh- interesting tidbits about Timmins Crown Attorney, Wayne O’Hanley’s banjo past time and disfiguring motorcycle accident; and so much more, the Crown withdrew 23 of 26 charges against McLean, stating that there wasn’t any likelihood of conviction. In May 2016, the Crown conceded the theft of gas from work and that left only the charge of theft of an Intoxilyzer.
In his reasons for judgement, Superior Court Justice Michael Varpio, articulated that the OPP detachment in Elliot Lake seemed to have “a loose culture with respect to permitting the use of OPP equipment for personal use” and “Members of the detachment did not appear to be concerned about another officer’s personal use thereof” and “ In light of this loose culture, Constable McLean could reasonably have had an honestly-held belief that he was able to take the decommissioned Intoxilyzer home for an extended period of time.”
McLean, who would cart the Intoxilyzer around to parties in Elliot Lake, insisted that he never intended to steal it. Justice Varpio noted, “Further, as Constable McLean testified, someone who intended to steal the machine would have been foolish to bring the Intoxilyzer to a party lest he risk discovery.”
On the heels of the ‘not guilty’ verdict McLean’s partner, Sherri Elliot, burst into tears and said, “This has been dragging on for two and a half years. I can’t believe it’s over.”
McLean, at this time, had only one comment regarding the end of this most bewildering trial. “Relieved,” he said pushing his hands into his pockets, standing on the Sault Ste. Marie Courthouse steps.
Defense for McLean, Bruce Willson, indicates that today’s verdict was only a commencement, remarking, “As far as the defense is concerned, this matter is not over. This may be proceeding civilly against the Attorney General for damages for this prosecution.”
(feature image: Sherri Elliot, Constable Glen McLean at the Sault Ste. Marie Courthouse)