Durham Regional Police finds “Joe Mayo” Twitter account is not Scott Dennis but a fellow police officer.
August 26th, 2013
Something astonishing just happened —like INCONCEIVABLE.
Back on August 9, 2013, in the article, “Durham detective investigated for tweets against Ontario ombudsman” the Globe reported:
The account appears to have been created with Detective Constable Scott Dennis’s work e-mail address, said Durham Deputy Chief Paul Martin.
Clearly the functional word was “appears” because as it turned out it wasn’t the Reality.
What a SHOCK! Who would do this to a fellow police officer?!
DRPS Finds Source of Inappropriate Tweets
26-Aug-2013 15:19 PST
An internal investigation into inappropriate tweets made to the Ontario Ombudsman and a Toronto politician will result in discipline charges against a Durham police officer.
On July 28, 2013 a Toronto City Councillor received a tweet from an account identified as “Joe Mayo,” criticizing her position on the Sammy YATIM shooting incident. On August 8, the Ombudsman of Ontario received several tweets from the same Twitter account prior to a press conference he was holding on the issue.
At the time, the Ombudsman announced that the person behind the offensive tweets was, in fact, a DRPS police officer. The Ombudsman further revealed the name of the officer as “Dennis Scott” and later clarified the name as “Scott Dennis” and disclosed the salary of that officer.
The person behind the offensive tweets quickly shut the account down. DRPS Deputy Chief Paul Martin immediately launched an internal investigation after being made aware of the offensive tweets, even though the tweets were not associated with any official DRPS email or Twitter accounts.
The investigation, conducted by the DRPS Professional Standards Unit (PSU), determined that the police officer identified by the Ombudsman had nothing to do with the Joe Mayo account. The officer, a D/Cst. within the Major Crime – Fraud Unit, was on annual leave and had no idea the Twitter account even existed.
Investigators quickly determined the Twitter account had been opened by a fellow police officer, who created a false account linked to the D/Cst., without his knowledge or consent.
The police officer behind the offensive tweets is a DRPS detective and he will be charged under the disciplinary provisions of the Police Services Act (Part V). A hearing date will be set in the near future for that officer to face the appropriate disciplinary charges. His name will be made public at that hearing. The DRPS will disclose the date, location and charges in advance of the public hearing. The officer has not been suspended; he remains on duty and has been removed from his current assignment.
During the investigation, Detectives with the PSU reached out on several occasions to interview the Ombudsman about the incident, but have yet to speak with him.
DRPS Chief Constable Mike Ewles is deeply concerned about a number of issues related to this incident.
“First and foremost, I am concerned that one of my police officers allegedly used a fellow officer’s information to create a fictitious Twitter account and then use it for such offensive purposes. That officer will be held to account,” Chief Ewles says. “With very few rules and even less accountability in the world of social media, it’s not the first time someone has landed in hot water. Politicians and celebrities are usually the culprits. This is a first for us here at the DRPS.”
“It’s also troubling to me that a high-ranking public official like the Ombudsman of Ontario would rush to judgment and identify any person, without the benefit of some sort of objective investigation and evidence, particularly given Mr. Marin’s experience,” the Chief says. “D/Cst. Dennis is an outstanding police officer who has had his personal and professional life turned upside down for no reason. I look forward to Mr. Marin’s co-operation with that portion of the investigation.”
Anyone with new information about this investigation is asked to contact Sgt. Romano of the PSU at 1-888-579-1520 ext. 4378.
Anonymous tips can be made to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or online at www.durhamregionalcrimestoppers.ca and tipsters may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $2,000.
Chief Constable Ewles will be available for interviews in person or by phone on Monday, August 26, 2013 from
3 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. Book via Corporate Communications Director Dave Selby at 1-888-579-1520 ext. 4277
Note: This Durham Regional Police press release just mentions the “Joe Mayo” Twitter account and not the “Scott Dennis @DET3091” and we will try and get clarification on that.
“D/Cst. Dennis is an outstanding police officer who has had his personal and professional life turned upside down…”
Huge huge regrets. HUGE…
UPDATE August 26, 2013. A press release from the Ontario Ombudsman
Statement by Ontario Ombudsman André Marin
TORONTO (August 26, 2013) – On August 8, just prior to my press conference announcing an investigation into provincial direction to police services in de-escalation of conflict situations, my office became aware of an abusive Twitter account. The account featured a series of hateful, malicious and bigoted messages personally directed at me.
Within minutes, my office determined that the account had originated in the name of an officer in the Durham Regional Police Service and was identified by his badge number. The tweets lashing out at me – as well as a Toronto city councillor – appeared to have been in reaction to the controversy over a recent shooting by Toronto police of a young man on a streetcar.
I responded to the tweets publicly and included the DRPS Twitter handle, ensuring the police service was instantly aware that one of its staff was attacking public officials. Thus exposed, the account was swiftly taken down.
When the DRPS moved to investigate this very serious matter, I directed my staff to co-operate fully. Just this morning, we set a meeting for Wednesday to have DRPS investigators meet with my senior IT and investigations staff.
I was surprised to learn this afternoon that the investigation had already concluded and that an officer is now facing charges under the disciplinary provisions of the Police Services Act.
Regrettably, it appears that a Durham police officer not only personally attacked public officials on Twitter, but impersonated a colleague in doing so – hiding behind the name and badge number of Det.-Const. Scott Dennis. Both Det.-Const. Dennis and I were duped by this disgraceful, malicious act.
I commend Durham police for taking this matter so seriously, and I will follow further developments in the case with interest.
Also for the record, I emailed Durham Regional Police today:
From: MISSISSAUGA WATCH <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: “email@example.com” <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Cc: MISSISSAUGA WATCH <email@example.com>
Sent: Monday, August 26, 2013 2:23 PM
Subject: Regarding Twitter account “Scott Dennis” @DET3091
Durham Regional Police’s recent press release has confirmed that Constable Scott Dennis was not responsible for the “Joe Mayo” @joeymayo12 Twitter account but rather that it was “opened by a fellow police officer”.
I’m writing regarding the second Twitter account, “Scott Dennis” @DET3091 which I consider, given its contents to be far more troubling than the “Joe Mayo” account. And I hope that Durham Regional Police Services does as well.
Can you confirm that the “Scott Dennis” @DET3091 account was also opened by the same “fellow police officer” as “Joe Mayo” @joeymayo12, please?
We’ll advise if we get a response.