CKPS Sgt. Robert Mugridge (centre) at police act hearing. February 14th, 2017. (Photo by Paul Pedro)

Sergeant Mugridge Retires Before Final Disciplinary Hearing

A Chatham-Kent police sergeant found guilty of misconduct and fraud will still receive a pension after announcing his retirement just weeks before his final disciplinary hearing.

Former Chatham-Kent Police Service Sergeant Robert Mugridge was found guilty of 50 counts of discreditable conduct at his disciplinary police act hearing in Chatham on February 14, 2017.  He also pleaded guilty to one count of fraud during a Police Services Act meeting on August 28, 2017.

Chief Gary Conn says the Chatham-Kent Police Service received notice of Mugridge’s retirement a few weeks ago. He says Mugridge’s retirement was effective¬†December 22, 2017.

“Because of his retirement notification, we’ve lost jurisdiction under the Police Services Act surrounding the 50 counts of misconduct. The Police Services Act is only applicable to sworn officers,” says Conn.

Conn says the prosecution and defense both previously recommended termination, but that decision cannot be finalized until the submissions are presented to the hearing officer.

“If he did not retire, then we would’ve proceeded with the 50 counts of misconduct. Then the hearing officer would have rendered his decision,” says Conn.

Conn says Mugridge will still be eligible for a pension, but at a reduced rate because he did not complete his 30-year pension period.

“That’s the law that governs our country and we have to work within those parameters… unfortunately, I’m not at liberty to discuss his personal pension details, but I will confirm the fact that he is eligible for a pension,” he says.

Conn says he can assure the public that the former officer has been held accountable for his actions within the parameters of the law and is no longer employed by the Chatham-Kent Police Service.

“It’s an unfortunate set of circumstances and obviously, it’s a rather bleak chapter in our history. I’m uncertain if reconciliation [will take place] with the numerous victims surrounding this matter,” says Conn.

According to the Chatham-Kent Police Service, if any police service in Ontario were to employ Mugridge in the next five years, that service would be forced to continue the prosecution process.

Mugridge is scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday, January 9 to continue criminal proceedings after he pleaded guilty to one count of fraud.