CK cop to be fired for discreditable conduct

Andrew Jaconelli. (Photo from Andrew Jaconelli's Linkedin page)

Chatham-Kent Police Constable Andrew Jaconelli is being dismissed from his job as a police officer.

At a Police Services Act disciplinary decision hearing on Friday, Hearing Officer Greg Walton said he found it necessary to fire Jaconelli, saying that Jaconelli lacks professionalism and integrity, and keeping him employed would harm relations with the community and further hurt police reputation.

Jaconelli was found guilty of seven counts of discreditable conduct last summer. The discreditable conduct is related to complaints by a female coworker that she was sexually assaulted at a co-worker’s Christmas party in November 2017 while he was drunk. During the same party, Jaconelli also held a dart against the neck of a female civilian co-worker and threw a dart at a fellow officer.

Walton ruled Jaconelli was to be dismissed in seven days, unless he resigns before then, saying that Jaconelli’s police career with Chatham-Kent police couldn’t be salvaged and questioned his trustworthiness and ability to rehabilitate his image. Walton also said Jaconelli had a lack of judgement and a character flaw that he doubts can be reversed.

Chatham-Kent police Chief Gary Conn agrees with the ruling and hopes it will restore and maintain public trust in policing. Chief Conn also hopes the ruling will bring some closure and send a strong message that this type of behaviour won’t be tolerated.

“Those members who act in a disorderly manner or erode those pillars [of policing] and our integrity, including our service and our profession will be held accountable and we and the public expect, as they should expect, our officers to be held to a higher standard,” said Conn. “I’m in absolute agreement with the hearing officer’s decision with respect to the termination of this individual as the most appropriate penalty.”

Conn said this case has been tough on everybody at Chatham-Kent police.

“It affects everyone. It has a cascading, domino effect throughout the entire organization. Not just our service, but our profession as whole,” the chief said.

There’s been no word yet if Jaconelli will resign or appeal the ruling. His lawyer Lucas O’Hara told CK News Today that he will be reviewing the decision.

Jaconelli has been suspended with pay for four years. He pleaded guilty to seven counts of discreditable conduct in 2021 stemming from the incident in 2017. He disputed two other counts from a 2018 incident and was found not guilty.

He also pleaded guilty to sexual assault in a Chatham court in 2020. Jaconelli is also currently going through the courts for criminal harassment.