The SPVM has entrusted one of its biggest occupational health and safety files to an officer described as a “stalker” by the City of Montreal’s human resources department, La Presse has learned.

Chief Inspector Costa Labos, former head of internal affairs at the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal (SPVM), was the subject of a devastating report in 2020.

The report looked at Mr. Labos’ behavior towards other police officers during and after the Squad investigation, media leaks at SPVM. It was as part of this investigation that the police obtained a warrant to spy on columnist Patrick Lagacé.

“The reports of psychological harassment made against the respondent are founded, in fact and in law”, concludes the confidential document, of which we obtained a copy.

However, the same Costa Labos is today launching legal proceedings against the SPVM in an important case that opposes it to the Commission for Standards, Equity, Health and Safety at Work (CNESST) and the Fraternité police on the securing of dozens of neighborhood police station parking lots. Police officers worry about being attacked before the start of their shift or after.

The SPVM refused La Presse’s interview request. The police force “will not make any public comment on a confidential document emanating from the Division of the respect of the person of the Department of human resources of the City”, indicates its service of the communications.

The Police Brotherhood denounces this apparent contradiction. “It’s absurd,” said President Yves Francœur in a telephone interview. We would never allow a police officer in the same situation to act like this. It’s double weights, two measures. »

Costa Labos was suspended from duty for almost five years, from 2017 to 2022, in the wake of the Escouade file. He was reinstated last year in the organization’s corporate affairs department.

It is within this department that he leads the issue of securing police station parking lots, a long-standing demand of the Brotherhood of Police Officers. Chief Inspector Labos notably signed a legal proceeding filed last week before the Superior Court of Quebec in this case.

It was Mr. Labos who provided the affidavit in support of the proceedings. “I have read this application and all facts alleged herein are true to the best of my knowledge,” Mr. Labos swore in writing. As part of my duties, I am aware of all the steps that have been taken by the [City] to comply. »

The investigation report of the Human Resources Department of the City of Montreal was signed on November 6, 2020 by Raynald Lamontagne, specialized adviser at the Respect for Persons Division.

His work followed a union grievance filed on behalf of five police officers suspended in 2016 in the wake of the Escouade investigation. They were reinstated in 2021.

The officers alleged that “the SPVM leadership, with the concerted complicity of Internal Affairs, chose to use the justice system for disciplinary and organizational purposes, if not vindictive purposes, plain and simple.” By turning their disciplinary investigation into media leaks into criminal investigations, Costa Labos and his men made it possible to obtain search warrants or electronic surveillance.

“We are also of the opinion that the respondent [Labos] breached his duty of loyalty to the employer by tarnishing the image and reputation of the SPVM and, more broadly, that of the City,” the letter states. . “He placed himself in a situation of ethical conflict, thus contravening the Code of Conduct and other police standards provided for in the matter. »

“It should be noted that we were not allowed to have access to the explanations of the head of the internal affairs department, at the time of the alleged facts, namely the respondent [Labos], the latter having refused to cooperate with the investigation,” the letter said.