It was a small item in Friday's Mercury, but an item nonetheless. Const. Chris Panylo, a six-year veteran of the Guelph Police Service was arrested and charged Thursday with theft under $5,000 and breach of trust. He was suspended with pay on July 22nd, and will appear in court on these charges at the end of October.
The alleged theft took place following a drug case investigated by the police, so it's perhaps unsurprising that someone has quickly stepped forward to call Panylo's credibility on account. Below is a press release from Medical Cannabis Centre of Guelph director Rade Kovacevic, whose downtown business was raided last year by police.
The Medical Cannabis Centre of Guelph Inc. (MCCG) is very concerned about the allegations that have been reported in the local media about a Guelph Police Constable being charged with theft and breach of trust. Const. Chris Panylo, a six-year veteran of the service, was charged after an investigation into an alleged theft of materials obtained by city police in a drug case.
"I am extremely troubled that there are allegations that a key police constable has committed criminal acts," said Rade Kovacevic, director of the MCCG. "Const. Panylo was very much involved in the allegations against three of my employees, and the allegations against Const. Panylo further raise questions about his credibility in regards to our case."
Three employees of the MCCG were arrested in May of 2010, following search warrants that Const. Panylo was an integral part of compiling surveillance information for. The charges are still before the courts and all three have plead not guilty.
"The MCCG is deeply concerned that over 300 patients have lost their access to medical cannabis that their physician has authorized based largely on information provided in writing by Const. Panylo, who's credibility is now in question due to his arrest and the accompanying allegations that have been made," Mr. Kovacevic explained. "This directly brings to question the legitimacy of their choice to arrest MCCG employees."
The Medical Cannabis Centre of Guelph Inc. (MCCG) was established in 2006. The MCCG is a medical cannabis resource centre and provides both support and information regarding the medicinal use of cannabis. The MCCG is a proud member of the Guelph Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Guelph Business Association, Ontario Chamber of Commerce, and the Canadian Federation of Independent Business.