An OPP officer has launched a lawsuit against the Brantford Police Service and several of its officers after claiming to have been falsely accused of stealing a signed Wayne Gretzky hockey stick.
A statement of claim made by Insp. June Dobson called the officer a “long-time close friend” of the late Walter Gretzky, Wayne’s father, who she says had gifted her the hockey stick.
She claims that the decision to sell the memorabilia known as the “Hespeler Stick” and several other items to a Gretzkey memorabilia collector was made to support a family member back in 2019.
Dobson was arrested in December of 2020 by the Brantford police and charged with fraud over $5000 and breach of trust after investigators say they received a tip about a significant amount of Gretzky memorabilia having been sold online.
At the time of her arrest Staff Sgt. Keith Tollar with Brantford police said Dobson misrepresented the origin of a hockey stick, which led to inflation of the value of the item, and then sold it to a private collector.
Dobson’s legal team calls the investigation into the alleged theft “negligent” and “woefully inadequate.”
The legal team claims that the investigation relied heavily on statements made by Walter Gretzky, who they say was suffering from a steady cognitive decline as confirmed by his children.
The Crown would withdraw the charges laid against Dobson in August of 2021.
The statement of claim says the event of her arrest resulted in ““significant physical, psychological, economic and reputational injury.”
Dobson’s lawyer Lawrence Greenspon confirms that the statement has officially been filed with the court and that they have yet to receive a response from the Brantford police.