Fake psychologist evaluated police after complaining of sexual harassment
The Ottawa Police Department will launch a criminal investigation after a former police officer called for an investigation into a fraud report by a person posing as a psychologist assessing her patrol capabilities.
Constant Kimberly Cadarette said that after complaining to the captain that her platoon members were sexually harassed and bullied, she was ordered by the OPS manager to receive treatment in 2007 to determine whether she was fit for work.
She said that after that complaint, she was told to visit Dr. Ron Frey, a certified psychologist, at a designated time and place every week. Her nine-page psychological report bears Frey’s electronic signature and is written on his company’s header paper. Frey is a psychologist who has worked with the Ministry of Defense and the Royal Mounted Police.
However, Frey stated in an interview that he did not write this report.
For eight months, the staff involved in the OPS health plan have known that there may be fraud, but there was no obvious investigation before CBC conducted an investigation.
In order to verify the details, CBC News arranged for the therapist and the police officer to meet in person. In the shocking moments captured in the video, both Cardalette and Frey denied having had a face-to-face meeting before that.
“I don’t even know what to say now. It ruined me,” Cadarette said, tearing down when she realized that the man in front of her was not the therapist who treated her 14 years ago.
After working at the Ottawa Police Station for a year and a half, Cadarette transferred to the Peel Regional Police Station in 2008. She still works in the Greater Toronto Area. Cadarette believes that the details of the OPS fraud report were leaked, affecting her career.
“We are in 2021. This incident happened in 2007. To this day, I am still considered a lunatic at work and I cannot be trusted. So this incident has never left me.”
Cadarette hopes that the Ottawa police will find an impostor.
OPS said it learned of potential fraud involving the use of the names of doctors participating in its health plan in November last year.
Initially, the force stated that it did not conduct a criminal investigation, but after CBC sent Chief Peter Sloly an email on Tuesday asking about the possibility of an internal investigation, they changed course.
“We take these types of calls very seriously. We will conduct a criminal investigation on this matter and we will talk to all relevant parties,” Media Relations Manager Carole Lavigne said in an email 2.5 hours after the CBC asked the director.
Cadarette called OPS’s decision to conduct a criminal investigation “verbally.”
“Why didn’t they listen to me 15 years ago? I think they were just playing games,” she said in an interview on Tuesday night.
In 2007, the newly recruited Cadarette moved to the Ottawa police from Amherstburg, outside of Windsor, and started her “dream job.”
“I like office workers. I like the community. I like seeing the smiles on people’s faces and knowing that I have made a difference,” Cadaret said when showing photos of her first year of work.
Cadarette recently severed a long-term relationship and said that she found herself the target of unwanted attention by male colleagues.
In her diary in the spring of 2007, she wrote that a sergeant told her he hoped he was not married and how at least four other officers commented on her appearance or asked her about her sex life.
She said that when she refused his courtship, a police officer accused her of “multiple personalities.” After complaining to her boss, Cadarette said that she was bullied and ostracized at work.
Frustrated by the lack of action, Cadarette said that she walked into the office of the person in charge Vern White without an appointment.
“I’m very depressed. I’m a mess. I told him everything.”
Watch | Constant Kimberly Cadarette talks about the cost of false mental health reports:
A few weeks later, Cadarette said that after two civilian OPS employees at the Lonestar restaurant asked to meet her there, she spoke with them.
Cadarette said the health and safety manager and a recruiter told her that the chief wanted her guns taken away and kept her on duty in the office until she was evaluated by a psychologist. They told Cardalette that while they were talking, her pistol was being taken out of the locker.
In the diary dated September 21, 2007, Cadarette stated that she “meeted for the first time with Dr. Frey recommended by the Director.”
Cadarette told CBC that she expressed her disappointment with the decision to colleagues.
“I never said that I would hurt myself. This is a big problem. I said,’I told you what happened and now you took my gun away. Why am I being punished?'”
CBC has been unable to reach the two civilian supervisors she met in the restaurant.
White, now a senator, served as the head of OPS from 2007 to 2012. He said he remembered Cadarette’s name, but did not remember seeing her in person.
White said he was unlikely to ask two civilian employees to tell police officers that their side weapons had been removed. He said it was the responsibility of senior officials.
“I have never asked civilians to participate in the removal of any police officer’s use of force. In my 32 years of police service, I have never done so,” White said. He also said that it is the army doctor, not the person in charge, who recommends the mental health assessment.
Cadarette said that her weekly therapy sessions are always scheduled at noon when she is on duty.
She said that she met a man who called herself Frey at a medical clinic on the campus of the University of Ottawa.
She remembered the therapist driving a dark blue minivan. Cardalette said that from the first moment she stepped into the room, she was suspicious. They sat in folding chairs for a one-hour meeting.
“It’s almost as if he is condescending-he has no worries,” Cadaret said when describing his behavior.
In the report, the author said that he would test her “paranoia” by accidentally appearing at her place of work, deliberately submitting the report later than promised, and arranging and canceling appointments within a short period of time.
Kadaret said that the person she met during treatment sometimes showed up at the front desk of her work, “stand there and stare at me.”
In her fifth date, Cardalette accused the psychologist of being an impostor. She said that she handed him a copy of Article 403 of the Criminal Law, which regarded impersonation as identity fraud.
OPS stated that in order to respect her privacy, it will not comment on Cadarette’s alleged harassment.
‘This is painful’
In a recent interview, Frey was troubled by his electronic signature after reading Cardalette’s mental health assessment.
“It’s distressing. I can’t believe it’s happening,” Frey said, who strongly denied writing the report. “I want to be clear, I didn’t evaluate her.”
Frey said he would not try to induce paranoia among patients by showing up at their workplace for a surprise visit or canceling an appointment at the last minute.
“First of all, it will be atypical and highly immoral. I can’t imagine any psychologist will be involved.”
When describing his office near the university, he said that he has a window overlooking the street and a table with plush chairs for patients. The clinician said he had never owned a minivan.
Watch | Dr. Ron Frey said he did not write a psychological report named after him
Frey said that some parts of the report reflected his writing style, but he expressed concerns about tone.
“It seems possible to set up an official for failure,” Frey said, saying that the alleged fraud was not “completely untrustworthy.”
In 2007, Frey said he would mail or fax documents directly to the Health and Wellness Office at OPS headquarters, where hundreds of employees work. Frey said that after Cadarette’s lawyer contacted him last fall, he notified the Ottawa police of the suspected fraud.
“This actually takes it to another level, because I think it may be a criminal act…. It not only affects this particular police officer, but also affects the psychology profession.”
Request an investigation
Peter Brauti, a Toronto lawyer representing Cadarette, said his client has information that cannot be ignored.
CBC News saw Cadarette’s benefits record from the health insurance company used by the Ottawa police. The records only show dental claims, not claims paid to psychologists during her service.
“The more questions we ask, the more questions we end up with,” Brauti said. “We concluded that she must have been manipulated by someone in a very sinister way.”
Brauti said OPS has been reluctant to hand over the Cadarette records she requested. This is why he called for an investigation by the Office of the Independent Police Review Officer.
“When the police force takes appropriate action, these investigations can be appropriate and well done. But in this case, it absolutely requires an external agency to investigate.”
As for Cardalette, the meeting with Frey was both a relief and an awareness of her most terrifying fear.
“I’m not paranoid. I’m not crazy. [Women officers] Not heard. We are not being listened to. “