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Former TBPS lawyer Holly Walbourne charged by OPP

Holly Walbourne served as the in-house lawyer for the Thunder Bay Police Service until April 2023 and is now facing obstruction and breach of trust charges.
Holly Walbourne served as the Thunder Bay Police Service's in-house lawyer for five years before leaving the position to return to a private practice last year. (File).

THUNDER BAY – The former in-house lawyer of the Thunder Bay Police Service has been charged following an investigation by the Ontario Provincial Police.

According to a media release issued by the OPP late Tuesday afternoon, 37-year-old Holly Walbourne has been charged with obstructing a public or peace officer, breach of trust, and three counts of obstruction of justice.

The charges follow an investigation launched in 2021 at the request of the Ministry of the Attorney General regarding allegations of misconduct within the Thunder Bay Police Service.

Walbourne served as the in-house lawyer for the Thunder Bay Police Service for five years, primarily while former chief Sylvie Hauth was at the helm.

Hauth retired from the force in January 2023 after being suspended in June 2022 following the announcement that she would be subject to misconduct hearings. The hearings never took place because of her retirement.

Walbourne left the Thunder Bay Police Service in April 2023 to return to a private practice. There remained a retainer arrangement between the police service and Walbourne consisting of transitional support following the appointment of chief Darcy Fleury but the Thunder Bay Police Services Board said in a statement that she is no longer providing any services to the board or police service. 

Walbourne made a brief court appearance and has been released from custody. Her next court appearance is scheduled for May.

Counsel for Walbourne said in a brief statement that they are shocked and disappointed the OPP decided to charge her.

"We look forward to seeing the OPP’s evidence and to defending the case in court," the statement reads.  

Thunder Bay Police Service Staff Sgt. Michael Dimini was charged by the OPP late last year as part of the same investigation. He is facing one count of obstruction of justice, two counts of assault, and one count of breach of trust. His next court appearance is scheduled for May.  

The OPP investigation remains ongoing.

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