Dates have been set for a preliminary hearing in the case of a veteran Barrie police officer and former National Hockey League player who has been charged with extortion and criminal harassment.
A legal representative for Sgt. Bruce Gardiner, an 18-year member of the Barrie Police Service, appeared by video in a Barrie courtroom today to set the preliminary dates, which are Jan. 9, 10 and 11, 2024.
The court also agreed to a May 10, 2023 date by video for possible resolutions in the case.
When the charges against Gardiner were announced in February 2022, Barrie police said the alleged events occurred while off-duty between 2016 and 2018, and stemmed from conduct toward another member of the local police department.
Specific details around the allegations have not been released.
Gardiner, 52, was charged on Feb. 4, 2022.
In July 2021, Kimberley Greenwood, who was the city's police chief at the time, said she learned of the allegations and ordered an investigation into Gardiner’s conduct. He was immediately suspended from duty with pay.
An investigation by the Barrie Police Service’s Professional Standards Unit resulted in the two criminal charges being laid.
“The Barrie Police Service takes all allegations of misconduct by our officers very seriously," Greenwood said in a news release on Feb. 4, 2022. "We hold all our members to the highest standards, on- and off-duty, and we are committed to remaining transparent and accountable."
City police officials have previously stated they cannot comment on the case while it is before the courts.
None of the allegations have been tested in court.
Gardiner played 312 games in the NHL, scoring 34 goals and adding 54 assists during stops in Ottawa, Tampa Bay, Columbus, and New Jersey between 1996-97 and 2001-02.
He also played with the Junior 'B' Barrie Colts in the late 1980s, when they were in the Central Ontario Hockey League, before playing college hockey in the United States with Colgate University in Hamilton, N.Y.
Gardiner's hockey career also included stops in the Russian Super League and Finland. His professional hockey career ended in the 2004-05 season with the Adirondack Frostbite of the United Hockey League.
Gardiner came up through the Barrie Minor Hockey Association and was inducted in the Barrie Sports Hall of Fame in 2017.