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Legal "Dream Team"


Six Toronto cops charged in the drug squad scandal have been given a legal "dream team" by the police union.

The lawyers -- Harry Black, Peter Brauti, Tim Danson, Pat Ducharme, Alan Gold and Earl Levy -- are recognized as some of the best lawyers in Ontario, if not all of Canada.

"All these guys have done so many notable cases," Brauti told the Sun. "It is an amazing crew of lawyers and it is one of the things I am going to love about doing this case."

Toronto Police Association president Dave Wilson said the officers deserve a top defence.

Wilson refused to reveal the cost of the dream team.

The massive case against the six cops will be put to the test Jan. 7, when a preliminary hearing kicks off at Old City Hall.

The preliminary hearing starts two years to the day that the six were charged at the end of a controversial two-year probe by a 25-member task force led by RCMP Staff-Supt. John Neily, now a deputy commissioner in Ottawa.

Staff-Sgt. John Schertzer, a 30-year veteran, is charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice, three counts of attempt to obstruct justice, perjury, theft over $5,000, assault causing bodily harm and extortion.

Schertzer's lawyer is Danson, whose past and present clients include the parents of Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka's victims Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy and hockey legend Bobby Hull.

Det.-Const. Steve Correia, whose charges include perjury, theft over $5,000 and extortion, is represented by Black, a long time lawyer with the Toronto cop union.

Former Const. Joseph Miched quit the force soon after charges were laid and now sells cars. He is represented by Brauti, who is currently a favourite lawyer of Toronto cops.

Const. Ray Pollard, an 18-year veteran charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice and perjury, has top-ranked Earl Levy.

Const. Richard Benoit, a 14-year veteran charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice, assault causing bodily harm and extortion, is the client of Alan Gold, a former president of Ontario's criminal lawyers association.

Const. Ned Maodus, 42, a cop for 17 years, is charged with conspiracy to obstruct justice, assault causing bodily harm and extortion and five counts each of attempting to obstruct justice and perjury.

Maodus has retained noted Windsor lawyer Pat Ducharme, whose past clients include former Detroit Red Wing Bob Probert.

Four other cops -- Jason Kondo, Greg Forestall, Jonathan Reid and Mike Turnbull -- are named as unindicted co-conspirators.

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