Affidavits sworn by two current Waterloo Regional Police officers allege that the officers’ chances for career advancement were blocked by a supervisor who later became the region’s police chief.

Matt Torigian was the chief of Waterloo Regional Police from 2007 until 2014. He is now Ontario’s deputy minister of community safety and corrections.

He is named in two affidavits sworn as part of a proposed class-action lawsuit against Waterloo Region’s police board and the Waterloo Regional Police Association union over alleged gender discrimination, harassment and abuse. None of the allegations in the affidavits have been tested in court, and Waterloo Regional Police have called them “untrue, exaggerated, misleading and/or defamatory.”

Sgt. Shelley Heinrich says Torigian was her supervisor in 1998, when she was told that she was no longer to take accumulated overtime, and that records showing the overtime’s existence had been shredded.

She says the records were later found, and she was presented with a slip for overtime pay.

“Torigian advised me that by signing the overtime slip, I was endorsing my career suicide and that I would pay for it for a very long time,” Heinrich says in her affidavit.

Heinrich says that after she signed the slip, Torigian told her she was a “constable for life.” She says she was later passed over for transfers into other units in favour of officers with lesser qualifications.

Torigian is also named in an affidavit sworn by Sgt. Karin Eder, who joined Waterloo Regional Police in 1988 and was promoted to sergeant in 2000.

In 2001, she says, she attempted to transfer to the WRPS homicide division and was told by Torigian – a higher-ranking inspector and someone she says she had previously been in a relationship with – that the transfer had been denied.

Eder says another inspector told her that Torigian made the decision himself.

“I was shocked my ex-boyfriend would have any involvement in this discussion,” she says.

After that, the affidavit says, Eder learned that Torigian never forwarded the transfer request to his supervisor as was required by WRPS procedures. Eder says she reported Torigian, but no action was taken.

Eder says she later applied for a transfer to the Major Case Branch, received a note from Torigian thanking her for her interest, again complained about his involvement, and again was met with silence.

She says Torigian was also involved in the process when she sought a promotion in 2004. When she raised concerns, she said she was told that there was no issue because Torigian did not feel there was a conflict of interest.

“I felt that his involvement in my promotion process raised a huge conflict of interest given our previous personal history,” she says.

Asked to comment on the allegations by CTV News, Torigian said he fought for diversity and tolerance in his time with Waterloo Regional Police and will respond to specific allegations through the courts as necessary.

"I am proud of the work we did during my tenure as Chief of Police, and throughout my career, in creating, to the best of our ability, a workplace free from harassment and discrimination,” he said.

“Our efforts were relentless in promoting a diverse and inclusive organization representative of the values expected of us from our community."

The women who have filed affidavits will be questioned under oath by lawyers representing Waterloo Regional Police in the next few weeks, before a judge decides whether to certify the class-action lawsuit.

With reporting by Krista Simpson