The Commissioner thought that an accountable and transparent review, of the allegations into the complaint about how the police board allegedly used money from the police department’s budget to pay for a private media crisis consultant and continued funding of lawyers during the former Victoria Police Chief Const. Frank Elsner investigation, is in the public interest and recommended that the director of Police Services conduct a special investigation or prepare a report on the Victoria Police Board’s actions as alleged in the complaint. (File photo)

Watchdog calls for probe into police board spending on former Victoria police chief

Police Complaint Commissioner says accountable and transparent review is in public interest

A special investigation into the actions of the Victoria Police Board is recommended after concerns were reported that the board allegedly used money from the police department’s budget to pay for a private media crisis consultant and continued funding of lawyers during the former Victoria Police Chief Const. Frank Elsner investigation, even after Elsner had been suspended with pay.

The recommendation comes from the 2017/2018 Annual Report released Tuesday by the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner – a civilian, independent office of the legislature that oversees complaints and investigations involving municipal police in B.C. It is one of six recommendations to police boards throughout the province, and the only one directed at Victoria.

An internal investigation by the Victoria and Esquimalt Police Board was launched in August 2015 after the discovery that Elsner exchanged “salacious and sexually charged” Twitter messages with the wife of a subordinate officer.

Investigations found Elsner committed a total of eight acts of misconduct under the Police Act, during his time as the chief constable of the Victoria Police Department.

RELATED: Discipline ruling upheld for ex-Victoria police chief Frank Elsner

Elsner was suspended in April 2016 by one of the two retired judges appointed to act as the discipline authorities on the matter, but the police board decided to continue paying his $207,000 annual salary and legal fees.

When the complaint about the police board spending was reported, the Victoria Police Board directed the complaint to be dismissed, saying it did not relate to the general management of the VicPD as stated in the Police Act. The complainant disagreed with the board’s conclusion.

RELATED: Former Victoria police chief investigation cost city nearly $1 million

The Police Complaint Commissioner reviewed the police board’s decision and determined that the matter fell within the scope of both the general management and general operation of the Victoria Police Department.

The Commissioner also thought that an accountable and transparent review of the allegations into the complaint was in the public interest and recommended that the director of Police Services conduct a special investigation or prepare a report on the Victoria Police Board’s actions as alleged in the complaint.

The director of Police Services asked the Victoria Police Board to consider further action in relation to this complaint, but the matter remains outstanding.



keri.coles@blackpress.ca

Follow us on Instagram
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

East Kootenay wakesurfers have success in national championships

Many local riders competed in the 2019 Nautique Canadian Wakesurf National Championships

Campaign financing numbers released for Cranbrook byelection

The financial numbers are in from Cranbrook’s municipal byelection held earlier in… Continue reading

Cranbrook Bandits hand out end of season awards

The junior and senior teams recognized players from the 2019 season

It happened this week in Cranbrook: 1912

Aug. 11 - 17: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the newspapers at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives

Kootenay Orienteering Championships coming to Kimberley, Cranbrook

The championships take place from September 6 to 8, 2019.

Disney Plus to launch in Canada in November

Analysts say latest streaming service may escalate cord cutting

B.C. manhunt suspects left cellphone video before they died: family

Family member says Kam McLeod, Bryer Schmegelsky recorded final wishes

Okanagan bus driver assaulted for asking patron not to smoke

59-year-old in hospital with non-life threatening injuries

B.C. sets rules for ride hailing, same minimum fee as taxis

Larger operating areas seen as threat by cab companies

Two hiking families team up to extinguish fire in B.C. backcountry

Children and their parents worked for three hours to ensure safety of the popular hiking region

Vancouver man arrested after pregnant woman’s SUV stolen, then crashed

Police are recommending charges against a 22-year-old Vancouver man

Elections Canada to assess ‘partisan’ climate change rhetoric case by case

People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier has said climate change is not an emergency nor caused by human

Unseasonable snow forces campers out of northeastern B.C. provincial park

Storm brought as much as 35 centimetres of snow to the Fort Nelson, Muncho Lake Park-Stone Mountain Park

Most Read