Police Complaint Commissioner Stan Lowe speaks from the Office of the Police Complaints Commission on the punishment doled out to disgraced former VicPD Police Chief Frank Elsner. (Arnold Lim/News Staff)

Ask for public inquiry into Elsner report: police watchdog to mayors

Report says Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps, Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins rushed their investigation

The Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner is encouraging two Greater Victoria mayors to ask for a public inquiry if they have a problem with its report that says the politicians mishandled harassment allegations made against a former police chief.

Rollie Woods, deputy police complaint commissioner, says his office has a “considerable body of evidence” it would be happy to provide publicly to back up the office’s claims that Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps and Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins rushed to conclude an internal investigation against former chief Frank Elsner.

READ MORE: Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps ‘100 per cent agrees’ with OPCC’s findings on ex-police chief investigation

READ MORE: ‘Set up for failure:’ Esquimalt mayor responds to Elsner report

While both Helps and Desjardins have said they want to discuss the tone of the report with the solicitor general, Woods said the solicitor general has no authority over his office.

In a statement, Solicitor General Mike Farnworth says his staff is reviewing the report and the commissioner’s recommendations to remove authority for disciplining police chiefs and deputies from mayors, and his office will take time to consider the report in a broader context.

The report by commissioner Stan Lowe says Helps and Desjardins “predetermined the outcome of the internal discipline process from the outset, and set about navigating a course to allow the former chief to remain in his post.”

In an interview Saturday, Desjardins said she didn’t dispute Lowe’s findings but objected to the report’s tone, commentary and allegations, while Helps said in a statement posted online that any insinuation that she would protect a man who allegedly bullied or harassed women is “upsetting” because she has worked on women’s rights since she was 15.

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Nathan Cullen named Parliamentarian of the Year

Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP won the top-title Nov. 5

VIDEO: Taking to the skies to protect moose in the Cariboo Chilcotin

Conservation Officer Service doubles patrols to oversee moose harvest

New Coast Guard radar boosts marine traffic monitoring off B.C. coast

Six radar installations set up for Georgia Strait to Queen Charlotte Strait to Prince Rupert

Central Coast Regional District swears in new Board of Directors

There are three new faces representing our region and two returning directors

VIDEO: Black horse signals ‘sign of peace’ for Tsilhqot’in Nation

Justin Trudeau rides black horse provided by Cooper family

Trudeau offers to help Pacific islands face climate change impact

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau met with the leaders from the Pacific island nations on Saturday during the APEC Summit in Papua New Guinea

Price makes 36 saves as Habs edge Canucks 3-2

Late goal lifts Montreal past Vancouver

BC Minister of Agriculture loses stepson to accidental overdose

Lana Popham announces death of her 23-year-old stepson, Dan Sealey

Canadian military’s template for perfect recruits outdated: Vance

Gen. Jonathan Vance, the chief of defence staff says that the military has to change because the very nature of warfare is changing, particularly when it comes to cyber-warfare

‘Toxic’ chosen as the Word of the Year by Oxford Dictionaries

Other top contenders for 2018 include ‘gaslighting’ and ‘techlash’

RCMP bust illegal B.C. cannabis lab

Marijuana may be legal but altering it using chemicals violates the Cannabis Act

Canada defeats Germany 29-10 in repechage, moves step closer to Rugby World Cup

Hong Kong needs a bonus-point win over Canada — scoring four or more tries — while denying the Canadians a bonus point

Avalanche Canada in desperate need of funding

The organization provides avalanche forecasting for an area larger than the United Kingdom

Quesnel fed up with detour, urges Ottawa to speed up road repair

West Fraser Road has been on detour since spring 2018, with no plans to repair washout until 2020

Most Read