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

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

First residents move into Nuxalk Nation’s tiny homes

Four of the tiny homes are now complete and residents have moved in

Province announces $100-million grant funding for Northwest communities

The Northern Capital and Planning Grant will go to four regional districts and 22 municipalities

All Native Basketball Tournament Day 5: Recap

Highlights and results from day 5 at the All Native Tournament

Students give two thumbs up to no more B.C. student loan interest

Eliminating the loan interest charges could say the average graduate $2,300 over 10 years

Manitoba ‘pauses’ link with ex-B.C. premier Gordon Campbell after allegations

Campbell had been hired to review two major hydro projects

Heritage minute features Japanese-Canadian baseball team, internment

The Vancouver Asahi baseball team won various championships across the Pacific Northwest

UPDATE: Woman, off-duty cop in critical condition after stabbing outside B.C. elementary school

The officer was interceding in an alleged assault when he and the woman were stabbed

$10-a-day child care not in 2019 budget, but advocate not irked

Sharon Gregson with the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. says NDP on track to deliver promise

B.C. Seniors Advocate questions labour shortage in care homes

Are there really no workers, or are care aide wages too low?

B.C. business groups worry about looming economic decline in wake of NDP budget

The party’s second government budget focused on plenty of spending, business advocates say

Man injured in police shooting near Nelson has died: B.C. police watchdog

The death follows an incident in Bonnington on Feb. 13

Experts urge caution after 10 human-triggered avalanches across B.C.

One man is still stuck after avalanche on south coast

Most Read