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.

VicPDVictoria and Esquimalt Police Board

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

IDES and Salvation Army join forces to create meal program for families in need

Every Tuesday, IDES delivers baskets full of produce and household products to local residents

Angel Flight takes to the skies once more

Angel Flight East Kootenay is once again offering free flights to Kelowna for medical appointments

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

The East Kootenay Foundation for Health gives back to healthcare workers and facilities

The EKFH partnered with local organizations to assist health care facilities thorughout the pandemic

AFRoS offers online programming for French community

The francophone association is adapting to the COVID-19 crisis by moving online

VIDEO: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

Cullen commission into money laundering in British Columbia resumes today

Inquiry was called amid growing concern that illegal cash was helping fuel real estate, luxury car and gambling

Bike shops busier than ever, but owners worry about stock supply issues

Uptick in cyclists brings new challenges for shops

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

Introducing the West Coast Traveller: A voyage of the mind

Top armchair travel content for Alaska, Yukon, BC, Alberta, Washington, Oregon and California!

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

Most Read