Unprecedented penalties handed to former Victoria Police Chief
The Office of the Police Complaints Commissioner (OPCC) says discipline handed down on former Victoria Police Chief Frank Elsner are reasonable.
The OPCC released its final report of the investigation and discipline process.
Amongst the penalties handed down include dismissal from policing and demotion to constable.
Elsner was found to have committed eight acts of misconduct under the Police Act, involving an ongoing relationship with the wife of a subordinate officer.
“I have reviewed the investigations and disciplinary processes concerning these matters and I have concluded that the decisions and discipline proposed by the discipline
authorities are reasonable and appropriate based on the evidence. Therefore, I have determined that the decisions and discipline are final and conclusive. This concludes the police discipline process,” Stan T. Lowe, police complaint commissioner for British Columbia, said in a statement.
Retired Chief Judge Carol Baird Ellan and retired Justice Ian Pitfield found the following misconducts.
Discreditable Conduct by misleading a subordinate in connection with the disciplinary investigation: Suspension for 30 days, Demotion to rank of constable, and training on ethical issues.
2. Discreditable Conduct by providing misleading information to the internal investigator: dismissal from policing
3. Deceit by attempting to have a witness provide a false statement to the investigator: dismissal from policing
4. Discreditable Conduct by engaging in conduct with the spouse of a member under his command, which constituted a breach of trust and conflict of interest: dismissal from policing.
5. Inappropriate use of police department equipment and facilities: dismissal from policing.
6.Discreditable Conduct: unwanted physical contact with female Officer A: suspension for 30 days and required training for harassment and sensitivity (concurrent for all three matters addressed by DA Pitfield).
7. Discreditable Conduct: unwanted physical contact with female Officer B: suspension for 30 days and required training for harassment and
8. Discreditable Conduct: inappropriate remarks of a sexual nature toward female Officer B: suspension for 30 days and required training for harassment and sensitivity.
The report also criticized police board co-chairs Barb Desjardins and Lisa Helps in how they handled the Elsner affair. Commissioner Lowe is recommending the Police Act be changed so disciplinary proceedings be instead be put in the hands of retired judges.
“It makes little sense to entrust the responsibilities of discipline authority to a person who lacks the requisite training and experience, and who may have little to no understanding of the complexities of the police discipline system,” Lowe said.
Frank Elsner stepped down as Victoria police chief in May of 2017 and has since started a consulting firm for the marijuana industry.