Mayors unhappy with tone of report regarding their internal investigation
Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps and Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins, co-chairs of the Victoria police board, aren’t happy with portions of a report detailing their internal investigation of former Chief Constable Frank Elsner.
Helps told the Times Colonist, that the report feels like “character assassination.” Helps says she will consider her options going forward to see if the report is defamatory.
On Monday, the Police Complaints Commissioner encouraged the mayors to ask for a public inquiry if they have a problem with the report on how they handled the harassment allegations made.
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 the former chief.
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 with the Times Colonist, 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.