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

Month-long water quality advisory still in effect for Rupert residents

The City of Prince Rupert recommends those with weakened immune systems boil water prior to use

Jennifer Rice North Coast MLA seeks re-election

Northwest politicians announce intent on elections

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 20 to 26

Rabbit Day, Hobbit Day and One-Hit Wonder Day are all coming up this week

Heart of the City – Jason Scherr

Try and Try again - Prince Rupert Seamen Rugby Club

No COVID-19 public exposures in the North Health Region at this time

Northern Health Authority issued a statement on Sept. 17

B.C. or Ontario? Residential school survivors fight move of court battle

It’s now up to Ontario’s Court of Appeal to sort out the venue question

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

Young B.C. cancer survivor rides 105-km with Terry Fox’s brother

Jacob Bredenhof and Darrell Fox’s cycling trek raises almost $90,000 for cancer research

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Preparations underway for pandemic election in Saskatchewan and maybe B.C.

Administrators in B.C. and around the country are also looking to expand voting by mail during the pandemic

Nearly 20 per cent of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers by late July

WHO acknowledged the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Application deadline for fish harvester benefits program extended

Those financially impacted by the pandemic have until Oct. 5 to apply

Most Read