WATCH: A partial victory for embattled Victoria police chief Frank Elsner as investigation into inappropriate twitter messages is quashed. Tess van Straaten has the latest.
After more than a year of legal wrangling to stop an external investigation into wrong-doing, a partial victory Wednesday for Victoria’s embattled police chief.
A B.C. Supreme Court ruling has quashed a key part of the investigation.
“I don’t see it as a win for Elsner,” says Victoria mayor and police board co-chair Lisa Helps. “I see it as a win for the investigation we carried out.”
The Victoria Police Board, led my mayors Lisa Helps and Barb Desjardins, completed an internal investigation in 2015 into inappropriate twitter messages Elsner sent to a subordinate’s wife.
But Elsner only received a slap on the wrist, by way of a letter on his file.
The Office of Police Complaint Commissioner (OPCC) ordered an external investigation and accused the police board of mishandling the situation.
Elsner was eventually suspended and several new issues, such as alleged witness tampering and the alleged harassment of female officers, have since come to light.
But in his 32-page decision, Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson ruled that ordering a second investigation when one had already been completed was an abuse of process and only the issues that have come out since the internal report can be investigated.
No one from the OPCC was available for an on-camera interview.
But the deputy commissioner told CHEK News they plan to sit down with legal counsel to decide what to do.
The OPCC has 30 days to decide whether to appeal the decision.
CHEK News asked Lisa Helps if she had any regrets about how the entire situation has been handled and she had this to say:
“Yes — lots of regrets!” Helps said. “It’s been really poor. The regret I have right now is there are these allegations of sexual harassment, there’s been some findings in that regard and we don’t have any information on that.”
The discipline authority will deal with the harassment allegations next week.
But the police board wants a copy of the OPCC investigation so that it has cause to finally fire Elsner, who is still being paid.
The OPCC says the investigation into the other issues will continue.