The Victoria and Esquimalt Police Board says the discipline authority appointed by the Office of the Police Complaints Commissioner to oversee a misconduct probe against embattled chief Frank Elsner has ordered Elsner be suspended effective immediately.
Elsner has been on paid administrative leave since December.
The order for suspension was brought to the attention of the co-chairs of the police board late Friday afternoon.
A statement from the board says it is arranging to convene next week to discuss the implications of the order for suspension. Deputy police complaints commissioner Rollie Woods says it will be up to the board to decide whether or not Elsner will be paid during the suspension.
BC’s Police Complaints Commissioner has ordered an additional investigation into Victoria Police Chief Frank Elsner’s conduct
In a statement, commissioner Stan Lowe says RCMP and Vancouver Police investigators probing earlier allegations of misconduct, involving inappropriate private messages Elsner admitting sharing with a subordinate officers wife, found evidence that Elsner attempted to influence witnesses and accessed Victoria Police computer systems and attempted to delete emails relevant to the investigation.
The new allegations will be probed by RCMP and Vancouver police officers under RCMP superintendent Sean Bourrie. Retired judge Ian Pitfield will act as the disciplinary authority.
Elsner remains on paid administrative leave since stepping aside in December. He has filed a court petition seeking to have the earlier OPCC ordered investigation stopped.
Victoria police board co-chairs Barb Desjardins and Lisa Helps have declined to comment on the new investigation, referring all questions to Lowe’s office. Elsner’s lawyer was not immediately available for comment.
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