WATCH: Surprising new developments in the case looking into misconduct by Victoria Police Chief Frank Elsner. As Tess van Straaten reports, Elsner’s filed a court petition to try and stop the RCMP-led probe.
Embattled Victoria Police Chief Frank Elsner is trying to quash an investigation into his alleged misconduct.
Elsner admitted he sent inappropriate tweets to the wife of one of his officers and he was disciplined after an internal investigation.
“It’s beneath me, I know better and I feel completely humiliated by the situation,” Elsner said at the time.
Once an external investigation was ordered by the Office of the Police Complaints Commissioner, Victoria’s top cop was forced to step aside pending the outcome.
That investigation is still on-going but Elsner’s just filed a petition in B.C. Supreme Court to stop the RCMP-led probe, claiming the police complaints commissioner has no authority to order an investigation into conduct that’s already been the subject of an internal investigation.
“The legislation is clear the commissioner has authority to order investigation under section if in public interest,” deputy police complaints commissioner Rollie Wood said in reaction to the petition.
The petition also claims the commissioner ‘relied on irrelevant and/or extraneous considerations in issuing the Order for External investigation, including media reports’.
It also alleges ‘the appointment of RCMP Chief Superintendent Bourrie as chief investigator is contrary to the police act’.
“The act allows for the commissioner to appoint provincial police to conduct investigations,” Woods explains. “The level he’s at would certainly be at the same level as a chief of police in municipal policing. I can’t speculate why that would be an issue.”
The co-chairs of the police board — Victoria mayor Lisa Helps and Esquimalt mayor Barb Desjardins — are also named.
The mayors initially called a media conference but just minutes before it started, they got a call from the RCMP.
“The RCMP has asked us not to comment until we talk to them,” Victoria mayor Lisa Helps told media.
“They have requested a meeting of the board prior to us making any statements,” Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins added. “We don’t know what their concern is.”
The mayors would only say the entire situation is unusual.
“It is unusual — it certainly is unusual particularly with the request we just had from the RCMP,” Desjardins said.
The respondents have 21 days to file a response.
You can read the full petition here.