Court sides with suspended Victoria police chief but investigation continues

Investigation narrowed in scope
By The Canadian Press
||Last Updated: 04/18/2017
Employment law
The Victoria police station. Google Street View

VANCOUVER — A British Columbia Supreme Court ruling has narrowed the scope of a police complaint commission investigation into the actions of a suspended Victoria police chief, but a judge says the probe will proceed.

The ruling has found that an internal investigation by the Victoria Police Board initially reprimanded Frank Elsner for discreditable conduct and misuse of his department's devices after he sent sexually charged tweets to the wife of a subordinate officer.

Justice Christopher Hinkson says those issues can't be revisited by the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner, but it can examine whether Elsner contacted witnesses and if he gave misleading information to the subordinate officer and an independent investigator.

Hinkson did not rule on Elsner's request that the contents of the Twitter messages be banned from publication, saying the decision is up to the commissioner.

Elsner had asked the courts to set aside the external investigation, arguing the commissioner did not have the authority to order another review after the completion of an internal probe.

Elsner has been suspended with pay since April 2016 from his role as chief constable of the Victoria Police Department.

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