Police Complaint Commissioner Stan Lowe speaks from the Office of the Police Complaints Commission on the punishment doled out to disgraced former VicPD Police Chief Frank Elsner. (Arnold Lim/News Staff)

Ask for public inquiry into Elsner report: police watchdog to mayors

Report says Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps, Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins rushed their investigation

The Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner is encouraging two Greater Victoria mayors to ask for a public inquiry if they have a problem with its report that says the politicians mishandled harassment allegations made against a former police chief.

Rollie Woods, deputy police complaint commissioner, says his office has a “considerable body of evidence” it would be happy to provide publicly to back up the office’s claims that Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps and Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardins rushed to conclude an internal investigation against former chief Frank Elsner.

READ MORE: Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps ‘100 per cent agrees’ with OPCC’s findings on ex-police chief investigation

READ MORE: ‘Set up for failure:’ Esquimalt mayor responds to Elsner report

While both Helps and Desjardins have said they want to discuss the tone of the report with the solicitor general, Woods said the solicitor general has no authority over his office.

In a statement, Solicitor General Mike Farnworth says his staff is reviewing the report and the commissioner’s recommendations to remove authority for disciplining police chiefs and deputies from mayors, and his office will take time to consider the report in a broader context.

The report by commissioner Stan Lowe says Helps and Desjardins “predetermined the outcome of the internal discipline process from the outset, and set about navigating a course to allow the former chief to remain in his post.”

In an interview Saturday, Desjardins said she didn’t dispute Lowe’s findings but objected to the report’s tone, commentary and allegations, while Helps said in a statement posted online that any insinuation that she would protect a man who allegedly bullied or harassed women is “upsetting” because she has worked on women’s rights since she was 15.

The Canadian Press


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Subcommittee to review District 69 recreation, sport infrastructure

Three projects prioritized by the board expected to be dealt with by new group

Feb. 18-24 proclaimed as Heritage Week in the City of Parksville

Week aimed to recognize the importance of protecting city’s diverse heritage

Crosley Road blaze destroys pair of side-by-side structures

Bow Horn Bay Volunteer Fire Department reports no one injured, blaze quickly extinguished

Kwalikum Kondors clip Thunderbirds to earn Islands berth

Head coach Wilson says it’s the best game the Kondors played this season

Wine, beer and foodies unite to celebrate 11th annual Parksville Uncorked

Four-day festival takes place from Feb. 21 to 24

VIDEO: The Art of Surfboard Making

Hand-made, handpainted surfboard by Parksville couple

B.C. athlete takes home gold in freestyle aerials at Canada Games

Brayden Kuroda won the event with a combined score of 121.65.

Cabinet likely to extend deadline to reconsider Trans Mountain pipeline

New round of consultations with Indigenous communities is coming

B.C. government provides $75,000 towards salmon study

Study looks at abundance and health of Pacific salmon in Gulf of Alaska

Murdered and missing honoured at Stolen Sisters Memorial March in B.C.

‘We come together to make change within the systems in our society’

UBC researchers develop inexpensive tool to test drinking water

The tricoder can test for biological contamination in real-time

Disgraced ex-Congressman Anthony Weiner released from prison

He was convicted of having illicit online contact with a 15-year-old North Carolina girl in 2017

Most Read