Letter confirms when Police Board Co-Chairs knew of bullying and harassment

Criticism being leveled at  BC's Police Complaints Commission by the Mayors of Victoria and Esquimalt have spurred the office to release a letter clarifying when the mayors knew about  bullying and harassment complaints against former VicPd Chief Frank Elsner.

Lisa Helps and Barb Desjardins have said criticism of their handling of the Elsner case as co-chairs of the Police Board is unfair and not warranted  because they were not aware of additional allegations against the chief.

But the letter sent to the mayors by the internal investigator shows they knew prior to the date the letter was sent -- November 16, 2015.

The letter tells the mayors that "as previously discussed" a number of additional issues arose during the course of the investigation:  Including incidents of yelling at senior colleagues, being insulting and demeaning; and inappropriate comments and behaviour towards women -- including coming up behind a female colleague and pinning her to her desk with his body.

The investigator asks if the mayors would like to expand the mandate of the investigation to include a probe of those bullying and harassment matters.

The OPCC report determined Helps and Desjardins had predetermined the outcome of their disciplinary hearing, and allowed a bully to stay in his post.

Helps says some of the allegations made against her and Desjardins border on libelous and she is considering her options.

View the letter here: https://opcc.bc.ca/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/11048-2018-10-01-Media-Statement.pdf

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