Victoria-Esquimalt Police Board announce the end of their employment relationship with Frank Elsner
The Victoria and Esquimalt Police Board have announced the end of their employment relationship with suspended VicPd Chief Frank Elsner.
In a carefully worded news release Police Board Lead Co-Chair Lisa Helps states " the employment relationship between Mr. Frank Elsner and the Board has been concluded by Mr. Elsner."
Through his counsel, Mr. Elsner has advised that he considers his employment relationship with the Police Board to be at an end."
This leaves the matter of whether he resigned, or quit, up in the air. And the distinction is important, because the matter could still be subject to litigation.
However, now that Elsner is no longer considered an employee the Police Board will not be paying his salary, or other employment benefits as provided for under his employment contract.
Elsner has received pay and benefits since he was suspended in April 2016 over mounting allegations of misconduct. The Office of the Police Complaints Commissioner is overseeing investigations into Elsner's behaviour. Deputy Commissioner Rollie Woods says today's announcement comes as news to him:
"Well it was news to me of course, and news to the Commissioner , because we did not receive any communication directly from the police board or from Mr. Elsner that his resignation was in the works."
The OPCC's proceedings against Elsner will not be affected by Elsner's departure. Woods says 2 discipline hearings will go ahead:
"Mr. Elsner, it will be up to him whether he wants to participate or not. He is no longer a police officer. He can't be compelled to attend. But he'll certainly be offered every opportunity to attend and participate as he sees fit."
A reason for Elsner's departure was not offered - but in February Elsner indicated he wanted to resign and move on with his life.
In an affidavit filed in B.C. Supreme Court he said the investigation into allegations of misconduct have affected his life, his health and that he was under a doctor's care and taking anti-depressants.
Reacting to the news, Victoria Mayor and Police Board Chair Lisa Helps says it gives the city a sense of closure.
" Yes, it's some sense of closure. My thoughts are we can now move forward as a department. Really wanting to thank the folks at VicPd. Through these very challenging and tumultuous times they've provided high quality service. So - it's, we still are in an unresolved dispute with Elsner. Um, so it's not all neat and tidy, but it does allow the department to move on and forward."
The Police Board will meet before any further actions are taken. The decision also leaves the board free to select a new Chief Constable for the Victoria Police Department.