One of the Delta police officers who investigated a complaint that the chief’s wife had belittled and then sprayed a woman near their Centennial Beach home was once the chief’s executive assistant, CTV News has learned.
Const. Alisha Hagan investigated the file before it was closed just days after Kiran Sidhu said she was sprayed by Lorraine Dubord as she clambered over the rocks next to the home to escape the high tide in early June.
That’s another potential conflict of interest the force could have avoided if it had just recognized that it would be smarter to assign the investigation to an outside agency earlier, Sidhu told reporters after a meeting with the Surrey RCMP, which has now assumed conduct of the investigation.
“The only reason it was even sourced out to the RCMP was because I filed a complaint,” Sidhu said. “It’s really eroded the confidence in the Delta Police Department. They didn’t on their own give it to another agency. Why didn’t they do that from the get-go once they realized it involved his wife?”
Also on Tuesday, B.C.’s Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner forwarded a complaint to the Delta Police Board questioning their policies where there is a real or perceived conflict of interest. The police watchdog also assigned the Vancouver Police Department to review whether any officers committed misconduct under the Police Act while handling the case.
It’s not clear how long Const. Hagan served as executive assistant to Chief Neil Dubord; one social media profile that mentioned the position is no longer available. Another announcement on Twitter that describes her role only says she changed careers in February 2019. She didn't respond to emails.
“4th generation Delta resident and @deltapolice Executive Assistant Alisha Hagan changing hats! Deputy Lipinski & team welcome her as a recruit officer!” reads the posting, along with a group photo.
She was not the only officer involved in the days before the DPD surrendered the file to the Surrey RCMP, according to Dep. Chief Norm Lipinski.
“As an additional measure of oversight, the Delta Police Department elevated the investigation to a supervisor. Further, a senior manager was assigned to oversee the investigation and to ensure that all proper procedures were followed. This level of oversight is not standard practice, but I felt it was required given the nature of the matter,” he said in a statement.
At a police board meeting called for public questions into the matter, Chief Dubord also said that he personally wasn’t involved with how it was handled.
“I want the community to know that I have not been involved in any way with the resulting investigation. I have confidence in the department that no matter who is involved their commitment to integrity and to our community is the first priority,” Dubord said.
The meeting, which was held remotely, didn’t allow any questioners to ask their own questions; instead they were read out by a Delta police officer and there were no follow-up questions.
That provided a format that was too easy to dodge questions, said one participant, Lori Mayhew, who said she wanted to know about conflict of interest procedures, and when the board was aware of this investigation.
“It all seemed a bit rehearsed. I don’t think it gave anyone the answers they were looking for,” Mayhew said. “I’ve written to the solicitor-general asking them to do an investigation because this isn’t a transparent process.”
The alleged incident happened on June 6. A video of Sidhu’s friends confronting Ms. Dubord, who has since apologized, was filmed later the same day.
Sidhu filed her complaint of assault on June 7. The DPD said Delta Mayor George Harvie was told about it on June 8.
On June 10, Sidhu was called by the DPD and told that the file was closed. She complained and by June 23 the Surrey RCMP assumed conduct of the reopened assault investigation.
Outside the Surrey RCMP, Sidhu said it was hard to relive the experience — but she finally felt as if she was being heard.
“It felt good that someone from law enforcement finally met with me in person and wanted to hear my side of the story,” Sidhu said.