The Canada Border Services Agency says it “terminated” the employment of an inland enforcement officer last year following a complaint she had “used her job title to obtain privilege….on behalf of a convicted criminal.”
The officer was one of 13 CBSA employees fired in 2013 for misconduct, up from nine in 2012 and significantly higher than the three employees terminated in 2010.
The investigation by the agency’s security and professional standards directorate was one of several internal investigations that upheld allegations of misconduct by CBSA personnel. CBC News obtained the heavily redacted investigation reports under the Access to Information Act.
The incident involving the officer's association with a convicted criminal was the most serious instance of misconduct documented in the files.
According to the documents, the trouble began in 2012. The RCMP complained to the border service agency about an employee who had “testified as a character witness” during a sentencing hearing of a convicted criminal.
The complaint alleged the officer had “associated with individuals who are believed or suspected to be connected with criminal activities.”
The agency’s professional standards branch opened an investigation to “determine the validity of the allegation that contrary to the CBSA Code of Conduct, Care and Use of Government Property Values, (the inland enforcement officer) ... used her position ... to influence the outcome of the criminal sentencing hearing.”
The investigation concluded that the officer broke the code of conduct and caused “harm to the agency or program by consorting with known criminals.”
The agency refused to comment on the specific incident other than to say in an email that “the individual is no longer an employee of the CBSA.”
Another investigation contained in the documents found an unnamed border services officer had “misused the (agency’s) electronic network to obtain protected information for personal use.”
Other instances of misconduct from investigation reports include smuggling goods into Canada, forging a medical certificate in order to account for an absence at work and an employee accused of “exposing himself to (a female colleague) on the previous day while changing in the office area.”
Agency spokesperson Esme Baily said the cases demonstrate “both the effectiveness of the CBSA’s internal processes, and the commitment to uphold our core values both on- and off-duty.”