B.C. RCMP officer sues for unfair dismissal
A former RCMP detchment commander is suing the force, saying he was unfairly dismissed while on medical leave.
Staff Sgt. Kevin Picard , the one-time commander of the Sunshine Coast RCMP detachment, says he was dismissed without reasonable cause while suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
In a civil claim filed in the Supreme Court of B.C., Picard says he suffered embarrassment and extreme emotional distress as a result of the dismissal.
Picard was diagnosed with PTSD in 2005 because of events related to his work. He remained on the job and was promoted to commander in 2007.
But he says that when he went on medical leave for surgery a few years later, a special review of his detachment was launched.
Over the next few years, the RCMP allegedly ordered Picard to return his work equipment, cleared out his office and personal locker, and replaced him as commander in January 2011.
Picard, a 22-year veteran of the force, has been placed on administrative duties in the Lower Mainland District Headquarters Office and the North Vancouver RCMP Detachment.
He says the treatment has caused him loss of reputation and employment prospects, and made his PTSD worse.
It’s the latest embarrassment for the force, which has been hit by a series of allegations of sexual abuse by former female officers.
In May, the force again came under criticism for its handling of another harassment case. Alberta officer, Sgt. Don Ray, who admitted to years of sexual misconduct, was transferred to B.C. instead of being fired.
The government has promised to introduce new legislation, after RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson said an antiquated discipline process was preventing him from dealing quickly with abuse allegations.
With files from the CBC’s Brady Strachan.