Maurice Brodeur removed as president of Edmonton Police Association
EPA says it will investigate complaints from members alleging violations of union bylaws
Sgt. Maurice Brodeur has been removed from his position as president of the Edmonton Police Association.
In an internal memo obtained by CBC, the EPA board said it had received complaints from members alleging that Brodeur violated association bylaws.
The memo cited two sections of the union bylaws.
The first requires the president to "report to and receive direction from the executive board of directors."
The second prohibits the president from "willfully engaging in conduct, whether association related or not, that is detrimental to the reputation of the association or its members."
The memo said Brodeur has been removed from his position as president pending the results of an investigation.
Under the bylaws, vice-president Bob Walsh has stepped in as the interim president until that investigation is completed.
"I've been instructed by the board not to comment any further regarding the actions taken on this matter," Walsh told CBC News on Thursday morning.
Contacted by CBC, Brodeur declined to comment and directed calls to the interim president.
Police Chief Rod Knecht said Thursday he had no involvement with Brodeur's removal as president of the association.
"That's an internal process within the EPA executive and I would say the broader Edmonton Police Association membership," Knecht said. "I pretty much leave it at that ... I guess they'll do what they do."
'Toxic culture of blame and fear'
In July, a membership survey conducted by the EPA was released to the media. According to that survey, 80 per cent of Edmonton police officers who responded agreed they work in "a toxic culture of blame and fear."
Brodeur called on the Edmonton Police Commission to oversee an independent, third-party investigation of the force's workplace culture and to "independently assess the chief's leadership."
At the time, Knecht said he would welcome an independent review.
On Thursday, he said the survey "wasn't the best way" for the association to have brought forward its problems.
"I think the best way to do it is to have a constructive, professional conversation about the issues and work together to resolve those issues. I think that's to the benefit of everybody and I think that enhances the public trust."
The same day the survey was released, CBC News obtained emails from some officers who voiced strong concerns about the union publicizing the results without consulting the membership. CBC agreed not to identify those officers.
One senior officer wrote to Brodeur: "You put this whole 'toxic culture of fear' into the media spotlight and should not have. It was not a fair survey and it certainly had a tone that suggested what answers the creators wanted to receive."
In the email, the officer also wrote: "If there was a vote, I would ask that you be removed from your current position and be banned from speaking for the rest of us."
Asked if the release of that survey had anything to do with Brodeur's removal from his position, Walsh said, "that's part of the issue but that's not the full issue."
Brodeur has a month to respond to the allegations before an investigation by the board is conducted, Walsh said.