Police Association being 'bullied' in misappropriation probe, says president
Dean Secord has called lawyer about concerns with Police Commission investigator in Fredericton officer case
The president of the New Brunswick Police Association alleges his members are being "bullied" by an investigator, who is looking into allegations that a Fredericton police officer misappropriated funds from the association while a member of its executive.
"We are more than willing to co-operate and we want to co-operate to put this matter behind us, but we are not going to be intimidated or bullied to give statements," said Secord, speaking on behalf of the NBPA, a lobby group representing police officers at the provincial level.
"[This investigator is] demanding certain items and we have a concern with his demeanour in the way he's demanding this," he said.
Law enforcement obligated to co-operate
The NBPC has been contacted by a lawyer, confirmed executive director Steve Roberge. But he contends it was pertaining to evidence connected to the investigation.
Roberge expects the investigation, which was sparked by a conduct complaint about the unnamed officer by Fredericton Police Chief Leanne Fitch, should be complete in less than six months.
"Our investigator will interview all members of the NBPA executive, and if they are law enforcement personnel, then they are obligated, under the Police Act, to co-operate," he said.
Secord says he still hasn't been contacted by the investigator. "And I'm the president."
Last month, Secord said the NBPA would not be filing a criminal complaint against the accused member, who is currently suspended from the Fredericton Police Force with pay.
Secord said the decision was taken after the officer paid an amount of money to the NBPA. The paid amount is not necessarily the amount allegedly misappropriated, he said.
The jurisdiction for any criminal investigation would rest with the RCMP, because the officer lives outside the city of Fredericton, Secord said. The RCMP have refused to comment on the matter.
The NBPC says possible sanctions against an officer it finds guilty of wrongdoing can range from a verbal reprimand to dismissal.