New Brunswick

Saint John deputy chief cleared of criminal wrongdoing in Dennis Oland case

Saint John Police Force Deputy Chief Glen McCloskey has been cleared of any criminal wrongdoing in connection with the murder trial of Dennis Oland.

Halifax police have concluded investigation of Glen McCloskey related to allegations of 'witness tampering'

Deputy Chief Glen McCloskey is a 27-year veteran of the Saint John Police Force. (CBC)

Saint John Police Force Deputy Chief Glen McCloskey has been cleared of any criminal wrongdoing in connection with the murder trial of Dennis Oland.

Halifax Regional Police has concluded its eight-month investigation, which included consultation with the Nova Scotia public prosecutions service, according to a release from the Saint John police early Monday evening.

McCloskey, a 27-year veteran, who served as the acting chief for about six months last year, had been accused of "for lack of a better choice of words, sort of a witness tampering," Saint John Chief John Bates had previously said.

"There was no evidence to support charges being laid in this matter," the statement from spokesman Sgt. Chuck Breen said.

McCloskey is still facing an investigation into his conduct by the New Brunswick Police Commission under the provincial Police Act and will not be offering any comments, according to the chief.

"​I think you'll agree it is prudent; the Oland matter remains active‎ in the courts and the deputy was and remains a potential witness," Bates said in an email to CBC News.

Bates also reserved comment, except to say he is "pleased" with the findings and "grateful" to Halifax Regional Police for "conducting a detailed and thorough investigation."

Oland's defence lawyers and the Oland family's lawyer could not immediately be reached for comment.

Bates had requested the external criminal investigation following the testimony of retired staff sergeant Mike King at Oland's trial last fall.

King alleged McCloskey had encouraged him during a meeting in 2014 not to reveal that McCloskey had entered the bloody murder scene of Oland's multimillionaire father, Richard Oland, on July 7, 2011.

McCloskey, who also testified at the trial, denied King's allegations and suggested it was King who lied to the court about him because he was angry about being passed over for a promotion.

McCloskey told the court he entered the crime scene twice on the day in question — once to "observe the body" and then again out of "curiosity." He was inspector of the criminal investigations division at the time of the murder.

Dennis Oland's appeal of his second-degree murder conviction is scheduled for Oct. 18-21 in New Brunswick's Court of Appeal in Fredericton. (CBC)
Dennis Oland, 48, was found guilty on Dec. 19, 2015, of second-degree murder in the bludgeoning death of his father and will be appealing his conviction later this month.

McCloskey remained on active duty throughout the Halifax investigation.

The New Brunswick Police Commission was initially investigating a conduct complaint against McCloskey under the provincial Police Act.

But within a month, the commission's investigator "came to the conclusion that there were criminal allegations that needed to be examined," executive director Steve Roberge had told CBC News in April.

That Police Act investigation will now resume, Roberge confirmed in an email to CBC News on Monday.

Former Fredericton Police Force chief Barry McKnight is conducting the investigation.

"As the commission has charge of this file we have until December 26 to conclude the investigation and proceed to a settlement conference if warranted," Roberge said.

Richard Oland, 69, was found dead in his Saint John office on July 7, 2011. (Canadian Yachting Association)
The commission's review of the Saint John Police Force's handling of the Richard Oland murder investigation remains on hold, pending the outcome of Dennis Oland's appeal, which is scheduled to be heard by New Brunswick's Court of Appeal in Fredericton Oct. 18-21.

Nicole Paquet, then-chair of the Saint John Board of Police Commissioners, had requested the review by the independent provincial oversight body, saying it was necessary for the public's confidence in the force, and important for the morale of the police officers.

During Oland's trial, the jury heard evidence that police failed to protect the crime scene from possible contamination, used the bathroom located in the foyer outside the victim's office for two days before it was forensically tested, and never tested the back door for evidence.

Oland is currently serving a life sentence at an undisclosed prison, with no chance of parole for at least 10 years.

On Oct. 31, the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa is scheduled to hear his appeal of twice being denied bail while awaiting his conviction appeal.

The body of Richard Oland, 69, was discovered lying face down in a pool of blood in his investment firm office on Canterbury Street on July 7, 2011. He had suffered 45 sharp and blunt force injuries to his head, neck and hands.

His son was the last known person to see him alive during a meeting at his office the night before.