North

Fraud case against N.W.T. RCMP officer moves to Alberta

Charges of fraud and breach of trust laid last year against a Fort Liard RCMP officer will now be handled in Alberta. A preliminary inquiry is scheduled for August.

Officer also scheduled to undergo RCMP disciplinary hearing

A Fort Liard, N.W.T. RCMP officer was charged with two counts of fraud and one of breach of trust last year. A preliminary inquiry has been scheduled for August in Alberta. (Alex Brockman/CBC)

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story said only that the charges again Curtis and Darlene Ping had been stayed in the N.W.T. and did not note that the charges had been moved to Alberta. This version is an update to the previous story. 

A fraud case against a Northwest Territories RCMP officer has moved to Alberta.

On March 25, the N.W.T. prosecutor stayed charges of fraud over $5,000, fraud under $5,000 and breach of trust by a public official against Cpl. Curtis Ping. The same day, the prosecutor stayed the same fraud charges against Ping's wife, Darlene.

The case will now be dealt with by prosecutors in Alberta. A preliminary inquiry has been scheduled for August.

The RCMP announced the charges in a July 2, 2020 news release and said it would not comment further on the case. It said Ping, then 59, had been put on leave with pay since the investigation began. The RCMP became aware of the allegations the month before, according to the news release.

"As the police of jurisdiction, we are responsible to hold anyone who is alleged to have committed fraud, accountable," said Insp. Amber Clark, the RCMP's head of operations in the southern N.W.T., in the release.

Because of the close connection between prosecutors and police, the case was handled by a prosecutor in Edmonton. He was not immediately available to talk about the decision to stay the charges in N.W.T. Prosecutors typically do not provide detailed explanation for such decisions.

Ping was working at the Fort Liard RCMP detachment at the time the charges were laid. According to court documents the allegations of fraud were related to billing for janitorial services at the detachment.

According to a schedule maintained by the RCMP, Ping is scheduled to undergo an internal code of conduct hearing related to the allegations. He's accused of violating the requirement to act with integrity, fairness and impartiality, and to not compromise or abuse their authority, power or position.

He is also accused of behaving in a manner that is likely to discredit the force.

That hearing is scheduled for June 7.

A message left on a telephone voicemail for Ping's wife was not returned. The RCMP did not immediately respond to a message about where Ping is now stationed and whether he has returned to active duty.

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