Nova Scotia

Halifax deputy police chief back on job

Chris McNeil — the second highest ranking official in the Halifax Regional Police department — is back at work after following an investigation by an outside police force.

Chris McNeil — the second highest-ranking official in the Halifax Regional Police department — is back at work after being investigated by an outside police force.

McNeil was suspended with pay at the end of March while investigators looked into allegations he might have lied under oath.

He was interviewed during two separate investigations into Halifax police officers and their involvement with a private lie-detector company that did work for the municipality.

The investigation, under the Police Act, looked at whether McNeil committed perjury in a case involving his brother — Sgt. Anthony McNeil — also a Halifax police officer.

A source told CBC News in March that there was a discrepancy between what the deputy chief testified to under oath and what he said during the separate investigation involving his brother.

That version, not under oath, favoured his brother

McNeil said the hearings he testified in were not involving his brother.

"Sgt. McNeil wasn't the subject of the hearing that I was testifying to. Contrary to reports that have been made in the media, he's not been the subject of a disciplinary default."

The two men are brothers of provincial Liberal Leader Stephen McNeil.

McNeil said his brother worked for a company for a short time that provided pre-employment polygraph services, but that he didn't own the company.

"The allegation made against me was that an individual alleged that on the basis of a casual conversation in 2007, that a set of circumstances, that I was aware of a set of circumstances that I testified to in 2010 that I was not aware of," said McNeil. "Obviously he was wrong."

Cleared of wrongdoing

The investigation, conducted by Ontario Provincial Police, cleared him of any wrongdoing and allowed him to return to work.

McNeil said the rules covering working relationships, like the one with his brother, are clear to avoid any conflict of interest.

McNeil said his brother has done nothing wrong.

He won't speculate on why anyone would have made the complaint against him.

McNeil said he trusted he would be cleared of the accusations against him.

"I've spent much of my professional life actually dealing with these matters involving other officers. I trusted the process ... A complete and comprehensive investigation would establish that the allegations against me were groundless."

He said he's thankful for the show of support he's received in the community, and from the police force.

"I'm pleased to be back to work. I'm pleased to have this matter behind me.  There are more important things for me to turn my attention to and focus on," McNeil told CBC News Monday.

McNeil said the decision was made last Wednesday. His first day back on the job was Friday.