Sudbury

Sudbury police officer accused of misconduct for Facebook comments about manager salaries

A Sudbury police officer has been accused of misconduct following comments he made on social media about pay raises for department managers.

Constable Robert Rheaume faces one count of discreditable conduct under Police Services Act

A Sudbury police officer faces one count of discreditable conduct under the Ontario Police Services Act following comments he made on social media.

A Sudbury police officer has been accused of misconduct following comments he made on social media about pay raises for department managers.

Constable Robert Rheaume faces one count of discreditable conduct under the Ontario Police Services Act.

The charges stem from two Facebook comments Rheaume posted about a Sudbury Star article from March 23, 2018, which reported on the 2017 results of the Sunshine List.

The Sunshine List documents all public sector employees earning more than $100,000 a year.

Rheaume is alleged to have made negative statements regarding pay raises for several current and former managers at the department, including Chief Administrative Officer Sharon Baiden, former Police Chief Frank Elsner and three civilian managers.

The comments, which were read at a hearing at Tom Davies Square on Friday, suggested taxpayers "should ask questions" about "33 per cent raises" for those in management positions.

The charge read at the hearing also cited the Greater Sudbury Police Service's corporate social media policy, which prohibits members from sharing information about other members, as well as information about policy, procedure and deployment of personnel.

Constable Robert Rheaume, who has been with Greater Sudbury Police Services for 17 years, appeared at a hearing at Tom Davies Square on Friday. (Robin De Angelis/CBC)

Concerns about the comments were brought forward to the Chief of Police on March 29 and were investigated by the Professional Standards Bureau, according to a statement from Sudbury police.

The statement says police are unable to provide further comment while the matter is before the tribunal.

According to the Police Services Act, an officer commits misconduct if they act "in a disorderly manner or in a manner prejudicial to discipline or likely to bring discredit upon the reputation of the police force of which the officer is a member."

A hearing on the matter has been deferred while Rheaume retains counsel, with a date expected to be set once his lawyer has reviewed the charge.

The penalties for misconduct can range from reprimand to dismissal.