Corrections Canada manager off job after scheming with offender

A former manager with Canada's prison system is off the job after an internal investigation found a slew of serious policy breaches.

Correctional Service of Canada quietly posted workplace wrongdoing case on website

A former manager with Canada's prison system is off the job after an internal investigation found a slew of serious policy breaches – including conflict of interest involving an offender, paying an offender for a good, directing an employee to provide a benefit to an offender and his friend, and pressuring a service provider to give an offender bail.

The Correctional Service of Canada quietly posted a basic summary of the workplace wrongdoing case on its website recently, but will not divulge further details.

"In addition to privacy concerns, the Public Servants Disclosure Protection Act imposes a confidentiality protection obligation on the employer when dealing with internal disclosure issues," CSC spokeswoman Sara Parkes told CBC News.

The PSDPA was enacted five years ago to encourage federal employees to blow the whistle about wrongdoing in the workplace – from abuse of public funds to mismanagement – without fear of reprisal.

According to the report, the investigation was launched after three allegations the manager breached CSC's standards of professional conduct by: repeatedly failing to avoid conflict of interest with an offender, providing benefits and personal favours to an offender and his friend and encouraging, counselling and directing employees, volunteers and service providers to commit wrongdoing.

During the probe, five additional allegations were made. Of the eight allegations in total, five ultimately met the criteria for wrongdoing.

According to the posted report, the manager also directed a CSC staffer to facilitate three-way telephone calls for an offender who was not under the prison service's jurisdiction and encouraged a "service provider" to commit wrongdoing by assisting in obtaining bail for an offender.

Manager no longer with Corrections Canada

CSC accepted all nine of the internal probe's recommendations for disciplinary action, administrative oversight and operational integrity. Measures to restore the workplace environment and well-being of the employees were also implemented, according to the report's summary.

The department would not confirm if the matter was referred to police, but a source told CBC News that it "did not merit police involvement."

CSC would not release details on the position, location, or nature of the case.

Mike Mueller, spokesman for Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, said it would be "inappropriate" to release further details and would not confirm if the manager resigned or was fired.

"Our government takes all cases of wrongdoing very seriously. Once this matter was brought to the attention of CSC, it was investigated and recommendations were implemented. While it would be inappropriate for me to discuss discipline matters, I can tell you that this individual no longer works for CSC," he said.

But Tyler Summer, co-ordinator of Democracy Watch, said the case reflects a "troubling trend."

"Essentially what we're seeing is a trend that's building where it seems they're doing a fantastic job – but that's only how it seems on the surface," he told CBC News. "Without more information we really don't know what's happening."

Summer believes there is "no justifiable reason" for not releasing more information. The lack of details means the public has no assurance the individual who committed serious wrongdoing was properly held to account.

"They need to do this openly to show people this is what we've done, this is what punishment has been meted out because this person violated whatever code or act or piece of legislation that applied in that circumstance – and that's not what we're seeing here," he said.

2nd wrongdoing case

CSC recorded another incident of wrongdoing for the 2011-12 fiscal year.

In that case, an employee was using a government-issued computer to conduct personal business and engaged in the activity for 57 hours instead of doing the work he was paid for.

Administrative measures included recouping the 57 hours of pay and a 20-day suspension without pay.

The employee was also found to be making copies of copyrighted movies and selling them to other CSC employees. The issue was flagged to the police for "possible followup investigation."

All employees who were identified as having bought a potentially illegal copy of a movie from the wrongdoer were interviewed by the RCMP and "sensitized to the illegal nature of such transactions," according to the report.