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Victoria Police Chief Frank Elsner Investigated for inappropriate Twitter exchanges with wife of officer


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#901 sam

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Posted 26 September 2018 - 12:47 PM

I can't help but wonder how much of it was Helps' personal revulsion over the allegations. That the very thought of having to deal with this gross creep paralyzed her.

 

Lowe's report states:

 

"When comparing the two versions of the letter, there was one significant substantive difference in the content of the decision as set out below:

OPCC Version:

We understand that you have met several times with the affected officer and have and are taking steps to address your working relationship with him.

Former chief’s Version:

You will meet with the affected officer within your chain of command with an appropriate third part (sic) to speak to your actions and to take steps to address your working relationship with him.

 

The version provided to my office suggested that a reconciliation between the affected member and former chief was well underway, with active steps being taken towards normalizing relations. Based on our consultations with the affected member following receipt of the letter, and through evidence provided by the external investigation, this information was false and misleading."

 

Lowe included this highly specific information purposefully. It is evidence that the mayors tried to deceive OPCC. Far from being "paralyzed", Mayor Helps actively engaged in deceiving media, the Police Complaint Commissioner, and the VicPD member whose wife Elsner had exchanged tweets. That's a lot of coordinated deception.

 

David Broadland

 

 



#902 Mike K.

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Posted 26 September 2018 - 12:52 PM

Can you provide more context to those excerpts, David?

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#903 shoeflack

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Posted 26 September 2018 - 12:57 PM

Can you provide more context to those excerpts, David?

 

It's a reference to the content of the disciplinary letter that instigated the OPCC investigation. The letter was the result of the internal review by Helps and Desjardins. The report leads into the content of the letters with this:

 

During the course of litigation in this matter it was revealed that two versions of the internal disciplinary letter existed. One version had been provided to our office by the mayors and the other version provided to the former chief. Both decisions were signed by both mayors, both dated the same date, and both addressed to the former chief. Strangely, both versions had obvious typographical errors and different fonts, which suggested they were rushed, although it is unclear why those mistakes were not fixed when the letter was presumably revised and re-signed.


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#904 sam

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Posted 26 September 2018 - 01:05 PM

Can you provide more context to those excerpts, David?

 

Lowe's new report isn't that long. It's best to read it for yourself. But in the excerpt I've quoted above, Lowe notes that the mayors came up with two different versions of a letter sent to Elsner informing him of their decision to discipline him with a written reprimand. One  version of the mayor's letter went to Elsner, the other version went to Lowe. The one sent to Lowe is, in Lowe's words, "false and misleading." This is not the kind of action that mayors who are paralyzed by their revulsion for having to deal with a creep would take. This is just plain old dishonesty at work.

 

David Broadland


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#905 Rob Randall

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Posted 26 September 2018 - 01:16 PM

 Far from being "paralyzed", Mayor Helps actively engaged in deceiving media, the Police Complaint Commissioner, and the VicPD member whose wife Elsner had exchanged tweets. That's a lot of coordinated deception.

 

David Broadland

 

Thanks. I think you are right. Like others have said, we need to know who was driving the bus here, Helps or Desjardin and what specifically their motivation was. I'm in the middle of John Dean's recent Nixon book so I'm currently fascinated by how smart people get themselves in stupid situations.


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#906 Bingo

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Posted 26 September 2018 - 01:25 PM

So he's suggesting that the two mayors handled this so badly that he is recommending changing the legislation to keep mayors out of any future such matters?
 

 

 

 

The commissioner also reviewed the internal discipline process conducted by Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps and Esquimalt Mayor Barbara Desjardins as co-chairs of the Victoria Police Board.

He said the Police Act should be amended so that retired judges, not mayors, investigate misconduct allegations against police chiefs and deputy chiefs.

 

"It makes little sense to entrust the responsibilities of discipline authority to a person who lacks the requisite training and experience, and who may have little to no understanding of the complexities of the police discipline system," Lowe said.

https://www.cbc.ca/n...4839532?cmp=rss



#907 rmpeers

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Posted 26 September 2018 - 01:30 PM

So, on the smart-vs-stupid theme: were the 2 different letters just a bungle or a deliberate attempt to mislead the OPCC? Not sure which is worse, but neither are the actions of people you want as mayor.

And as far as which mayor was driving the bus... unless there's evidence the one of them kept info from the other, they are both equally responsible for potentially deceiving various parties on the subjects of police conduct and treatment of women.

This is serious stuff and I hope voters will pay attention.
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#908 Nparker

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Posted 26 September 2018 - 02:16 PM

...This is serious stuff and I hope voters will pay attention.

They should, but they probably won't. For some reason the idea of taking even a moment's breather in the expansion of the bike lanes trumps* the very real possibility that their preferred candidate for mayor deceived the electorate on a serious investigation into the wrong doing of one of her appointees.

* word chosen deliberately



#909 zoomer

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Posted 26 September 2018 - 02:34 PM

Vancouver Sun's Rob Shaw's take on Twitter:

https://twitter.com/...8767988737?s=19

And his follow up tweet is pretty powerful:

"As an aside: I’ve been a reporter in Victoria now for almost 14 years. 10 of which I’ve covered BC politics. I’m rarely as blatantly and crassly misled by any politician as I was by @BarbDesjardins and @VotingHelps in this case. I think OPCC report makes that abundantly clear."

#910 Mike K.

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Posted 26 September 2018 - 02:34 PM

Thanks. I think you are right. Like others have said, we need to know who was driving the bus here, Helps or Desjardin and what specifically their motivation was. I'm in the middle of John Dean's recent Nixon book so I'm currently fascinated by how smart people get themselves in stupid situations.

 

In the (loosely transcribed) words of MLA Nehemiah George Massey (yes, the tunnel guy):

 

It's not the smart ones you have to worry about, as they'll take themselves down.


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#911 spanky123

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Posted 26 September 2018 - 02:36 PM

Lets be clear and stop mincing words. The report clearly states that Helps and Desjardins attempted to cover up the sexual assault and harassment of female members of the police force.

 

IF THE TWO MAYORS HAD BEEN MALE THEN THEY WOULD HAVE BEEN OUT OF OFFICE BY THE END OF THE DAY.


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#912 Mike K.

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Posted 26 September 2018 - 02:41 PM

Lets be clear and stop mincing words. The report clearly states that Helps and Desjardins attempted to cover up the sexual assault and harassment of female members of the police force.

 

IF THE TWO MAYORS HAD BEEN MALE THEN THEY WOULD HAVE BEEN OUT OF OFFICE BY THE END OF THE DAY.

 

Were there multiple female members affected by Elsner's misconduct?


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#913 spanky123

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Posted 26 September 2018 - 02:46 PM

Were there multiple female members affected by Elsner's misconduct?

 

Listening to CFAX the claim was made that two women complained of unwanted physical touching of a sexual nature in addition to those who said that they were harassed. 



#914 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 26 September 2018 - 02:48 PM

Were there multiple female members affected by Elsner's misconduct?

 

2 in his own department plus the female cop from another municipality that the tweeted to hugged and kissed in his office - the wife of one of his officers.



#915 shoeflack

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Posted 26 September 2018 - 02:52 PM

Were there multiple female members affected by Elsner's misconduct?

 

The report specifically identifies two women who suffered unwanted physical contact. Plus mentions of a general "challenging" work environment for women.

 

What's more, one of the women specifically identified a use-of-force combat training exercise where they practiced lateral neck restraints (aka close body contact) as the setting of the inappropriate sexual remarks. So this creep basically used a body contact training exercise to take advantage of one of his officers. Can't imagine that was the only time.

 

You should really read the report in full. It's very well written. Definitely worth the read.



#916 sam

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Posted 26 September 2018 - 02:52 PM

Like others have said, we need to know who was driving the bus here, Helps or Desjardin and what specifically their motivation was.

 

 

If one of them was leading, that wouldn't let the other off the hook for following. Lowe outlines plausible motivations:

 

"The mayor will usually have a strong interest in having his or her Chief Constable succeed, both to serve the public interest, but also to buoy the mayor’s political position as an elected official."

 

In this case, since Helps and Desjardins both allowed the VicPD member (whose wife had exchanged tweets with Elsner) to believe something that they both knew to be untrue, and then attempted to mislead Lowe with an alternative version of reality, its difficult to see how they were motivated "to serve the public interest." Serving the public interest requires the mayors to be truthful, at all times, in the faithful execution of their mayoral duties.

 

David Broadland


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#917 spanky123

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Posted 26 September 2018 - 03:02 PM

I have made the point before that the Mayor's job is a stepping stone for Helps. I have no problem with people with ambition but I seethe at those who trample upon the rights of others in order to advance their personal agenda. Helps has no ethics, no morals and no limits as to what she will say or do to further her own interests. Hopefully this will finally stop her.


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#918 Mike K.

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Posted 26 September 2018 - 03:26 PM

Ok thanks everyone. I’ll read it as soon as I’m back at a computer.

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#919 Cassidy

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Posted 26 September 2018 - 05:18 PM

This alone should end Helps career as COV Mayor.

Anybody voting for her would be voting for a fundamentally dishonest, compulsive liar who puts her own beliefs above honesty.

 

This report damns Helps and Desjardins in a major way. It's amazing they weren't charged with obstruction.

 

Helps is a corrupt politician.


Edited by Cassidy, 26 September 2018 - 05:19 PM.

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#920 Victoria Watcher

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Posted 26 September 2018 - 05:20 PM

they will both just say they did not have the training/experience etc. and see they want to change the system thus showing that no mayors have the skills.

 

https://www.sookenew...-investigation/

 

Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps ‘100 per cent agrees’ with OPCC’s findings on ex-police chief investigation

Helps doesn’t want mayors to be put in that position again



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