A review of the two investigations and subsequent discipline proceedings involving former Victoria Police Chief Const. Frank Elsner found the actions taken against the former chief were reasonable and appropriate.
But the report questioned the discipline process, stating discipline authorities, in cases like this, should not be local mayors as they do not have the expertise needed.
“It is a most serious event when a chief constable becomes the subject of a Police Act investigation because they occupy such a high position of public trust in the community and the justice system,” said the Office of Police Complaint Commissioner (OPCC) in a statement released late Wednesday morning. “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.”
Elsner quit the force in May 2017, after being suspended and following a dispute over the handling of discoveries that he exchanged “salacious and sexually charged” Twitter messages with the wife of a subordinate officer.
An internal investigation by the Victoria and Esquimalt Police Board was launched in August 2015 after the situation was brought to light. The female officer was a member of the Saanich Police Department, while her husband was under Elsner’s command in Victoria.
Elsner apologized for his behaviour and the police board voted to keep him on as chief, while imposing disciplinary measures.
Elsner was found to have committed a total of eight acts of misconduct under the Police Act.
Some of the disciplinary measures taken against him included a 30-day suspension, demotion in rank to constable and training in ethical standards.
More to come.