Victoria police chief suspended amid allegations involving Twitter messages

Chief Frank Elsner suspended as fresh allegations surface

Victoria’s police chief has been suspended amid allegations stemming from reports that he sent inappropriate Twitter messages to the wife of one of his officers.

A new investigation into Chief Frank Elsner’s conduct was announced by the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner Friday involving new information that includes allegations of false statements and the deletion of data.

A spokeswoman for the Victoria and Esquimalt Police Board said in an email that the adjudicator of the new investigation has ordered the chief be suspended immediately.

“The board is arranging to convene next week to discuss the implications of the order for suspension,” she said.

Elsner stepped aside from his duties in December 2015, pending the results of two other investigations into his conduct.

Chief faces three separate investigations

Deputy police complaints commissioner Rollie Woods said Elsner now faces three investigations and a total of 11 misconduct allegations.

The latest allegations came to light from a team of senior Mounties and members of the Vancouver Police Department investigating Elsner.

“They provided a synopsis of some concerning information they had received during the course of the investigation,” Woods said. “That information alleges conduct by chief Elsner, if proven, would be misconduct.”

Two retired B.C. judges began separate investigations last December, with one focusing on the social media allegations against Elsner and the other involving several alleged workplace harassment complaints filed by Victoria Police Department employees through the police union.

Elsner filed court documents last month in an effort to block the investigations saying the commissioner did not have the authority to order another review after the completion of an internal probe.

The documents say allegations surfaced last year that Elsner may have been in a relationship with the wife of a fellow officer and that the woman was also an officer in a neighbouring district.

Woods said the new investigation involves three allegations that include Elsner asking someone to make a false oral or written statement, requesting a potential witness to destroy electronic data and Elsner accessing the police department’s electronic database.

“There’s evidence Chief Const. Elsner sought access to the Victoria police archive server and conducted various searches and erased or attempted to erase emails during the course of an ongoing investigation,” he said.

None of the allegations against Elsner has been proven.

Elsner, who has been a police officer for 31 years, could not be immediately reached for comment about the new investigation.

In an affidavit filed last March, Elsner said he was shocked at the amount of information that has been made public about the allegations he faces.

“I strongly believe my reputation has been irreparably tarnished and my career in policing is over, regardless of the outcome of the investigations,” he said in the affidavit.

Such investigations ‘unprecedented’

“It’s unprecedented and it’s unfortunate for the Victoria Police Department, I think, as a whole,” Woods said.

The Victoria City Police Union said in a statement Friday that it is aware of the new investigation involving Elsner but would not comment.

– With files from Gemma Karstens-Smith in Vancouver

Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Saanich’s 20-year-old acting mayor encourages other young people get involved in politics

There is a ‘hunger for young voices’ in politics right now

Designs for Johnson Street Bridge waterfront areas hit delays

Upgrades to the Songhees Park, surrounding area being presented Thursday

Personal health scare inspires Sidney’s newest gym

Arne Jackson said the scare was a ‘wake-up call’

VicPD catches impaired driver near elementary school

Citizens alerted police to driver near James Bay Community School

Abortions rights advocates urge Liberals to turn politics into policy

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer was pressed to clarify his stance abortion over several weeks

Closing arguments begin in B.C. case launched in 2009 over private health care

Dr. Day said he illegally opened the Cambie Surgery Centre in 1996 in order to create more operating-room time

MacLean says “Coach’s Corner is no more” following Cherry’s dismissal from Hockey Night

Cherry had singled out new immigrants in for not honouring Canada’s veterans and fallen soldiers

MacKinnon powers Avs to 5-4 OT win over Canucks

Vancouver battled back late to pick up single point

Poole’s Land finale: Tofino’s legendary ‘hippie commune’ being dismantled

Series of land-use fines inspire owner Michael Poole to sell the roughly 20-acre property.

Port Alberni mom takes school district to court over Indigenous smudging, prayer in class

Candice Servatius, who is an evangelical Christian, is suing School District 70

Family of B.C. man killed in hit-and-run plead for tips, one year later

Cameron Kerr’s family says the driver and passengers tried to cover their tracks

Princeton couple pays for dream vacation with 840,000 grocery store points

It’s easy if you know what you are doing, they say

Chilliwack family’s dog missing after using online pet-sitting service

Frankie the pit bull bolted and hit by a car shortly after drop off through Rover.com

Most Read