Thursday, August 14, 2008

 

To Globe and Mail from BC Mary

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Today's Globe and Mail story:
Victoria police chief's exit shrouded in secrecy
BRENNAN CLARKE
Print Edition 14/08/08 Page S1

Embattled Victoria police chief Paul Battershill officially resigned his post this week, 10 months after he was suspended over an unspecified ''personnel matter'' and less than a week before a B.C. Police Complaint Commission disciplinary hearing. {Snip} ...

Comment #22: You (BC Mary, from Canada) wrote:

Because Paul Battershill, as Chief Constable of Victoria Police, was co-leader of the police raid on the B.C. Legislature (Dec. 28/03) ... and because of CanWest's indifference to that news ... I run a blog called The Legislature Raids. So I have watched this side-show with great concern.

  1. Research tells me that Battershill is an outstanding cop, forward-thinking as well as courageous. His creds were proven when he was asked to step into a short-term management position for the City of Victoria. Now, as the trial arising out of the Legislature raid is coming closer, people might well question whether this man is being deliberately side-lined before he gives evidence. The findings are that he did nothing wrong, didn't associate with wrong-doing, and made no financial errors. So ... ?

  2. The comments on this thread suggest to me that other people believe that we're seeing a good cop being harassed until he quits. Is this OK? I don't think so.

    I wish Paul Battershill well and hope that he returns to public service in some other city, or some other way. I don't see how we can keep denouncing "bad cops" while letting this sort of witch-hunt happen to a good cop under a cloud of official secrecy.

    The Legislature Raids
    http://bctrialofbasi-virk.blogspot.com/
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Note: Don't ask me why those numbers appear in the left column. They just do, and I can't get rid of them. My faithful eMac computer is dying. So it's been difficult to get the URL for each item, too. Takes about 10x as long to do anything. New iMac arrives soon. Things should look better then. Right now, though, I need to write to Gary Mason who is busy bashing B.C. cops again today. Fine. But what about Paul Battershill, I say.

Below is part of Victoria Times Colonist's editorial on Battershill; definitely one of the best so far. - BC Mary.


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BATTERSHILL'S FALL REMAINS A MYSTERY
Times Colonist - August 14, 2008

Just over two years ago -- on May 23, 2006 -- the City of Victoria and Mayor Alan Lowe had such great confidence in the leadership abilities of Police Chief Paul Battershill that he was appointed acting city manager.

Before that, the Edmonton police department had wanted him as its chief. Some provincial New Democrats had even approached him about taking at run at their leadership.

To call him highly regarded seemed an understatement.

Yet yesterday Lowe, in his capacity as chairman of the Victoria Police Board, announced that the board had lost confidence in Battershill's ability to lead the police department and that Battershill had resigned as chief.

What happened?

{SNIP} ...

... the police board and Battershill reached a settlement agreement that prevents either party from disclosing the contents of the RCMP's investigation report into the allegations against Battershill.

The only exception was to disclose that the investigation, by Supt. Bill Ard, "did not find any financial impropriety on the part of Battershill, nor did it find that Battershill had committed any criminal acts, or had any involvement with any criminal activity."

That might eliminate some of the wilder speculation surrounding Battershill's departure but it doesn't offer any clues as to what caused the police board's loss of confidence in the chief.

Lowe has said repeatedly that it's a "personnel" issue. The taxpayers of Victoria deserve a better explanation than that.

{Snip} ...

Victoria taxpayers, who have underwritten Battershill's $167,000 annual salary since his suspension, would surely like to know what led to the chief's fall from grace. Lowe had the authority to release Ard's report, but the settlement agreement with Battershill, which includes the city paying $15,000 toward his legal expenses, precludes that.

Lowe has passed the buck now to the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner, which could convene a public hearing if the commissioner believes it would be in the public interest.

Since Battershill is no longer a police officer, a hearing would not result in any disciplinary action. It might, however, help the public determine whether or not Battershill's resignation is a just outcome.

Not that any discipline is necessarily warranted. We don't even know the nature of the allegations, let alone the outcome of Ard's investigation.

All we really know is that the city no longer has to pay Battershill for staying at home, and that it can concentrate on finding a new leader. [That's a helluva snide way to describe the situation -- "paying Battershill for staying at home". Can they just not stop themselves from dissing? - BC Mary.]

That's small consolation for keeping taxpayers in the dark about how such a highly regarded chief as Paul Battershill could fall out of favour.

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Comments:
How do we know IF the RCMP investigation into Paul Battershill is a witchhunt? Very little facts for you to make such a determination.

Why don't you say that the entire RCMP investigation into the Leg Raid is a witchhunt in light of the fact that former Finance Minister Gary Collins is not facing charges? You can't forget his role in this case, right?

Mary, urge the Mayor of Victoria to release all the information so that we all can determine if the resignation is above board and not part of some cover up.
 
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Anonymous 5:04,

I've just sent an e.mail to Lindsay Kines who in today's Times Colonist is calling for a public inquiry into why Paul Battershill resigned.

I think a public inquiry into what may be a fake accusation is a bad idea.

We don't need to know "all the information" ... all the details, all the he-said, she-said, dragging this horror story out any farther.

All we need to know is what the original "charges" were.

Let the failed Liberal candidate/lawyer explain what accusations he so determinedly leveled against the Police Chief. And why.

HE is the one who owes the public an explanation for the heartache and expense he caused.

Knowing what Battershill had been accused of, we could then make sense of what the chairman of the police complaints commission means when he reports that Battershill

* didn't engage in criminal activities,
* didn't associate with those in criminal activities, and
* did no financial improprieties.

But until then, the commissioner might as well tell us that Battershill hasn't done 1,001 other bad things either ... and we could say, "Oh? And what made you think he might have done them?"

Round and round we could go. No thanks.

Enough, already.

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Good Morning,
Two, now former police chiefs (Battershill and Graham) now out of public service, and with so many distruptions to the ministry of sol/gen, plus the rumored coziness with RCMP... PLUS all the hypocracies that go with speaking out against China and Russia and many other human rights violations. Is there still an active investigation? Could have fooled me! Are we waiting for the U.S. to save the day?
WHEN WILL SOMEONE STAND UP FOR CANADA AND PUT AN END TO ALL THIS FORCED INSANITY!?
 
Well anon 5:04 I guess the proof is now in the pudding on your first question

"How do we know IF the RCMP investigation into Paul Battershill is a witchhunt? Very little facts for you to make such a determination."

I fail to see how anyone could come to any other conclusion. I have much stronger words at How Bad is the Record?
 
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