Victoria police board advises public not to rush to judge chief

VICTORIA -- The Victoria and Esquimalt Police Board is asking the public not to rush to judgment or speculate as the RCMP investigates allegations against the chief constable.

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Police complaint commissioner Stan Lowe announced last week that RCMP Chief Supt. Sean Bourrie will lead two Police Act investigations into eight breach-of-trust allegations against Chief Const. Frank Elsner, who has stepped aside and is on paid leave.

Elsner is alleged to have contacted a witness during an internal investigation and provided misleading information to an investigator.

Lowe has said Elsner is also accused of workplace harassment by four employees of the Victoria Police Department.

Earlier this month, Elsner apologized and said he was "truly sorry and humiliated" after a police-board investigation found Twitter messages he'd sent to another officer's wife were inappropriate.

Following an in-camera meeting on Monday, the board asked the public on Tuesday to allow the investigation to proceed and to respect "the interests of those directly affected."

The board has referred questions and clarifications to Lowe's office and a public-relations firm that says on its website it specializes in "crisis communications and government relations."


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