Police review board finds officer guilty
A Cape Breton Regional Police officer has been found guilty of discreditable conduct by a Nova Scotia Police Review Board, relating to his behaviour in a property dispute involving his uncle.
Sgt. Walter Rutherford, Const. John Campbell and Const. Donald Reginato were the subjects of complaints filed by Stephanie Bonner and Edward (Ted) O’Quinn. A hearing took place in Sydney in April.
The board found that by calling Bonner a “douche bag,” or saying “you’re dead,” Campbell was guilty of discreditable conduct, as well as by acting in a disorderly manner or a manner that is likely to bring discredit to the police and by maneuvering his vehicle in a confrontational manner toward O’Quinn’s vehicle.
Complaints filed against Reginato and Rutherford were dismissed.
The board’s decision was released Friday.
The complaints alleged the officers failed to properly or diligently perform their duties as regional police officers.
While the board noted Campbell may be a competent police officer, it found that “his personal relationship with Ralph and Elizabeth Campbell significantly fueled his attitude and coloured his actions toward both Ms. Bonner and Mr. O’Quinn.”
The board found that Campbell should have removed himself entirely from the issue.
The board did note that it is unfortunate that Bonner doesn’t seem to have been made aware of the public complaint process in a timely manner.
“In the result, many of her issues could not be dealt with as they fell well beyond the six-month limitation period set out in the regulations by the time that she engaged the process,” the decision states.
The complaints stemmed from a bitter and protracted property dispute that began shortly after Bonner purchased an 11-acre property on Crestdale Drive, in Sydney Forks, in September 2011.
The property came with a right-of-way driveway shared with Bonner’s neighbours, Ralph and Elizabeth Campbell.