Watson ducks questions on confidence in police board, top cop
Mayor Jim Watson didn’t answer questions on Thursday regarding his confidence in the police board or chief of police after the Sun reported revealing emails about the decision to appoint a senior officer to a temporary executive position while the officer is under OPP investigation.
Emails between police board members suggest some of them didn’t know Supt. Chris Rheaume is one of three senior police officials under criminal investigation when they accepted his temporary promotion to deputy chief in July under the advice of Chief Charles Bordeleau. Rheaume acted as a deputy chief from July 22 to Aug. 13.
In one email, Coun. Allan Hubley said he was not aware Rheaume could face criminal charges when the board had talks about the promotion.
“The point is that there remains a potential for criminal charges which I for one understood had not existed when we discussed the promotion. Of course everyone is assumed to be innocent but does that assumption also include the privilege of being promoted is the question I am left with now. In the end this comes down to judgment skills on the chief’s part and that will be for the board to keep in mind going forward.”
The OPP probe is related to legal disclosure in the case involving a tactical training explosion in Kanata that injured two officers and three paramedics in the summer of 2014. Police board chair Eli ElChantiry told the Sun this week that the board “does not have the authority to direct day-today operational decisions” but “did ask the chief about this decision to promote.”
Said El-Chantiry: “With respect to the investigation, the Board was advised it was an
Police oversight body not doing their homework. investigation into an internal complaint into allegations of a possible criminal nature and/ or conduct under the Police Services Act.”
Watson’s office was asked about the mayor’s current level of confidence in the police chief and police services board. Instead of answering, the Sun was invited to ask El-Chantiry, the chair of the board.
BORDELEAU Police chief