Wat­son ducks ques­tions on con­fi­dence in po­lice board, top cop

Ottawa Sun - - NEWS - INSIDE syo­g­a­ret­nam@postmedia.com twit­ter.com/shaamini­why — Sun staff, with files from Shaamini Yogaretnam

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

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