Conduct Case Summary MPCC-2014-056 and MPCC-2015-001
The complainant was a civilian employee working as a supervisor in a support group on a Canadian Forces (CF) military base. The complainant requested a review of conduct complaints against the Military Police (MP) relating to two MP General Occurrence (GO) investigation files investigated by the same MP member, who is the only named subject in this review. As the subject matter of the complaints and the GO files are closely related, the Military Police Complaints Commission (MPCC or the Commission) issued a single report dealing with all 12 of the allegations in the two consolidated files.
The first MP GO file was an investigation into an allegation brought to the attention of the MP Detachment by two military Captains in the complainant’s Chain of Command (CoC). The allegation was that an employee in the complainant’s working group had threatened the complainant during a workplace dispute. The subject MP member determined that there were sufficient grounds to support a criminal charge of uttering threats, but with the implementation of a workplace separation arrangement by the complainant’s CoC the complainant concurred with not laying charges against the employee. The subject MP member marked the allegation in the file as “unfounded”.
The complainant alleged:
- that during an interview the subject MP member prompted the employee identified by the complainant as having threatened him to say that the complainant had provoked him during the workplace dispute, then improperly shared this information with the complainant’s superior in the CoC, who was the spouse of an MP member;
- that the subject MP member was biased in his investigation as he was attempting to reach a result favoured by the complainant’s superiors in the CoC;
- that the subject MP member failed to log several statements that he received from the complainant’s superior into evidence and, by failing to do so, was either grossly negligent or tampering with evidence; and
- that the subject MP member failed to log into evidence a statement provided by his superior.
The Commission found all four allegations to be unsubstantiated. With respect to the first allegation, the Commission found the subject MP member was simply summarizing what the employee was stating in his interview, not prompting him. With respect to the second allegation, there was no evidence supporting a claim of bias. With respect to the fourth allegation, there was no evidence that the superior provided a statement to the subject MP member at all beyond a brief telephone call which was summarized in the GO file.
With respect to the third allegation, although there was evidence that the CoC had brought written statements to the Detachment, with the passage of time, the subject MP member could not recall if he had seen these statements. If he did, at that time, due to his inexperience, the subject MP member would not have retained copies of those statements as they were not prepared by an MP member and it was his belief that only statements prepared by MPs should be included in investigative files. It was not possible for the Commission to conclude on the evidence that the subject failed to log statements in the file as even if he saw them, it could not be concluded that he in fact received them or retained possession of them. Given his greater level of experience and understanding of how to deal with statements at the time of the review, the Commission did not feel it was necessary to make any remedial recommendation concerning the proper way to deal with the receipt of non-MP member witness statements.
The second MP GO file was an investigation into allegations brought to the MP Detachment by the complainant’s superior in the CoC. The superior reported that the complainant said he remained fearful of the employee who was involved in the workplace dispute, yet the complainant appeared to be intentionally placing himself in proximity to the employee whereas the employee was attempting to comply with the agreement that the two remain separated in the workplace. The matter was investigated as a public mischief or harassment allegation with the complainant named as the subject of the complaint.
The subject MP member interviewed several people and determined that there was no foundation for a criminal charge. However the file was marked as “founded” in the conclusory text box. The subject concluded the file with a recommendation that the matter be dealt with administratively or as an employment matter.
The complainant alleged:
- that the subject MP member improperly failed to interview him during this investigation;
- that it was improper for the subject MP member to utilize any information from the first MP GO file in the second investigation because information in the first file had been determined to be false by the MP Professional Standards (PS) unit;
- that the subject MP member did not treat the CoC supervisor’s complaint skeptically even though the supervisor had made false statements in the earlier investigation, and this was motivated by the fact that this supervisor’s spouse was an MP member;
- that in determining there was no criminal conduct the subject MP member ought not to have suggested the matter be dealt with administratively or as an employment matter;
- that the subject MP member placed false information in the GO file by concluding that the allegation was “founded”, and by stating that evidence “corroborated” the complainant when the complainant was never interviewed;
- that the subject MP member was biased in the investigation in that he was attempting to reach a result favoured by the complainant’s superiors in the CoC;
- that the subject MP member coached two witnesses during their interviews in order to reach the result the subject MP member desired; and
- that the subject MP member did not log an audio-visual interview in the file.
The Commission found all of the allegations to be unsubstantiated. The Commission recommended with respect to the fifth allegation that indications in the GO file that the allegations were “founded” were typographical errors and should be corrected, and recommended that the case type should be changed from “mischief” to “public mischief”.
In response to the Commission’s Report, the Canadian Forces Provost Marshal (CFPM) accepted all of the MPCC’s findings but did not accept the MPCC’s recommendation, explaining that the notations in question were part of the Computer Assisted Dispatch (CAD) report, which cannot be altered as it marks the end of the initial call. The CFPM further explained that in this case the GO file was changed as noted, so effectively the concern raised by the MPCC has already been addressed.
The MPCC accepted the CFPM’s explanation and as a result no longer pursued the recommendation.
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