MPCC-2011-033-Interference

This complaint arises from a Provincial Offence Notice (PON) issued by the complainant against a dump-truck driver for failing to cover his load. The dump truck was being operated near a construction site on the base.

The next day, representatives of the company which owned the dump truck and which was working on the construction project attended the MP Detachment and met with the MP patrol section commander, who is the subject of the complaint. They expressed concerns with the location of the alleged infraction and its proximity to the job site. They indicated that they could have had the road in question closed, but chose to accommodate local residents by keeping it open. The subject said she would speak to the complainant about it.

The subject asked the court liaison officer to set aside the ticket until she had a chance to speak with the complainant. She also requested, through the complainant’s immediate supervisor, to speak with him regarding the ticket.

Both the complainant and his supervisor advised the subject that he wished to proceed with the charge for various reasons: earlier truck loads were covered; and, at that time of day, people in the area would be starting to return to their nearby residences.

A few days later, the court liaison officer indicated that the ticket was missing from his office and had not been received by the court.

The complainant then sought to re-serve the ticket. The complainant was apparently told by the truck driver that the subject had his ticket and she had told him that he did not need to worry about it. Shortly thereafter, the complainant filed his complaint which implied that the subject had interfered with the filing of the ticket.

During the Commission’s investigation, it was learned that the first PON had, in fact, been filed with the court and resulted in a conviction in absentia.

Through its investigation, the Commission determined that the subject had questioned, but ultimately supported, the complainant’s exercise of discretion in favour of issuing the ticket. In so doing, the subject was well within the scope of her MP supervisory duties.

In the Commission’s view, this complaint was the result of a lack of awareness, on the part of the complainant, of the scope of discretion properly exercised by MP supervisors (as noted by the Commission in previous interference complaint reports), as well as a breakdown in trust and communication between the complainant and the subject.

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