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Accused RCMP officer still on the job

A Red Deer RCMP officer accused of sexual harassment, drinking in the office and driving impaired, is still on the job.

Sgt. Steve Black, who faces a police hearing over the allegations, “is working currently in the detachment and is on duty,” said Cpl. Sarah Knelsen, a spokesperson for Red Deer City RCMP.

Knelsen said she couldn’t comment further until she gets more details of the case against Black, who’s in charge of Red Deer’s major crimes unit. “We don’t know the background. I haven’t been privy to that.”

Knelsen said the misconduct allegedly happened in Red Deer years ago at the former Red Deer Rural RCMP building on 55th Street. Black had been working for the Red Deer Major Crime Unit for RCMP K-Division.

She said she doesn’t know the officer who made the complaints. “They were not dealt with through this detachment.”

All further questions were to be directed through the main RCMP K-Division office. But a media spokesman said he could not get any further information on Friday and was hoping to learn more about the case on Monday.

The complaints came to light when Black went to court to try to derail a disciplinary hearing against him, arguing that too long a delay had occurred. More than 10 months had passed by the time he was served with the notice of a disciplinary hearing.

His issue was that the delay violated a requirement under the RCMP Act that such notices be served “forthwith.”

But a federal judge said this week that it would be premature to rule on Black’s argument since his first avenue of appeal should be to the RCMP commissioner.

According to documents filed in Federal Court, an independent response team began investigating complaints against Black in 2009. The result was that no criminal charges were laid by the Crown.

But in 2010, the RCMP started formal disciplinary proceedings against him. The allegations are that the officer engaged in unwelcome behaviour of a sexual nature with a female subordinate in and out of the workplace.

It is also alleged that he drank alcohol in the workplace and permitted subordinates to do so, and operated an unmarked police car under the influence of alcohol.

Black denied all of the allegations at an initial two-day proceeding before the disciplinary board last April.

lmichelin@reddeeradvocate.com

 
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