Victoria Police officer Const. Marty Steen received a 20-day suspension without pay. (Nicole Crescenzi/ News Staff)

VicPD officer gets 20-day suspension after lying to supervisors

Const. Marty Steen lied about attending a conference in Vancouver

A Victoria Police officer was suspended for 20 days without pay after he was caught lying to his supervisors.

In February 2018, the Victoria Police Department paid to send Const. Marty Steen to Vancouver for a three-day conference.

A few months later, it was reported that Steen had in fact only attended the first day of the conference, and submitted meal costs for the following two days, despite meals being available at the conference.

Steen had been in line for a promotion to sergeant, but after this information was discovered acting Deputy Chief Colin Watson revoked the promotion. Both Watson and Steen believed this was a ‘demotion of rank’ perceived as a punishment.

READ MORE: VicPD officer to learn of his punishment after lying about attending police conference

This prompted Steen to request a review from the Police Complaint Commissioner, arguing that there was “zero chance of future misconduct” and that “lies fall on a broad spectrum, taking into account both what the lie is covering up, and the nature of the trust relationship that the lie undermines.”

The complaint backfired on Steen when BC Complaint Commissioner Clayton Pecknold found that in actuality no punishment had been issued since Steen had never become a sergeant in the first place, which prompted Pecknold to request further discipline.

On Nov. 21, retired judge Ronald McKinnon concluded that 20 days punishment with no pay would be an adequate form of discipline.

ALSO READ: Discipline ruling upheld for ex-Victoria police chief Frank Elsner

“In my view, a reasonable person viewing all the facts of this case and particularly Const. Steen’s long and otherwise unblemished career, would not consider the imposition of a suspension as tending to diminish the repute of the administration of police discipline,” McKinnon wrote.

“I find that a suspension of 20 days without pay is the appropriate sanction in light of all the circumstances. This measure adequately reflects the seriousness of Const. Steen’s misconduct and falls within the range of measures that have generally been taken in similar circumstances.”

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

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