Victoria police officer Const. Marty Steen was up for a promotion to Sergeant when he was found to have lied about his attendance at a conference in Vancouver. After the promotion was retracted, Steen sought a review by the Police Complaint Commissioner, who found the corrective measures taken were ‘incorrectly applied.’ (File Photo)

VicPD officer’s punishment for lying about conference attendance under review

B.C. Police Complaint Commissioner finds ‘lack of promotion’ an improper punishment

A Victoria police officer could now face further discipline after he asked for a review of his ‘demotion’ for lying about his attendance at a conference in Vancouver.

Details released in a review by B.C. Police Complaint Commissioner Clayton Pecknold say the Victoria Police Department paid for Const. Marty Steen to attend a three-day Vancouver conference in February, 2018.

A few months later, rumours emerged that Steen had only attended the first day of the conference.

The report says when Steen was confronted by his supervisor about his attendance, he initially claimed to have attended all but two conference presentations.

After further investigations and questioning, the department learned that Steen did not attend the final day of the conference at all, and had submitted expense claims for lunch on two days of the conference despite lunch being provided.

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

Before the incident took place, Steen was up for a promotion to Sergeant, but the promotion was revoked by VicPD’s acting deputy chief Colin Watson, who was, according to the commissioner’s report, “of the view that a reasonable person would be troubled to learn that an officer would be promoted to a position of increased authority, responsibility and influence in this type of circumstance.”

Watson was also worried about a “high degree of general concern among police officers” if the promotion went through.

While the promotion never happened, both Steen and Watson viewed its retraction as a ‘demotion in rank’ – a perceived punishment that led Steen to request the commissioner’s review.

Steen argued 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.”

But Pecknold’s report found that Steen had not faced a reduction in rank since he had not yet been promoted to Sergeant.

Instead, the commissioner found that Steen had not actually been disciplined, and arranged for a Review on the Record of appropriate discipline for Steen’s actions.

“Even though Constable Steen was set to be promoted to the rank of Sergeant, he was not promoted…” the review reads. “Constable Steen remained a First Class Constable throughout the investigative and disciplinary process.

I have concluded that there is a reasonable basis to believe that the Discipline Authority has incorrectly applied section 126 of the Police Act in proposing disciplinary measures.”

A review of the disciplinary decision applied to Steen’s case will be carried out by retired B.C. Supreme Court judge Ron McKinnon.

RELATED: Five Victoria police officers named in civil lawsuit (2011)

READ ALSO: Why would the B.C. legislature need a firewood splitter



nina.grossman@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Man who bound, murdered Langford teen still a risk to public: parole board

Kimberly Proctor’s killer is still ‘mismanaging emotions,’ has had ‘temper tantrums’

North Saanich artist brightens pandemic with whimsical signs

Artist Anna Trelford decorates her fence with signs that riff on COVID-19 pandemic

Traffic redirected after crash on McKenzie Avenue

Saanich Police responded to Thursday evening collision

West Shore RCMP, ICBC target speeders and aggressive drivers

Hotspots include Sooke Road, Veterans Memorial Parkway and Colwood Corners

Mission prison COVID-19 outbreak ends, 9 new cases in B.C.

New positive test at Port Coquitlam care home

POLL: Do you agree with the provincial government’s decision to increase the minimum wage?

B.C.’s lowest-paid workers will be getting a few more dollars to try… Continue reading

VIDEO: Humpback whales put on quite a show

The ‘playful’ pod lingered by a Campbell River tour operator’s boat for quite some time

Getting hitched at historic B.C. gold rush town still on table during COVID-19 pandemic

Micro-weddings, online visits, offered at Barkerville Historic Town and Park

Stolen gargoyle returns to its perch on central Vancouver Island yard

Petey, a concrete gargoyle statue, was returned by Nanaimo RCMP after being found by city crew

Revelstoke woman finds welcoming letter on her Alberta-registered truck

There have been multiple reports online of vandalism to vehicles with Alberta licence plates

Spirit bear possibly spotted in West Kootenay

A local resident spotted the white-coloured bear while on an evening trail run near Castlegar on May 27

B.C. businesses ‘can’t shoulder burden’ of COVID-19 sick pay

Trudeau’s plan should be tied to federal emergency aid

B.C. teacher reprimanded for sharing homophobic and sexist memes, making racist comments

Klaus Hardy Breslauer was accused of making a laundry list of concerning decisions as a science teacher

Most Read