Lawsuit accuses B.C.'s solicitor general of defaming officer
The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, October 27, 2009 7:36PM PDT
B.C. Solicitor General Kash Heed is being sued for defamation by a former West Vancouver police officer who says his one-time chief tried to further his political career at his expense.
Doug Bruce names both Heed and West Vancouver Mayor Pamela Goldsmith-Jones in the lawsuit, accusing them of making deliberately false statements about him.
The former staff sergeant said he was on sick leave when he was to appear at a disciplinary hearing connected to a drunk driving investigation Bruce conducted concerning a fellow officer.
The lawsuit, filed Tuesday, claims both Heed and Goldsmith-Jones knew the police commission hearing was delayed by lawyers, but inferred to media that Bruce was using his medical disability as an excuse to avoid the hearing.
The office of the Police Complaint Commissioner had ordered public hearings into the actions of Bruce and a fellow officer for their handling of an internal investigation into allegations against fellow officer Lisa Alford.
Alford was convicted of impaired driving after she crashed her car into another vehicle in 2005.
The commissioner's office said that the two officers failed to say in their report on the incident that she had been drinking at the police station the night of the crash.
The commissioner later cancelled the hearings after both officers took retirement.
The lawsuit claims that both Heed and Goldsmith Jones were running for election at the time and it alleges their comments were made to promote themselves politically.
The statement of claim alleges Heeds comments were deliberately false and "led to a popular or false innuendo that Bruce was using his medical disabilities as an excuse to avoid disciplinary matters and therefore was inferentially guilty of those disciplinary matters."
The lawsuit claims that the actions of both Heed and Goldsmith-Jones were done to force Bruce into retirement by making his medical condition worse.
None of the allegations in the lawsuit have been proven in court.
A spokesman for Heed said the solicitor general isn't commenting now that the matter is before the court.