Skip to main content

B.C. Mountie who harassed, mistreated female colleagues allowed to keep his job

RCMP generic
Share

A B.C. RCMP officer who admitted to five instances of misconduct related to his treatment of female colleagues has been allowed to keep his job, according to a disciplinary decision.

Const. Corey Flodell was disciplined by the Mounties' conduct board in May and the decision was posted online Thursday. The allegations involved four separate women—three of whom were "junior female members" and one who was a civilian employee—and occurred while Flodell was on duty. The incidents at the detachment, which has been redacted, occurred between 2019 and 2021.

Flodell was found to have committed one act of discreditable conduct by "touching inappropriately another member of the RCMP without her consent." He also contravened the force's code of conduct once by engaging in "harassment" and another three times by making "rude and/or inappropriate comments," according to the decision.

Flodell will be transferred to another detachment, required to work under close supervision for one year, made to undergo additional training and he has been ordered to write letters of apology. He will also forfeit 15 days pay and 10 days of vacation.

"Const. Flodell is being permitted to continue his career with the RCMP," the decision says.

"It is expected that he will uphold the standards set by the code of conduct and the RCMP core values. Any future contravention of the code of conduct will be seriously reviewed by the appropriate conduct authority and could lead to his dismissal from the force. "

THE MISCONDUCT

Two of the instances of misconduct involved an RCMP officer referred to as E.P.

In the first case, Flodell saw another colleague punch E.P. playfully in the arm and said something like “You gotta hit them in the chest,” the decision says. Then, Flodell rolled his chair over to the female colleague and, as she said "No, no, don’t do that," proceeded to touch her "above her clothes, at or below her belt." As he did so he said "right in the cooter,” which the decision notes is a term for female genitalia.

In the second instance, E.P came to work wearing makeup, which was not her habit. Flodell told her "Wow, you look like a whore tonight,” the conduct board said.

Similarly, Flodell was found to have made a comment to a civilian employee, referred to as S.M. when he told her "Only sluts wear makeup."

In the fourth case, Flodell made a comment to a male colleague about a new recruit behind her back, asking "How soon is too soon to start calling her a whore?”

In all of these cases, the decision described Flodell as making comments that were "rude, inappropriate, and had sexist overtones."

The fifth breach of the code of conduct involved the year-long harassment of a colleague – who he had once trained and supervised – due to her "gender, marital and family status being a single female, in her 30s and with no children." When the woman, referred to as A.P., would go running, Flodell also admitted to making comments about her clothing to a male colleague.

"Because of your rude and inappropriate comments and harassing behaviour, Const. A.P. felt depressed and worthless," the decision says.

"She further stated that Const. Flodell’s comments made her question whether she 'wanted to continue in this career as a female,'" the decision later notes. 

THE DECISION

Initially, Flodell denied the allegations but he admitted them in advance of a scheduled hearing, the decision notes.

The disciplinary measures imposed in the case came after Flodell's representative and a representative for the conduct board submitted a joint proposal on consequences.

"On my initial assessment of the joint proposal, I had serious concerns as to whether the proposed conduct measures reflected the five guiding principles for assessing a fit conduct measure. In particular, the quantum of financial penalties appeared to be significantly below the possible range for the allegations at issue," conduct board member Christine Sakiris wrote.

In light of these concerns, Sakiris requested additional information and says she was troubled by one particular aspect of what she received in response. In explaining why the misconduct fell on the less-serious part of the spectrum, the conduct board was told, in part, that Flodell was participating in "accepted workplace banter and jokes.”

Sakiris viewed this, among other things, as Flodell showing a "persistence in minimizing" his behaviour, which she said was not consistent with a full acceptance of responsibility or remorse.

Further, the decision notes that the widespread bullying, discrimination, sexual harassment and sexual assault of women within the RCMP is something that was brought to light through a class action lawsuit that resulted in an apology and a $125 million financial settlement for more than 2,000 female members of the force.

The disciplinary decision quotes from a public statement made from then-commissioner Brenda Lucki in 2020 about what a report that came out of that settlement found, which was a widespread and long-ranging pattern of mistreatment of women, facilitated by a toxic culture.

"Harassment of any kind is unacceptable and it is against our code of conduct. I know we mean it when we say it. But the facts are, despite all the reports, recommendations, and changes over the last three decades, this behaviour continues to surface,” Lucki wrote.

"It must be stopped. It will not be tolerated."

Given the context, Sakiris said Flodell would have or should have known that what he was doing was unacceptable and ran afoul of the code of conduct.

"The days of excusing comments, such as those made by Constable Flodell, as ‘workplace banter’ are long over. Each individual is responsible for their own behaviour. It is inconceivable to me that Const. Flodell was oblivious to the repeated and contemporaneous directions with respect to harassment and inappropriate workplace conduct," the decision says.

While Sakiris says the penalties for Flodell were not what she would have imposed, she also found they satisfied the criteria for a fit consequence and that accepting them would not be contrary to the public interest.

CTVNews.ca Top Stories

BUDGET 2024

BUDGET 2024 Feds cutting 5,000 public service jobs, looking to turn underused buildings into housing

Five thousand public service jobs will be cut over the next four years, while underused federal office buildings, Canada Post properties and the National Defence Medical Centre in Ottawa could be turned into new housing units, as the federal government looks to find billions of dollars in savings and boost the country's housing portfolio.

Lululemon unveils first summer kit for Canada's Olympic and Paralympic teams

Lululemon showed off its collection for the Summer Olympics and Paralympics on Tuesday at the Liberty Grand entertainment complex. Athletes sported a variety of selections during a fashion show that featured garments to be worn on the podium, during opening and closing ceremonies, media interviews and daily life on the ground in France.

Stay Connected