Cop facing 15 charges also named in civil lawsuit
Published Thursday, December 23, 2010 7:06PM PST
A Surrey, B.C. Mountie facing 15 criminal charges is also accused of crossing the line in a civil suit.
Const. David Clarke is one of several officers facing a lawsuit claiming negligence for his role in a raid of a firearms training facility that resulted in charges against the owners. All of those charges were eventually dropped.
"The confusion, the anger, the embarrassment -- it's nearly unbearable," said Travis Bader, who at the time of the search trained police officers and civilians in the use of firearms.
Police alleged that his company, Silvercore Advanced Training Systems, sold guns illegally. They stormed the office in 2008, and hundreds of guns were seized, leading to dozens of firearms charges. Many of Silvercore's police contracts dried up, and Bader's family, including his father, an ex-VPD officer, was thrown in jail.
"It's been extremely trying on my entire family," said Bader. "My mother, my father, my brothers, all being held in cells, treated like criminals. Especially my father, who spent his entire career putting bad guys behind bars."
The charges against Bader and Silvercore were later dropped, but the damage to his family business had been done, Bader said -- the bad publicity left Silvercore with half a million dollars in lost revenue.
Earlier this year, the Baders launched a lawsuit against the police officers involved in the raid, including constables Scott Fornby, Michael Everitt and David Clarke.
Clarke was charged on Monday with dealing drugs, theft of police property, breach of trust and possession of a number of illegal or restricted weapons.
The Baders have also named firearms officer Jeff Harrison in the lawsuit. Search warrants show that Harrison provided information to the investigators in the raid -- even though a search of corporate records reveals that he runs his own firearms training business from a Surrey home.
"I'd like to know why individuals who orchestrated these warrants on our business appear to have businesses themselves," said Bader.
Harrison and Clarke didn't return phone calls. The RCMP wouldn't comment on the lawsuit directly, but said that any police officer with a side job or business has to declare the business and get approval from the RCMP human resources department.
In a statement of defence, department of justice lawyer Graham Stark claimed that the search was lawful.
"No action for damages lies against constables Clarke and Everitt because they were at all material times acting in the performance of their duties and in the exercise of their powers as provincial constables, and were not guilty of dishonesty, gross negligence, or malicious or willful misconduct," Stark wrote.