Delta police officer disciplined for alleged sexual advances to would-be recruit
Published Tuesday, July 23, 2019 7:04PM PDT
Last Updated Tuesday, July 23, 2019 7:23PM PDT
A decorated, 25-year veteran Delta Police inspector retired amid allegations he used his position to make sexual advances on at least one young potential recruit, CTV News has learned.
Sources say Varun Naidu offered himself as a mentor to one person interested in policing in their 20s, and within days, he allegedly steered a text conversation to sexual advances, before propositioning them in person.
Naidu has been found by the Saanich Police Department – which is conducting an independent investigation - to have committed four counts of misconduct under B.C.'s Police Act: two counts of discreditable conduct for inappropriate behaviour, one for allegedly misleading investigators, and one for neglect of duty that has to do with the use of a police department phone.
It's not clear how many people he allegedly approached. There are three civilian witnesses in the case.
The misconduct appears to fit the pattern another former Vancouver Police officer described to CTV News of the sexual harassment that can begin as innocent help from male superiors – and then turn sexual. CTV News has agreed to conceal that person's identity.
"They would come to you with the illusion of, 'I'm here to help you with your career,' or 'Here's my phone number, I'll support you. If you have any questions, let me know,'" the former officer said in June.
"And then that quickly changes to texts like, 'Hey, I can't stop thinking about you,' sexual innuendo, jokes, straight out propositioning you for sex. And it was never about helping me with my career," the former Vancouver officer said.
The Vancouver Police Department is still reeling after the suicide of Const. Nicole Chan. One of her superior officers was disciplined for inappropriate behaviour.
CTV News tried to reach Naidu in person and through his lawyer, but he didn't respond.
Delta police chief Neil Dubord, refused an interview, with his staff issuing a statement that "the allegations regarding the officer's actions did not involve anyone from inside the organization."
The Saanich investigation recommended dismissal as the punishment in mid-June. But the Delta Police Department confirmed Naidu left the force on May 31st, about two weeks earlier.
That doesn't mean Naidu escaped the punishment, said Deputy Police Complaint Commissioner Andrea Spindler.
"Once the proceedings have concluded, that member's service record will be updated to include the discipline regardless of him no longer being in the department," she said.
Spindler would only confirm that the Saanich Police's disciplinary process had finished – not what the finding was.
In B.C.'s secretive police discipline process, the Police Complaint Commissioner must find a matter is in the public interest before speaking about it outside of a brief written summary after all proceedings have concluded.
That often leaves it to the chiefs of each municipal department to decide how much to share, which can vary widely.
The Police Complaint Commissioner still has the discretion to take Naidu's case to a public hearing. It's expected that decision will come in mid-August.