Former B.C. solicitor general Kash Heed says an investigation into 18 hydro workers’ suspected roles in marijuana grow ops should be conducted by the RCMP, not just their employer.

Heed told CTV News the scandal brewing at BC Hydro has all the hallmarks of organized crime, and only specially-trained investigators could conduct an effective probe.

“The police should actively be involved in this if the allegations are to be investigated thoroughly,” said Heed, also a former West Vancouver Police Chief.

“Even if it’s just a suspicion.”

Union officials confirm 18 transmission line workers have been questioned by BC Hydro’s security division about bypasses found at illegal grow ops and heavy increases to transformers feeding licensed medical marijuana operations.

BC Hydro issued a statement Wednesday confirming a probe is underway into equipment theft and other unspecified misconduct, but described it as an “internal personnel matter.”

The line workers coming under scrutiny are from cities across B.C. including Prince George, Westbank, Campbell River, Surrey and Coquitlam.

Some are also being asked about whom they’ve been calling on company phones, though no information has been confirmed about the recipients of the calls.

A handful have been sent home with pay.

B.C. Energy Minister Bill Bennett issued a statement to CTV News supporting the Crown corporation.

“At the moment, this is an internal BC Hydro personnel matter but should they determine there is evidence of possible criminal activity, they will hand all information over to the RCMP,” Bennett said.

But union members are also wondering why police aren’t involved. About 40 hydro workers met Thursday with their leadership, who issued a statement calling the investigation a witch hunt lacking hard evidence.

Union officials are also considering launching their own investigation into whether BC Hydro breached anyone’s privacy.

With a report from CTV British Columbia’s Rob Brown