Pivot Legal Society says Jamie Graham should be punished

Former Vancouver police chief Jamie Graham should expect to hear from Pivot Legal Society if he is appointed as the City of Victoria’s new top cop.

Pivot lawyer Doug King indicated that his group would push for the disciplinary action that would have been imposed on Graham for his failure to cooperate in an RCMP investigation into police brutality, had he not resigned in 2007.

“Our argument would be that the [matter of] discipline is under the Police Act, and that’s a statute for the whole the province, so it doesn’t really matter what police force he’s in,” King told the Straight. “If he’s under the Police Act, then it allows for him to be punished.”

Graham has been shortlisted to fill the post vacated by Paul Battershill, who resigned as Victoria police chief last year following controversy over his relationship with a lawyer employed by the police department.

On November 14, the eve of the municipal election, CTV reported that the Victoria police board, chaired by outgoing Victoria mayor Alan Lowe, had selected a new chief, but that the decision was not being made public yet.

An investigation ordered by the office of the police complaint commissioner and conducted by Delta police chief Jim Cessford found Graham guilty of “discreditable conduct”.

In a letter dated August 12, 2008, to outgoing Vancouver mayor Sam Sullivan (who is chair of the Vancouver police board), police complaint commissioner Dirk Ryneveld stated he was “satisfied” that Cessford was able to substantiate the noncooperation complaint against Graham, which Pivot filed in 2006.

But since Graham was no longer chief, he couldn’t be disciplined.

Yet, if he returns to police service, Graham would again fall under the jurisdiction of the Police Act, according to King.

“What we will do is ask the police complaint commissioner whether or not it was their opinion that, since Graham is now under the Police Act again, he could be disciplined for his disreputable conduct in the past, even if it’s under a different police board,” King said.

Graham told CBC last month he did nothing wrong, and that he disagrees with Cessford’s findings.