June 16th, 2024

Phillips’ appeal dismissed by review board


By Alejandra Pulido-Guzman - Lethbridge Herald on March 25, 2022.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDapulido@lethbridgeherald.com

The Alberta Law Enforcement Review Board has dismissed an appeal made by Lethbridge West MLA Shannon Phillips regarding an incident involving two Lethbridge Police officers in 2017.
The decision was reached on March 14, a month shy of the five year mark of the initial incident that ultimately resulted in proceedings under the Police Act including an appeal to the Law Enforcement Review Board (LERB), as stated in the CanLII documents of the decision reached.
“We’re talking about something that was five years in the making, so this Law Enforcement Review Board decision is five years after the fact and it’s really nice to have the matter concluded,” said Jay McMillan, president of the Lethbridge Police Association.
On July 9, 2020, after reviewing the evidence and submissions presented at the hearing, the presiding officer imposed global penalties of reduction in rank in keeping with the joint submissions for each of the respondent officers. Cst. K. Woronuk was reduced from Senior Constable Level II to Constable first class, for a period of two years, and Sgt. J. Carrier was reduced in rank from Sergeant to Senior Constable Level II, for a period of one year.
McMillan said Carrier returned to his Sergeant rank as of July 2021.
On November 9, 2021 counsel for Cst. Woronuk advised LERB that he had resigned from LPS. As a result, the board lost jurisdiction.
McMillan said Phillips presented 15 points of contention forming the grounds of her appeal.
“Those points that she raised included the notion that the presiding officer’s decision in the disciplinary hearing was unreasonable, three different police service investigations were somehow flawed and inadequate and that she herself should be given what was described as special status due to her political position,” said McMillan.
He said all 15 points were dismissed by LERB.
“I think it’s important for people to understand that as much noise as there has been around some of the allegations and accusations, that the LERB didn’t see fit to agree with any of those,” said McMillan.
He said he is happy to be where they are with the process and he believes it is a suitable conclusion.
“You have a couple of guys that took a punishment that in effect carried more weight than a lot of what you see coming out of criminal court right now, because it cost them tens of thousands of dollars which is a significant impact,” said McMillan.
He said Sgt. J. Carrier had to go through a great deal of adversity with significant sanctions on his professional career, so it is time to move on.
When asked for comment during a press conference held by the NDP following a Lethbridge Chamber of Commerce luncheon on Thursday at the Sandman Signature Hotel, Phillips refused to go into detail.
“We received that decision last week, early last week and so we’re examining our appeal options to the Alberta Court of Appeal,” said Phillips.
To read the complete LERB decision visit https://www.canlii.org/en/ab/ablerb/doc/2022/2022ablerb4/2022ablerb4.html

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