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Top Mountie says she doesn’t always agree with RCMP’s discipline process

Top Mountie says she doesn't always agree with RCMP's discipline process

Facing questions about the controversy over a Mountie who was allowed to keep his job after fondling a woman at a work event, RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki said she doesn’t always agree with the way Mounties are disciplined.

Lucki was questioned about the case by a lawyer during the Mass Casualty Commission hearing in Halifax on Wednesday.

“Do you have any concerns about what that says to female members of the RCMP?” asked lawyer Jane Lenehan.

“Absolutely,” responded Lucki.

“This is not something I take lightly and I can say that as a female member, and I can say that with a 36-year history in my organization, and I can say that with history as a female before I joined the RCMP … It is not something that I take lightly.”

Lucki sided with a decision that allowed Const. Devin Pulsifer to keep his job, despite the fact that his commanding officer in Nova Scotia wanted to have him dismissed for sexual assault. Details of the case were made public earlier this summer.

According to both an RCMP conduct board decision and a report by the province’s police oversight body, an intoxicated Pulsifer placed his hands under another RCMP officer’s shirt and grabbed her breasts in full view of other RCMP members at a work event at a bar.

Both the conduct board decision and the report said Pulsifer then moved on to a second constable and placed a hand under her shirt.

Pulsifer, who was posted to the detachment in Liverpool, N.S., at the time, doesn’t deny the allegations and said he was blackout drunk at the time.

The incident was investigated by Nova Scotia’s Serious Incident Response Team (SIRT), a civilian agency that probes allegations against police officers.

It concluded that a charge of sexual assault could be brought against Pulsifer. But since both women had indicated in writing that they did not wish to have the case “brought to the stage of criminal charges,” SIRT didn’t launch a criminal case.

The RCMP has been accused for years of imposing inadequate sanctions on Mounties in cases of harassment and sexual assault. The federal government has paid millions to compensate 2,304 women who experienced sexual harassment and gender or sexual orientation-based discrimination while working for the RCMP. (Maria Jose Burgos/CBC )

The RCMP conduct board found that, “on a balance of probabilities,” the allegations made by both women were established. The board docked Pulsifer 35 days’ pay, declared him ineligible for promotion for two years and ordered him into alcohol…

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