November 19, 2013 - 12:01 PM
PENTICTON - The suspension of an Osoyoos RCMP officer is having a ripple effect on those he arrested and ticketed.
Lawyers James Pennington and Don Skogstad had clients arrested by suspended Const. Amit Goyal and those charges have been dropped by Crown prosecutors.
Pennington said his client was charged with driving while prohibited and Goyal was the lead investigator but "when the Crown discovered that, they stayed the charge."
Skogstad said he's seen a memo directing traffic tickets issued by Goyal to be thrown out.
The RCMP confirmed last week that Goyal was suspended without pay, but refused to say why. It may have something to do with Steve Condon, 51, formerly of Osoyoos. He's stated publicly that he believes Goyal framed him for vehicle theft last fall. Condon claimed he had run-ins with Goyal a year prior.
A Sole Vita employee where Goyal lived said the officer left home in mid-June.
RCMP Sgt. Rob Vermeulen confirmed the suspension but would not comment any further or whether there is an investigation.
"We typically do not confirm or deny investigations unless there is... a public safety need," he said in an email. If an RCMP member is charged with a criminal offence, the force will release the information.
Penticton RCMP spokesperson Sgt. Rick Dellebuur said, barring a criminal investigation, the force will examine one of its members much like any company would look into an employee matter. It is also typical to have the investigation conducted by officers from another detachment. Dellebuur said the matter was investigated by RCMP officers from Trail.
In the process of an investigation. members can be suspended with or without pay but neither one is considered a disciplinary action according to the RCMP Code of Conduct. Suspensions are preventative measures created to "protect the integrity of the RCMP."
When an officer is suspended, he or she will not wear or use any RCMP uniform or equipment; not exercise the power or authority of a peace officer; surrender their RCMP identification and all RCMP issued firearms and not perform police duties unless ordered to.
Members can be suspended without pay if they are in jail awaiting trial; been absent from their post for seven days or more; failed to report for duty on a specified date; or have been involved in an offence so "outrageous" it would affect their ability to continue their duties.
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