Vernon 'considering its options' on fire captain reinstated after sexual activity in chief's office | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Vernon 'considering its options' on fire captain reinstated after sexual activity in chief's office

Vernon Fire and Rescue Services
October 07, 2019 - 1:17 PM

VERNON - The City of Vernon is contemplating its next move after it recently lost an appeal that forced it to reinstate a fire captain who was dismissed for engaging in sexual activity with a colleague in the fire chief's office.

According to a City of Vernon media release, it is currently "considering its options to further appeal," after it lost an appeal with the B.C. Labour Relations Board Sept. 27 contesting an early decision the board had made in March ordering the City to reinstate Vernon Fire Rescue Service Capt. Brent Bond.

In March 2018 Capt. Bond was fired after hidden video surveillance caught him engaged in a "brief episode of consensual sexual activity" with a dispatcher in the fire chief's office.

Bond was reinstated back into the Vernon Fire Rescue Services in March this year after the Vernon Professional Firefighters' Association IAFF LOCAL 1517 argued he should not have been fired and the B.C. Labour Relations Board agreed. The City appealed but ultimately lost.

"While the City was not successful in the appeal, the Labour Board certainly suggested they did not agree with the Arbitration Board’s decision to reinstate the fire captain," the City said in a statement.

The City points out in its statement that the Labour Board can only overturn an earlier decision if one of the parties was denied a fair trial or an error was made, and not because they do not agree with the finding.

"While we are disappointed the Labour Board did not overturn the arbitration decision, they certainly did not endorse the outcome. The Labour Board was clearly troubled by the reinstatement, as the City continues to be," the City says in the statement.

"Having sex in an open manner, with a subordinate, while on duty in the fire hall must be grounds for termination. We cannot tolerate a workplace environment where this type of activity is carried on by a commanding officer," the statement reads.

Court documents do not say the pair were having sex, and instead refer to the incident as engaging in "sexual activity" or "sexual relations."

The City does not say what options are available for appealing the decision.

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