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Edmonton police fired officers who harassed their co-workers



Fiona Moffat in 2004

Postmedia

Edmonton police have fired a police officer who was proven to have harassed coworkers and then lied about it to investigators.

Const. Fiona Moffat was ordered to be dismissed from the Edmonton Police Service (EPS) Wednesday after 22 years, according to a written decision November 28 from RCMP Supt. Fred Kamins, who led the disciplinary session for months.

"It's now underway through EPS human resources," police spokesman Cheryl Voordenhout said Friday.

The Edmonton Police Association (EPA) disagrees with the decision and sees its options.

Kamins called Moffat's behavior "not a short scandal."

"I have found mistakes in this matter to be very terrible," he wrote. "Intentional harassment of co-workers, contrary to police service policies, procedures and acceptable workplace social interactions, which occur over a period of nine months with … evidence of inappropriate behavior towards (two other officers), shows a significant character deficit. "

More seriously, Kamins wrote, was Moffat's decision to deceive investigators during the Professional Standards Branch (PSB) examination of his behavior.

"If this is the only mistake," he wrote, "and the officer has acknowledged this and accepted responsibility at the beginning of the process after the complaint of abuse has been made, I may have been convinced that he might be able to withstand mistakes and that rehabilitation is possible and appropriate. not the response he chose. "

"He has damaged his reputation in the community and the police," he concluded. "He has damaged the public's reputation from the police service."

Moffat was accused of harassing a civilian co-worker, Romaine Fleck-Brezinski, while both worked together at a communications police station that sent and evaluated 911 calls.

Fleck-Brezinski acts as former son-in-law of Captain Kevin Brezinski. He said in an interview that he had not spoken to him in several years, and he left police services in 2016.

Fleck-Brezinski worked in a branch office for 11 years as a 911 civilian operator.

At first, it was a collegial work environment where breakfast and dinner together were common. Moffat joined the unit in 2013, and initially there was no conflict between the two, the hearing heard. But Fleck-Brezinski immediately saw a group of four policemen, including Moffat, starting to behave differently around him. Every time he enters the room, Moffat will turn away. He felt like there was a group effort to avoid him and other civilian colleagues.

He began to hear rumors that Moffat called him "b—-" and "c–" behind him. At one point, there was a hot dispute over a set of interior window blinds. There was also an incident involving a self-cooked Sunday breakfast, which Moffat and several other officers firmly refused to take over from McDonald's.

Moffat said during the trial he tried to cut Fleck-Brezinski from his life after hearing that he was spreading rumors that he, Moffat, was involved with colleagues.

The hearing was also inspected for 2014 e-mail, in which Moffat expressed anger about a Facebook post Fleck-Brezinski had made regarding agent income fraud – Moffat's information sure was a violation of privacy.

"Wtf !!!" Moffat wrote, "I was thinking of walking there and punching him in the throat."

Fleck-Brezinski filed a complaint on January 5, 2015.

"It's really terrible," he said. "Suddenly the great work that I loved changed, and it was really a poisonous workplace. I don't want to go to work, because I never know what will happen. "

Moffat was initially charged with one count of insubordination and counting of actions that could not be accepted under the Police Law. He was later quoted with 11 allegations of fraud for allegedly lying in a written response to PSB about his feelings for Fleck-Brezinski.

Moffat finally pleaded guilty to dishonorable behavior and two counts of fraud. He was found guilty of three counts and one of his insubordination.

Many of the penalties are focused on whether police officers – who are often asked to provide evidence during court proceedings – can remain at work after fraudulent beliefs.

Kamins writes that the service receives hundreds or a year of complaints about its members, and that the service needs to send a message that "lying to the Professional Standards Branch will not be tolerated."

He added that although Moffat pleaded guilty to several violations, he only fell on the "rubber sword" when he learned "his dirty language has been preserved" in the email, "thus proving his lie to the Professional Standards Branch."

Postmedia reached out to Moffat and his lawyer but did not hear back by press time. Upon hearing, lawyer Pat Nugent said Moffat had no previous disciplinary record and that he "had not exceeded its usefulness as a police officer."

He argues that his behavior is not as severe as in other cases where officers continue to work.

jwakefield@postmedia.com

twitter.com/jonnywakefield


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