The city’s integrity commissioner has cleared Councillor Diane Colley-Urquhart over comments she made about police chief Roger Chaffin earlier this summer.
The comments followed the release of a video showing the use of force by members during an arrest.
Councillor Jim Stevenson, supported by some of his colleagues, wrote to the integrity commissioner to investigate concerns that she undermined public confidence in police and it’s leadership.
Former Justice Allen Sulatycky says Colley-Urquhart is protected by her right of freedom of opinion and expression because she used the phrase, “It’s obvious to me” which he says makes it a statement of opinion on her comment, “The chief didn’t want to respond and because he felt that way he didn’t direct his second in command to do it.”
Sulatycky says that stating what was in the chief’s mind is mere speculation and to assert it as fact would not be fair. However, because of the way Colley-Urquhart prefaced the comments, it became a statement of opinion and not fact.
At the time of the incident in July Colley-Urquhart was critical of how long it took Chief Chaffin to comment on the video.
Councillor Jim Stevenson says while Colley-Urquhart might consider this vindication, he sees it as a slap on the wrist.
For the full statement from the integrity commissioner, see below: