OTTAWA — A federally appointed investigator will probe allegations that top Mounties commit... Mounties under investigati
OTTAWA — A federally appointed investigator will probe allegations that top Mounties committed fraud involving the RCMP pension and insurance plans.
Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day promised a "full public report" on the ballooning RCMP scandal but stopped short of calling a public inquiry, which would have authority to subpoena witnesses.
Day said the investigator, who was not immediately named, will report to the government within 12 weeks on accusations of fraud and abuse in the management of the national police force’s pension and insurance plans.
The allegations of obstruction and coverup, which were made Wednesday by RCMP officers at the Commons public accounts committee, are "of grave concern" to the government, Day said.
Day said such an inquiry would take too long, but he insisted the investigator would be able to recommend a broader probe if obstructed in any way.
She said it’s clear that there were "irregularities" with the pension and insurance plans, but that steps had been taken to correct the problems.
Busson said she’s especially concerned about allegations of coverup and punitive action by senior officers and is "determined to get to the bottom of this as soon as possible."
RCMP Sgt. Nathalie Deschenes said the deputy commissioner in charge of human resources, Barb George, offered to quit her post and the resignation was accepted. George had yet to be reassigned.
At the committee Wednesday, serving and retired officers alleged that senior Mounties tried to block probes into management of the RCMP’s pension and insurance plans.
The matter has been simmering for years as the issues wound their way through internal RCMP channels, a municipal police investigation and the auditor general’s office before landing in the public accounts committee’s lap.
"While trying to expose these wrongdoings, which were both criminal and code-of-conduct violations, I had face-to-face meetings and complaints up to and including Commissioner Zaccardelli," Ron Lewis, a retired RCMP staff sergeant, told the MPs.
"I was met with inaction, delays, roadblocks, obstruction and lies. The person who orchestrated most of this coverup was Commissioner Zaccardelli."
Said Chief Supt. Fraser Macaulay: "The RCMP has had a small group of managers who through their actions and inactions are responsible for serious breaches in our core values, the RCMP code of conduct and even the Criminal Code."
The Mounties had asked Ottawa municipal police to conduct a criminal investigation of possible fraud, but Crown attorneys concluded in 2005 there was no point in laying charges because the evidence was likely too weak to obtain convictions.
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