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Watchdog wants Pompeo off the public payroll ASAP
There's no change in former North Cowichan/Duncan Const. David Pompeo's status with the Nanaimo RCMP detachment following his conviction for aggravated assault.
"I read the judgement,'' said Supt. Norm McPhail, Nanaimo detachment's commanding officer. "There's nothing in the judgement that causes us to change his duty status.
"He's on restricted non-operational duties which means that he remains working for the RCMP but in a non-operational position which means he's not interacting with the public and he doesn't have access to use-of-force tools,'' said McPhail.
Pompeo was found guilty Feb. 14 in the shooting of Bill Gillespie near Chemainus in September of 2009.
The B.C. Civil Liberties Association has some definite concerns regarding Pompeo's status.
"We'll be watching very carefully,'' said Josh Paterson, executive director of the non-profit BCCLA, from Vancouver. "If this drags on, we'll be concerned if this officer remains on the public payroll.''
Paterson contends the RCMP should not be waiting until sentencing before removing Pompeo from his duties.
"It's beside the point,'' he said. "They should move now and not wait two months or whatever it's going to be in order to take action.
"There's no real question about what the appropriate response should be. They need to be moving very swiftly for discipline and, in our view, termination,'' said Paterson.
"We would expect that an officer who has been convicted should be facing internal disciplinary proceedings and that status ought to change. He shouldn't be on the public payroll for a great length of time.''
The BCCLA has supported Gillespie throughout the trial process, sending a lawyer to monitor some of the proceedings in Duncan.
"We've definitely had concerns about the length of time this whole thing has taken,'' said Paterson.
"Bill Gillespie waited 20 months for the investigation to complete, and now is seeing justice more than three years after he was shot. We hope that the Independent Investigation Office will significantly reduce this time frame for future cases because such delay is unfair not just to the complainant, but also to the officer who is the subject of the complaint.''
The BCCLA previously weighed in on the case when Pompeo gave a presentation to a Nanaimo community group on behalf of the RCMP in October 2011, five months after being charged in the incident.