Cape Breton police officer could face prison over 'Staff Kenny' emails

Death of teen in Cape Breton highway crash deemed suspicious

A Cape Breton police officer has been found guilty of forgery and impersonating his superior.

Const. Wade Lavin, 41, set up an email account with the name "Staff Kenny," similar to the name of his superior, Staff Sgt. Ken O'Neill. The emails in July and August 2015 alleged misuse of police vehicles and credit cards by members of the police management team.

Sydney provincial court Judge David Ryan found Lavin guilty of the charges on Thursday.

"The seriousness of the offences were certainly reflected in Judge Ryan's decision today," said Crown attorney Peter Craig. "These were offences that struck at the heart of the integrity of the Cape Breton Regional Police Service."

The 16-year veteran of the police service has been suspended with pay since October 2015. He remains suspended, pending the conclusion of an internal investigation under the police act. That investigation is into the same incident and was suspended while the criminal case proceeded. 

Police spokeswoman Desiree Vassallo said the investigation will now resume.

In November, Lavin told the court he didn't intend the emails to be "tied to anyone" and he wanted them to be anonymous.

Union concerned about use of police vehicles

Lavin testified that his union local's executive was concerned police vehicles were deployed to members of the police service's management team, at times leading on-duty officers to use their personal vehicles because a police car was not available. 

In court, Craig argued the email name "Staff Kenny" was not selected by accident and that Lavin made allegations against senior officers to bring their reputations into serious disrespect.

Lavin, who was his union local's chief steward, will be sentenced June 9. The maximum sentence for forgery is 10 years.