Joe Smyth's complaint of political interference to be investigated by Nova Scotia RCMP

·2 min read

The RCMP in Nova Scotia will investigate a complaint from a Royal Newfoundland Constabulary officer alleging political interference by former justice minister Andrew Parsons.

In a press release Monday afternoon, the Newfoundland and Labrador RCMP announced it would turn over a Dec. 11 complaint from Joe Smyth to their Nova Scotian counterparts.

"In the interest of an independent investigation and transparent process, the investigation of the complaint will be led by the RCMP in Nova Scotia, which is currently reviewing the complaint to determine investigative steps," reads the press release. "The leadership of the investigation and all investigative decisions rest with RCMP Nova Scotia. Police officers from RCMP NL may be tasked to support the investigation, as needed."

VOCM News originally reported in early December that Smyth asked the N.L. RCMP to investigate Parsons. Specifically, Smyth asked the Mounties to look into whether Parsons got involved in his case earlier, when he was charged.

Smyth was convicted in 2019 of obstruction of justice over his handling of a traffic stop in 2017, but his conviction was overturned later in 2019, and a new trial ordered.

On April 5, 2015, Smyth was a member of Premier Paul Davis's security detail when he shot and killed Don Dunphy of Mitchell's Brook, after being sent to Dunphy's home to investigate tweets directed at members of the government. Smyth was cleared of wrongdoing, but his lawyer has said Smyth was hit with the later obstruction-of-justice charge only because of who he is.

In December, Parsons — who is now the province's attorney general and minister of industry, energy and technology — said Smyth's claim of political interference is "ridiculous" and "beyond belief."

Monday's press release says no further comment will be coming from either Nova Scotia or Newfoundland and Labrador RCMP while the investigation is ongoing.

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