RNC officer sues employer, alleges top brass bullied, harassed him

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RNC officer sues employer, alleges top brass bullied, harassed him

A senior officer with the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary is suing his employer, the chief of police, three other top cops, and the provincial government over allegations of bullying, harassment and unfounded investigations that he says crippled his career.

Sgt. Tim Hogan, who worked with the major crimes unit and had been with the force's drug squad, filed a lawsuit at Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court in St. John's on April 21. 

The lawsuit names Chief Bill Janes, Deputy Chief Ab Singleton, Supt. Pat Roche and Supt. Jason Sheppard, as well as the RNC and the Department of Justice and Public Safety.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

Hogan claims he was bullied and harassed by Roche and Sheppard "collectively and individually since May 2014" and that his complaints fell on deaf ears.

Hogan said he took his concerns to Janes in January and February 2015, advising him of alleged bullying.

"The plaintiff (Hogan) advised the third defendant (Janes) of serious misconduct by investigators and senior members of the RNC," court documents said. 

Documents say Janes requested that Hogan not file a respectful workplace complaint. But Hogan filed the complaint anyway in early 2015. Documents indicate the investigation into those claims remains ongoing. 

While that investigation began, Hogan said Sheppard and Roche "caused multiple internal and external investigations to be made against [Hogan] to harass and intimidate [him]."

Hogan called those investigations unfounded, and says they affected his mental and physical well-being and hindered growth in his career and made the workplace "intolerable."

The lawsuit reveals that Hogan, who has been off work since the incidents were reported, was escorted from the RNC building "knowing that this action would cause [Hogan] public humilitation."

Allegation sent to RCMP deemed 'unfounded'

Hogan says he was suspended while the complaint process was taking place and was the subject of two internal investigations, which he says "had no basis in fact or law."

Despite the internal and external investigations proving to be "unfounded" by September or October 2015, Hogan was not offered the opportunity to return to his previous position or another role with his rank. 

In February and March 2016, Hogan said the officers initiated a criminal complaint with the RCMP alleging Hogan "advised junior members to change their notes."

According to the lawsuit, that allegation was also deemed to be untrue. Again, Hogan was not given the chance to return to his position, the documents allege.

It's also noted in the documents that the alleged harassment and bullying of Hogan happened at the same time as another complaint was being investigated concerning "serious misconduct by investigators and senior members of the RNC."

Meanwhile, Hogan is seeking general, special, punitive and exemplary damages as well as the cost of the court proceedings. 

Hogan and Sheppard worked together on a number of cases, including Operation Roadrunner, a massive drug operation which was the subject of the CBC documentary featuring both men. 

Hogan was awarded the 30-Year Exemplary Service Bar from the RNC in 2012. Roche received the same honour in 2015.

Sheppard, who retired on Sunday, was named 'Police Officer of the Year' in 2011 by Crime Stoppers. 

Janes is expected to retire some time in June. 

The RNC steered requests for comment to the Department of Justice. Officials there declined comment, noting that the matter is before the court.