Undercover Mountie tried to blame theft on disability

An undercover Mountie who was caught stealing and then tried to blame the episode on a disability has had her grievance denied.

The details of the case are included in the recent tranche of appeals heard by the RCMP's disciplinary review body.

According to a summary of the undated case, the officer was arrested and charged under the Criminal Code, but the charges were later withdrawn.

The RCMP then took her to task for disgraceful conduct and brought her case before an adjudication board.

"The grievor emphasized that her conduct was influenced by a disability, but admitted to the allegation," the case file says.

As punishment, she was forced to give up 10 days' pay. The board also recommended she go for professional counselling.

Given the nature of working undercover, the director of the RCMP's covert operations unit decided the officer should be kicked out of the program. He stressed that "due to its unique evidentiary credibility challenges, the program was limited to operators whose conduct and honesty were beyond reproach."

The officer tried to grieve that decision, arguing again that her disability was the underlying cause of the behaviour that led to her misconduct. She then claimed discrimination.

The external review committee disagreed.

Spike in cases

Ultimately, so did RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki, who denied the grievance. The officer is still employed by the RCMP.

The RCMP wouldn't comment on what disability the officer said she had, citing privacy reasons. The external review committee did not respond to CBC's request for comment. The case summary does not specify the details of the theft.

The case is just one of a handful of cases that Lucki has ruled on.

Of the 10 appeals she's ruled on so far in 2019, five were denied.

The RCMP refers disciplinary cases, including dismissals and pay stoppages, to the external committee for review to ensure the process is fair and transparent.

A year ago the external review committee flagged that it was drowning in casework. The backlog of cases at the ERC increased from 173 at the end of the 2016-2017 fiscal year to 238 at the end of the 2017-2018 period, according to the external body's most recent annual report.