Public hearing suspended for Abbotsford officer

A public hearing has been suspended for a police officer fighting a decision that he be fired from the Abbotsford Police Department.

Const. Nathan Brown, 30, requested the hearing after the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner (OPCC) ruled on March 16 that allegations of "discreditable conduct" and deceit against him had been proved.

Under the Police Act, an officer is entitled to a mandatory public hearing when the proposed discipline is dismissal.

Brown's OPCC hearing was granted on May 11, but a date has not yet been set, pending the outcome of criminal court proceedings.

"To continue with the Police Act proceedings at this time would prejudice the criminal prosecution," said Rollie Woods, deputy police complaint commissioner in a press release.

Brown was charged in October 2011 with obstructing a police officer and next appears May 23 in Abbotsford provincial court for an arraignment hearing.

It is alleged that on the evening of April 14, 2011, Brown drank alcohol in the lounge of the Abbotsford Police union building and then crashed into a pole while driving home in his assigned patrol car.

He allegedly informed his supervisors the next day that he had been in a collision on the way to work that morning, according to OPCC documents.

On April 26, he supposedly admitted to senior officers that the crash had, in fact, taken place on the evening of April 14 and he had left the scene and returned the next day.

An "order for investigation" was conducted by the OPCC, and the discipline authority ruled that Brown should be fired due to deceit, and be given a 10-day suspension without pay for discreditable conduct.

Retired provincial court judge Dennis Overend has been appointed as the adjudicator for Brown's public hearing.

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