‘Surrey Six’ Mountie quits amid scandal

Derek Brassington, a former sergeant with the RCMP, left the force on Thursday

A senior Mountie in the “Surrey Six” slaying case has quit the force, just as the RCMP was looking for a way to fire him.

Former RCMP Sgt. Derek Brassington is facing a minor theft allegation and that he had inappropriate relations with a witness in the case.

A total of 20 charges have been laid against RCMP officers Brassington, David Attew, Paul Johnston, and Danny Michaud, who were all involved in the North Surrey mass murder investigation in which six people were killed in a Whalley highrise in October 2007.

Two of the six killed were innocent bystanders: 22-year-old Chris Mohan from Surrey and Ed Schellenberg, 55, of Abbotsford.

Earlier this year, the province’s Criminal Justice Branch publicly announced that special prosecutor Christopher Considine had been appointed to look into allegations of an inappropriate relationship between an officer involved in the investigation and a potential witness.

Brassington and Attew each face charges of breach of trust, obstruction of justice, and fraud, while Johnston and Michaud face charges of breach of trust and obstruction of justice.

The special prosecutor has also approved a charge of theft under $5,000 against Brassington.

“This morning Mr. Brassington’s discharge documents were received and signed by the Commanding Officer,” Chief Supt. Brian Cantera said in a news release on Thursday.

The RCMP was seeking a way to fire Brassington, Cantera said, but then his voluntary dismissal was received.

“Mr. Brassington’s career with the RCMP has ended,” Cantera said. “As a private citizen he will no longer be subject to any disciplinary actions under the RCMP Act and we will not be commenting further about his employment.

Brassington still faces the criminal charges.

What effect, if any, this will have on the “Surrey Six” murder case is unclear.

Several people have been charged in relation to that crime.

James Bacon is charged with one count of first-degree murder and one count of conspiracy to commit murder in the case, while Cody Rae Haevischer and Matthew Johnson are each charged with six counts of first-degree murder and one count of conspiracy.

Quang Vinh Thang Le, Matthew James Johnston, Cody Rae Haevischer, and Sophon Sek are also charged in the case.

Bacon, charged with two counts of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder, is being tried separately in Vancouver but a date has yet to be set in his case. Bacon pleaded not guilty last August.

@diakiw