SURREY – Chief Civilian Director Richard Rosenthal today announced the release of the report completed by civilian monitor Mark Jette. Mr. Jette was appointed on June 14, 2014, to conduct an administrative review of the IIO’s investigation into the Sept. 10, 2012 death of Mr. Gregory Matters.
Mr. Jette’s appointment as civilian monitor for the Matters case arose from a written complaint made by a former IIO investigator. In particular, Mr. Jette was asked to examine whether the Matters’ investigation and the subsequent public reporting process lacked integrity.
On October 30, 2014, Mr. Jette delivered his report, including his analysis of the complaint, the evidence he considered and his ultimate findings to Chief Civilian Director Richard Rosenthal and the Deputy Attorney General. In his review, Mr. Jette found no evidence of any action, decision or direction that caused him to find that either the investigative process or the public reporting lacked integrity. He did however conclude that the integrity of the investigation was impacted by the Chief Civilian Director’s decision to dispatch two individuals to the Prince George incident despite the fact that on Sept. 10, 2012, neither of them was eligible to be appointed as investigators under the Police Act.
The civilian monitor’s report is released in full with one exception. After seeking advice from the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner, the names of some IIO staff have been redacted from Mr. Jette’s report. The report may be found at this link:
Chief Civilian Director Richard Rosenthal –
“I appreciate the hard work and the dedication of the civilian monitor and believe the report he provided is comprehensive and balanced. The IIO was operating on its first day when this tragic incident occurred. Our staff had not investigated any critical incidents to date as a team and we were trying to ensure that the most experienced people available were present. I would say that the situation will not arise again given the passage of time and the fact that all investigative staff now meets the legislative requirements. We now have a very experienced Chief of Investigations and our staff now has considerably more experience. It is my firm view that the concerns that were present on September 10, 2012 are no longer an issue. Given Mr. Jette’s thorough report, neither I nor my staff will have any further comment.”
- The IIO was established under amendments to B.C.’s Police Act that came into force in July 2011, and conducts criminal investigations into police critical incidents that result in death or serious harm.
- The IIO commenced operations on Sept. 10, 2012. Since that time, the IIO has concluded 75 investigations and has issued 47 public reports.
- To ensure there is no perception of bias, the chief civilian director cannot be a person who is a current or former member of a police force or RCMP.
- A special committee of the legislature is currently reviewing the administration and operations of the IIO – in particular, the chief civilian director’s progress towards having an office staffed with employees who have never been police officers.
- Section 38.08 of the Police Act authorizes the chief civilian director to appoint a person who is not a current or former member of a police force in British Columbia or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police to review and assess the integrity of a specific investigation and for the chief civilian director to establish the terms of reference relating to that appointment.
- The civilian monitor is entitled to access to any record of the IIO that is directly related to the investigation in respect of which the civilian monitor is appointed.
- IIO staff and investigators are required to cooperate with the civilian monitor in the exercise of his powers or performance of duties.
About the Independent Investigation Office: