Canada

2 Lethbridge police officers demoted after using positions for personal, political agendas

Two members of the Lethbridge Police Service have been penalized after an incident involving Alberta’s former environment minister three years ago.

Earlier this month, Keon Woronuk and Jason Carrier admitted to several breaches of the Police Service Regulation.

On April 14, 2017, Shannon Phillips, who is also the MLA for Lethbridge-West, was conducting an informal meeting at Chef Stella, a downtown diner.

According to an agreed statement of facts, Carrier was seated at a nearby table when he overheard Phillips’ conversation about the potential closure of parts of the Castle Park area to make way for a new provincial park.

Read more: Scientists back Alberta plan to ban off-highway vehicles from Castle park

At that time, Carrier invited Woronuk to join him at Chef Stella. Both men are avid outdoorsmen who frequented the area in question and were against Philips’ ideas.

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They subsequently took photos of Phillips and her stakeholders, including a selfie.

After exiting the diner, the men discussed their disdain for Phillips’ proposed actions regarding the park.

The agreed statement said Woronuk told Carrier he would “hate to see Phillips drive away from the restaurant and there was a reason to stop her.”

Woronuk, who has been a member of LPS for 19 years, admits he followed one of the stakeholders instead, in an attempt to catch them committing a driving infraction.

He ran their licence plate and sent a screenshot to Carrier in case he lost track of the vehicle. Woronuk admitted he had no legal right to do so, and Carrier admitted he should have reported the misconduct.

Read more: Protesters rally against Alberta’s proposed phase-out of off-highway vehicles in Castle area

On April 15, 2017, under the alias Mike Corps, Woronuk posted a photo of Phillips and the stakeholders to Facebook, which included a long caption criticizing Phillips and the NDP government.

After learning of the photograph, Phillips filed a complaint with the Police Act, which resulted in an investigation of the Lethbridge Police Service conducted by the Calgary Police Service, which was completed in September 2017.

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Woronuk admitted to five counts under the Police Service Regulation and has been demoted from senior constable to first-class constable for two years.

Carrier admitted to discreditable conduct and neglect of duty under the Police Service Regulation and has been demoted from sergeant to senior constable for one year.

Global News reached out to the LPS for comment but has not heard back.

The full decision can be read below:

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