Candidate calls for probe

Complaints over Heed payout should be followed up,
says NDP hopeful

Graeme Wood, Vancouver Sun, April 20, 2009

An NDP candidate says two complaints against former West Vancouver police chief Kash Heed — now a Liberal candidate — should still be investigated since an argument can be made that he remains on the district’s payroll until late May.

West Vancouver NDP MLA candidate Terry Platt made the comment after revelations that Heed received a payout from West Vancouver after voluntarily tendering his resignation Feb. 19.

Heed, who is running for the Liberals in Vancouver-Fraserview, confirmed to The Vancouver Sun that he received three months pay from the district.He did not confirm the amount, but a North Shore News column said it was $40,000.

Heed said that under the terms of his contract, he was required to give three months notice. When he resigned, he said, he offered to continue working for three months.

However, he said the West Vancouver police board decided he should leave early, with a payout.

“Those were the terms. Those were the options,” Heed said.

“I am not on the payroll of the West Vancouver police department.”

But Platt’s campaign assistant Stephen Howard said there’s a compelling case that Heed is being compensated until May 19, well past the May 12 provincial election.

After Heed resigned, West Vancouver Mayor Pam Goldsmith-Jones, who chairs the municipality’s police board, sent a letter to the Office of the Police Complaints Commissioner on April 7 saying she had no authority to look into the allegations against Heed, which were levelled by two now-retired members of the police department.

That’s because the Police Act says there is no jurisdiction to investigate a complaint against a police department employee who has resigned.

Heed said that as of March 6, he was no longer an employee of the municipality of West Vancouver.

The complaints against Heed have not been made public.

A ruling from the police complaints commission on whether to overrule Goldsmith-Jones and proceed with its own investigation is expected within the week.

Legislation proposed by the Liberals to allow former police members to be investigated was postponed until after the election.

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