Allegations of sexual discrimination levied against members of the Oak Bay Police Department by a female officer have been resolved through mediation.
Const. Jennifer Gibbs named Deputy Chief Kent Thom and Sgt. Ray Maxwell in a complaint with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal in October 2009, claiming they mistreated her because of her gender and that a male officer with less experience was promoted over her.
“The complaint required, and has received, serious treatment,” reads a joint statement issued by Chief Const. Mark Fisher. “All parties engaged in this difficult process in good faith, including meeting with a neutral third party.”
The discrimination case was resolved at the end of October “to the satisfaction of both parties,” Fisher told the News. Gibbs still works at the department, as do Thom and Maxwell.
The department was again rocked by allegations in September 2010. Longtime Oak Bay police Const. Davinder Dalep named Thom in a racial discrimination complaint to the human rights tribunal.
These have yet to be resolved but are still “under discussion,” Fisher said.
The only visible minority officer in the 25-member organization, Dalep charged that he was unfairly criticized, overlooked for a promotion and left out of a special assignment due to his Indo-Canadian ethnicity.
Despite the racial and sexual discrimination allegations, Fisher is not concerned with personnel conduct at the department.
“From what I’ve seen I don’t see anything rampant in the department,” he said. “Those two cases will be addressed and the issues brought up in them addressed, and hopefully we can reach some sort of resolution (in the remaining case).”
– with files from Erin Cardone