Human rights complaint moves forward

Oak Bay police racial discrimination case could go to hearing

An Oak Bay police officer’s allegations that he was passed over for a promotion, unjustly criticized and left off a special assignment because of his race have been accepted by the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal.

Const. Davinder Dalep’s three allegations of racial discrimination – part of a list of complaints included in his submission to the tribunal last September – have not been proven. The 14-year member of the department names Deputy Chief Kent Thom as playing a leading role in those incidents.

Dalep, who is Indo-Canadian, is the only visible minority in the 25-member organization.

The Oak Bay police board has until the first week of August to file a response to the claims.

On June 13, a tribunal member accepted three points from Dalep’s evidence as admissible in a hearing.

The hearing has not been scheduled and may not take place, if the officer and the board agree instead to go to mediation.

Several other allegations submitted by Dalep, were filed late and not accepted, said the tribunal’s registrar and advisor, Vikki Bell.

“When (the complaint) was screened, it looked like not all of it amounted to allegations that happened within the last six months,” Bell said of Dalep’s submission.

Complaints can only be filed on events alleged to have happened within that time frame or are deemed continuing contraventions of the B.C. Human Rights Code by a tribunal member.

“If there’s no resolution (in mediation), a hearing date is set and both sides would have the opportunity to present witnesses and evidence,” Bell explained.

Dalep declined to comment for this story.

Neither his lawyer, Roger Batchelor, or Oak Bay mayor and police board chair Christopher Causton responded to interview requests by the News’ deadline.

Dalep’s complaints followed a claim filed in October 2009 by Const. Jennifer Gibbs.

In her submission to the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal, she named Thom and Sgt. Ray Maxwell as members who allegedly mistreated her based on her gender.

Gibbs’ claim also states that she was passed over for a promotion in favour of a male officer with less experience.

ecardone@vicnews.com