Settlement reached in lawsuit against police officer accused of abusing authority
File image. (CTV News Winnipeg.)
WINNIPEG -- The City of Winnipeg has settled a lawsuit filed against a police officer who was demoted after he was accused of abusing his authority.
A notice of discontinuance has been filed with the law courts on Dec. 20. The amount of the settlement is not known.
Green Brier Inn owner Jonathan Singh was suing Winnipeg police officer Richard Comte.
The 2017 lawsuit alleged Comte threatened Singh and his business.
In two Law Enforcement Review Act rulings last year, Provincial Court Judge Sid Lerner concluded the officer threatened Singh and a manager in 2015 for not turning over video recordings for a sexual assault investigation.
Lerner wrote the officer had no right to do so.
“This was oppressive and abusive conduct, and amounts to an abuse of authority,” said Lerner.
Court also heard the officer suggested if he couldn’t get the video recordings, any future calls for police service to the businesses could be scaled back. Lerner also concluded the officer suggested police could visit the bar during its busy hours.
“…threatening a course of conduct by police that would interfere with Mr. Singh’s ability to conduct business in safety and, potentially to conduct business at all,” said Lerner.
Comte was docked five day’s pay and demoted from patrol sergeant to constable.
Lerner did note, prior to this incident, Comte had a spotless record over his 17-year career.
In a statement to CTV News, the City of Winnipeg said, “We’re not able to discuss the terms of the settlement…”