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News Report

Officer Facing Review Quits Force

After his conviction for impaired driving, Saskatoon Police Insp. Allan Stickney retired to avoid an Internal Affairs investigation. The Saskatchewan Police Act lacks any provision to allow the discipline process to continue once an officer resigns.

Insp. Al Stickney
Insp. Allan Stickney Provincial Court found Stickney guilty of care and control of a motor vehicle while impaired. Stickney resigned from the Saskatoon Police Force to evade disciplinary proceedings by Internal Affairs.

SASKATOON  —   Saskatoon police Insp. Al Stickney will likely get back behind the wheel of his personal vehicle within a few months, thanks to the provincial ignition interlock program for drunk drivers.

But he won't be driving any police cars.

Stickney, a 27-year veteran of the force who was convicted last month of having care and control of a vehicle while impaired, has given notice he intends to retire.

The decision means the 53-year-old will not have to face an internal administrative review of his actions in the early hours of July 28, 2007. Stickney has been suspended from duty – with full pay – since the incident.

“No further action on behalf of the Saskatoon Police Service will be taken. As this is an internal employer-employee matter, no further comment will be made,” police spokesperson Alyson Edwards said in a news release issued Wednesday.

After a provincial court judge found Stickney guilty of the charge on Nov. 21, police Chief Clive Weighill issued a statement saying he would reserve comment on the matter pending the outcome of the internal review.

“It's just not enough,” said Diane Fontaine, president of the local chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, which works closely with police all over Canada to promote responsible driving.

“We understand that he got fined by the court … but being a role model with such visibility, you want to be able to hold (him) accountable instead of just having the easy way out of retiring.”

Because of the organization's good working relationship with police, she hesitates to say anything critical, “but on the other hand, our mission is to stop impaired driving and this isn't helping,” Fontaine said, noting MADD works especially hard to spread its message at this time of year.

Police officers are expected to live up to a higher standard than the general public and are assumed to know the potential consequences of drunk driving better than most people, Fontaine noted. “It's very unfortunate that this has all come up the way it has.”

Stickney was facing a review under the provincial Police Act, which does not contain any provisions allowing the discipline process to continue once an officer has resigned.

Several other professions, such as accountants, doctors and lawyers, fall under legislation that allows misconduct hearings by professional associations to continue even after a person quits.

The Saskatchewan Party government introduced legislation last month to amend the Provincial Court Act so that investigations into alleged wrongdoing by judges can carry on, even if the judge resigns.

The bill is a response to the case of a Prince Albert provincial court judge who retired last May while under investigation for an alleged conflict of interest.

Justice Minister Don Morgan, who was the party39;s justice critic in opposition at the time, had also expressed concern about the Police Act in response to the resignation of a Corman Park police officer who was facing a discipline process over allegations of stalking, harrassment and sexual assault.

In an interview with The StarPhoenix last month, Morgan said a change to the Police Act may be necessary. Since the act is already under review, Morgan said he would ask the Corrections, Public Safety and Policing Ministry to examine the issue.

Neither Morgan, nor a spokesperson for the ministry, could be reached for comment Wednesday.

Saskatchewan: Full Court Rulings

R. v. Stickney, 2008 SKPC 152
Saskatchewan Provincial Court / Judge V.H. Meekma / Conviction

R. v. Stickney, 2009 SKQB 282
Saskatchewan Queen's Bench Court / Judge M.D. Action / Appeal: Conviction Upheld