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News Report

Stickney, Korchinski Face Allegations

Saskatoon Police Chief Clive Weighill identified Inspector Allan Stickney and Sergeant Tim Korchinski as the high-ranking city police officers suspended from duty for their role in a drunk-driving incident. Both officers continue to receive paycheques during the criminal investigation into their conduct.

Insp. Allan Stickney
Insp. Al Stickney Saskatoon Police Officer suspended for impaired driving in violation of the Highway Act

SASKATOON  —   Sources have identified Insp. Al Stickney and Sgt. Tim Korchinski as the two high-ranking city police officers suspended from duty last week for their alleged role in a drunk-driving incident.

Stickney is the past-president of the Saskatoon Police Association, the union representing rank-and-file members. Korchinski, a member of the vice unit, was part of a group of Saskatoon officers awarded an honourable mention for the Minister of Justice National Youth Justice Policing Award in 2001.

The suspension stems from allegations that Stickney was about to be arrested for drunk driving on July 28 when Korchinski allegedly attempted to prevent two lower-ranking officers from making the arrest on Broadway Avenue.

It is alleged Korchinski was called to Broadway when Stickney, who was off-duty at the time, was stopped. Both officers continue to receive paycheques during the criminal investigation into their conduct.

“The off-duty inspector was arrested by two constables for care and control of a motor vehicle while impaired,” a news release issued by police late Friday afternoon stated.

“The sergeant was called to the scene and made a decision to discontinue the care and control while impaired investigation. As a result, an investigation is being conducted into the original care and control while impaired allegation (against) the inspector and an obstruction of justice allegation involving the sergeant.”

Chief Clive Weighill refused to comment on the matter while it is being investigated. He would also not confirm or deny the officers' identities.

On Friday, Weighill told The StarPhoenix the incident happened around 2 a.m. when two constables walking a beat in the Broadway Avenue area came upon an inspector behind the wheel of a parked vehicle with its engine idling.

“The chief is dealing with it under the disciplinary act so we will just wait to see the outcome and deal with it from there,” said Mayor Don Atchison, chair of the board of police commissioners. “It is important not to intervene or comment at this point. The last thing we want to do is bias anything. They're allegations right now.”

The prosecutions branch of Saskatchewan Justice will review both investigations once they are concluded to determine whether charges should be laid. The officers' alleged actions will also be the subject of internal investigations to determine whether they breached the disciplinary provisions of the Saskatchewan Police Act.

Neither Atchison nor Stan Goertzen, president of the police association, would comment on the names leaked to the press.

“I'm disappointed any time any name, whether right or wrong, gets out before charges are laid,” Goertzen said. “It casts a shadow on everyone.”

Korchinski is a member of the police association while Stickney, who is out of scope, is represented by the senior officers' association.

Even so, Goertzen said the association will attend any hearings to ensure the officers receive due process.

“We may not support an executive officer (in terms of legal fees), but we will occasionally act as an advocate,” he said.

However, that changes when it comes to a criminal investigation, such as this, he noted. The police union does not automatically pay for a lawyer to represent an officer if criminal charges are laid.

The union also represents the two beat constables involved in the incident. If it becomes necessary due to a conflict, the two sides can be given separate representation by members of the union's executive as the process unfolds, Goertzen said.

Insp. Mark Chatterbok, president of the senior officers' association, would not comment on the matter.

The police service has gone through some troubling years, facing controversy and charges of racism. Weighill vowed to change the force's image and Atchison said he believes the chief's handling of this latest matter proves that.

“It could have been an internal matter, but Chief Weighill chose to bring it forward and let the public know it's being dealt with. That shows there is transparency in the service,” Atchison said.

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