Winnipeg councillor resigns from police board after failed background check

Point Douglas Councillor Vivian Santos has resigned from the Winnipeg Police Board. Global News

Winnipeg city councillor Vivian Santos is stepping down from the Winnipeg Police Board after failing a security clearance check.

The Point Douglas councillor says she doesn’t know why she failed, since police wouldn’t provide her with details.

“I have nothing to hide. I don’t have a criminal record, I have never been charged or arrested, so it comes as a surprise to me,” Santos said.

“I asked the police if they could enlighten me on anything and unfortunately, they wouldn’t tell me why.”

Santos said as part of her background check, she had to disclose her parents and children, her husband and his family, and four friends who provided references.

READ MORE: Police board mandate letter not a request for more oversight power: Winnipeg mayor

Santos, who also serves as the city’s acting deputy mayor, was recently named to the board after Kevin Klein stepped down and Markus Chambers became chair.

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Chambers said he was looking forward to working with Santos.

“I’m truly disappointed that we won’t be able to work together on this important file,” Chambers said. “I believe she has critical input in terms of policing in the downtown context and would have provided tremendous support to the board in her views.”

“I have no doubts as to the integrity of Councillor Santos herself and that this is not a reflection on her.”

Santos said she respects the decision and will move on.

“I’m not going to let this bother me,” Santos said.

She says any city councillor interested in the position can apply and any new member would have to be approved by council.

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