Winnipeg councillor reconsiders resigning from police board

Click to play video: 'Winnipeg councillor second-guessing resignation from police board' Winnipeg councillor second-guessing resignation from police board
City councillor Vivian Santos is reconsidering her resignation from the police board. Brittany Greenslade reports. – Jul 15, 2020

A Winnipeg city councillor who resigned from the city’s police board now says she is reconsidering her decision, a day later.

Point Douglas Councillor Vivian Santos resigned Tuesday after disclosing she failed a police security check.

Anyone who sits on the police board is required to pass a police security clearance check.

READ MORE: Winnipeg councillor resigns from police board after failed background check

On Wednesday, Santos said she’s reconsidering the move.

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“After having considered new information and taking time to think about what happened, I do feel that the Winnipeg Police have acted arbitrarily and have denied me procedural fairness,” Santos said in a tweet Wednesday afternoon.

Santos told reporters Tuesday that police did not disclose why she failed the clearance check.

“I have not been arrested, I am not criminally charged under the criminal code,” she said. “I know as a person myself, I have done nothing wrong.”

Winnipeg police said they are never able to disclose why someone fails a check, regardless of the reason or who is asking.

“They’re not told because the information that we have isn’t public,” Cst. Rob Carver told Global News. “We are legally bound to not be able to disclose it.”

Carver said the clearance check required for board members is a low-level security check, a type that is quite common.

“At this level that we are talking about here — these are not detailed,” he said. “They would be the same that would be used for contractors who come to do electrical or structural work at police headquarters.”

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Winnipeg squares off with businesses and contractors in court over over-budget police headquarters – Jun 8, 2020

Santos said she has no criminal record and has never been previously arrested.

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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.

In March, Santos confirmed to Global News that she and her husband are close friends with a man, Jay Santos, who was charged with drug trafficking.

READ MORE: 2 men charged in massive Winnipeg cocaine bust worth more than $1 million

Jay Santos, who is not related to the councillor, was arrested by police following a months-long investigation by the guns and gangs unit into an independent, inter-provincial drug cell started last October.

At the time, Guns and Gang Unit head Insp. Max Waddell said the drug cell was suspected of trafficking multi-kilogram shipments of cocaine into Winnipeg.

Santos was arrested and police seized nearly 20 kilos of cocaine, the largest cocaine bust in the city’s history.

Vivian Santos told Global News the man arrested was a “lifelong friend” and at the time said she was in shock and disbelief by the allegations.

Jay Santos is currently out on bail and awaiting trial.

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