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Delta, B.C., police paid PR firm $42K after allegations against chief’s wife

Click to play video: 'Delta Police paid PR firm $42K after police chief’s wife hosing incident' Delta Police paid PR firm $42K after police chief’s wife hosing incident
After initially refusing to provide the information through a freedom of information request filed by Global News, the Delta Police Department is finally revealing how much it paid a crisis communications firm to do damage control after the police chief's wife was accused of spraying a woman with a garden hose last summer. Catherine Urquhart reports – Feb 3, 2021

The Delta Police Department has revealed that it spent $42,000 to hire a communications consulting firm, amid a scandal surrounding the police chief’s wife.

The department hired the team as Chief Neil Dubord’s wife Lorraine faced an investigation for allegedly spraying Surrey resident Kiran Sidhu with a hose from the couple’s beachfront property last year.

Click to play video: 'Delta Police won’t reveal costs of hiring PR firm after police chief’s wife hosing incident' Delta Police won’t reveal costs of hiring PR firm after police chief’s wife hosing incident
Delta Police won’t reveal costs of hiring PR firm after police chief’s wife hosing incident – Feb 2, 2021

When Global News requested information on the contract through a Freedom of Information request, the department refused, citing privacy concerns.

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Read more: B.C. police chief’s wife won’t be charged for allegedly spraying woman with hose

On Wednesday, Deputy Chief Harj Sidhu issued a statement saying the department didn’t have the authority to release the contract, but confirming the total paid out “in the interests of transparency.”

Sidhu characterized the hiring as nothing unusual, stating that the department “regularly hires external subject matter experts in a variety of areas.”

The money came from the department’s existing budget, Sidhu said, and involved no request for additional money from the city.

Click to play video: 'B.C. woman disappointed in confrontation decision involving wife of Delta police chief' B.C. woman disappointed in confrontation decision involving wife of Delta police chief
B.C. woman disappointed in confrontation decision involving wife of Delta police chief – Sep 3, 2020

 

“The contract with the firm was set up by former Deputy Chief Norm Lipinski, and he consulted directly with the firm,” Sidhu said.

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“The terms of the contract were to assist the DPD with communications regarding a complex and unusual set of circumstances.”

Lipinski has been hired as the chief for Surrey’s new municipal police department.

The department has faced criticism over its handling of the initial investigation of Lorraine Dubord, who was filmed yelling at Sidhu from her property on Centennial Beach on June 6, 2020.

Sidhu says she touched the Dubords’ fence after climbing the adjacent rocks to escape a rising tide.

Read more: B.C. police chief’s wife under investigation after allegedly spraying woman with garden hose

She alleges Dubord then yelled at her, compared her to a beached whale, and sprayed her with a hose.

An investigation by the Surrey RCMP recommended charges of assault and uttering threats.

The B.C. Prosecution Service chose instead to pursue “alternative measures,” an option commonly given to young offenders or adults with no criminal history in which they accept responsibility for the crime and make amends.

Click to play video 'More information on investigation into conduct of Delta Police in complaint against chief’s wife'More information on investigation into conduct of Delta Police in complaint against chief’s wife

 

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Lorraine Dubord has issued an apology in the Delta Optimist for “the way the situation was handled.”

Neil Dubord has also promised he and the department would “continue to listen, learn, and improve,” and told the public at a police board meeting in late June that the incident did not reflect his own values.

An investigation under the jurisdiction of the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner was extended in January and is ongoing.

— With files from Catherine Urquhart and Sean Boynton

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