Frank Elsner resigns from Victoria Police Department

The Victoria and Esquimalt Police Board have parted ways with the former Chief Constable.

Embattled Chief Constable Frank Elsner of the Victoria Police Department is officially ending his relationship with the Victoria and Esquimalt Police Board, effective immediately.

In a release from the Board, Lead Co-Chair Lisa Helps says the employment relationship between the two sides has been concluded by Elsner.

Through his counsel, Mr. Elsner has advised that he considers his employment relationship with the Police Board to be at an end,” the release reads.

The Police Board has concluded from this advice that Mr. Elsner has resigned from his position as Chief Constable of the Victoria Police Department. Effective immediately, Mr. Elsner will no longer receive payment of his salary, or other employment benefits as provided for under his employment contract.”

This ends a long battle between the two sides after Elsner was suspended over an exchange of “salacious and sexually charged” twitter messages with the wife of a subordinate officer.

An internal investigation by the Victoria and Esquimalt Police Board was launched in August 2015 after the situation was brought to light. The female officer was a member of the Saanich Police Department, while her husband was under Elsner’s command in Victoria.

Elsner apologized for his behaviour and the police board voted to keep him on as chief, while imposing disciplinary measures that were never disclosed.

At one point, an external investigation was launched by the Office of the Police Complaints Commissioner and that matter was expected to move to discipline proceedings after a pair of retired judges reviewing the investigation determined misconduct did take place.

Elsner’s resignation came as a surprise for deputy police complaint commissioner Rollie Woods, considering a discipline hearing had been scheduled for June.

“We’re really just going to proceed on the basis that Elsner is still participating. We haven’t heard anything different,” said Woods, adding former members are still subject to the provisions of the police act for allegations of any misconduct they may have committed while they were police officers.

“If Elsner decided that he didn’t want to participate that would be up to him. You can’t compel him when he’s no longer a serving police officer, but he needs to be given the opportunity to exercise his rights and appear and defend himself.”

Once the proceedings have wrapped up, the commissioner is slated to release a detailed report about the investigation to the public. Any discipline that is handed down is put on the officer’s service record.

Meanwhile, the police board plans to meet in the near future to determine their next steps in selecting and appointing a new Chief Constable for the Victoria Police Department.