Whistle-blowing cop suffered for his actions


Thu, December 23, 2004

Despite a crushing five-year legal battle with the Edmonton police that ended with his dismissal yesterday, whistle-blowing cop Det. Ron Robertson says he can see now the light at the end of the tunnel. "Going through the process when you know that you've got an administration that's doing everything possible to defeat you, that's something you just gotta deal with on a daily basis or as a things-come-up basis," he said yesterday.

"When you know that the truth is there, nothing can ever change that. And that's what's been there since day one.

"So that's why I see the light at the end of the tunnel."

Robertson's dismissal is the latest in a series of events which began in 1998, when he came forward with concerns the force had been infiltrated by organized crime.

At that time, he was the provincial outlaw motorcycle gang co-ordinator for northern Alberta.

A lengthy internal investigation found some officers and their friends had in fact been in contact with criminals, but found no proof they broke the law.

In 2000, he found himself under investigation for misconduct, which in 2001 led to 15 such charges being laid along with his suspension. This week, a superior officer found him guilty on 14 of those charges, and not guilty on one charge.

His lawyer, Tom Engel, called the entire process a sham and a whitewash. Robertson said yesterday he's getting much the same message from people he meets.

"Face to face contact with people, I've had nothing but positive support from everyone I've come into contact with," he said yesterday. "They're just saying don't give up, they want to see what the truth is too."

Robertson said he and his wife have suffered financially because of his battle with the police force, and the stress has aggravated her multiple sclerosis.

But he said they're determined to see it to the end.

"The alternative to that is just quietly going away and letting them do what they want to you, and put the boots to you."

An appeal to the Law Enforcement Review Board has been filed. Robertson still has his job - but without pay - until his appeal is dealt with.