Keep paying for a different outcome

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It’s getting a little like a dog with a bone – uncomfortably so, one might add. Town of Stellarton officials are still awaiting a decision of an appeal in regard to former police chief Amby Heighton.

Considering a Police Review Board tribunal ruled – after much time, at great cost to all involved – that Heighton should return to work, although with a demotion, shouldn’t that have stood as a clear answer to this issue?

Yet the town decided to perpetuate it, appealing the board’s ruling through the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia. As at least one person commented about this story Wednesday on The News website, the town faces other pressing matters, yet chooses to pursue this.

Let’s say the town proved successful in this appeal. Presumably someone feels that would lead to a satisfactory resolution. Or might it just bog down in a new round?

It goes without saying the tab to mount this legal fight goes to the taxpayer. Acknowledging that it’s over would allow a lot of citizens to breathe a sigh of relief.

The average citizen isn’t privy to all the discussion that’s gone into this – along with who wants to keep it alive and for what reasons.

But it’s interesting to recall the chain of events that started the whole thing and led to Heighton’s firing – the letter alleging seriously inappropriate behaviour among members of the district RCMP based out of Stellarton.

The prospect isn’t comforting – neighbouring police forces apparently not entirely seeing eye to eye.

In local politics and local police enforcement the last thing we need is personal agendas. But something we have in abundance in Pictou County is neighbouring political bodies and police departments, plenty of opportunity to step on toes.

It’s enough to make a person wonder what other petty grievances might lurk under rocks – issues that could crop up and take legal shape if someone feels slighted.

It’s not a happy thought, although it might make some lawyers smile.

Organizations: Police Review Board, Supreme Court

Geographic location: Stellarton, Nova Scotia, Pictou County

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Recent comments

  • Johnny smoke
    January 16, 2013 - 20:56

    No mention of the fact if Mr. Heighton was kept on full pay and benefits during this dog and pony show. That would account for the towns action re the appeal, as in the infamous Col Williams case he was kept on full pay and allowances until he was found guilty, then I presume all of this was revoked and paid back. In Mr Heighton's case his lawyer would have to be paid by the town, the town's lawyer would have to be paid by the town as well. Additionally all of the items mentioned in the letter have been swept under the rug. The commanding Officer of the R.C.M.P. detachment in question now holds a provincial government position as justice minister. What we have here is the plot for a soap opera. The town should cash in, by the condition of their streets they need the cash badly. As for the rest of this story stay tuned, where there is money, taxpayer money involved it could go on forever and it probably will.