STELLARTON – A former Stellarton police chief and the town that once fired him have reached an agreement on what he should be paid now that he is rehired.
Ambrose Heighton, currently an inspector with the Stellarton Police Department, and the Town of Stellarton have come to an agreement on the pay he should have received between the period he was fired in 2008 and December 2012 when he started back to work.
Town solicitor Craig Clarke said with the help of a mediator, both parties have reached an agreement on how to comply with a ruling by the Police Review Board that Heighton be paid for the four years he was fired by the town under the guidelines of an inspector’s salary, not chief.
Clarke wouldn’t comment on the amount of money to be paid to Heighton, stating it is a personnel matter.
Heighton was fired in 2008 after he was accused of writing and distributing an anonymous letter implicating several RCMP officers in sex parties, drug use and other embarrassing or unprofessional conduct.
Heighton appealed the town’s decision to fire him and the matter went before the Police Review Board. They determined Heighton had penned the letter and by doing so had engaged in discreditable conduct. On April 13, 2012, they ruled however that Heighton shouldn’t have been fired and said instead he should be reinstated at one rank lower than chief.
The town took the matter to Pictou Supreme Court where it argued against that decision saying the Police Act does not expressly give the board the authorization to demote the chief officer. However, Justice Nick Scaravelli said the Police Review Board was within its rights when it said that Heighton should be reinstated at one rank lower than chief.
The final piece of the puzzle was to determine what payment would be given to Heighton and this agreement reached by mediation puts an end to the issue.