Smiley face
Weather     Live Markets

Calgary Police Chief Mark Neufeld has filed a lawsuit against the service’s former director of human resources, Angela Whitney, alleging that her social media comments threaten confidential information about the police service. Whitney raised allegations of bullying and harassment within the Calgary Police Service (CPS) on social media, describing a culture that she claims is rife with harassment, bullying, and discrimination. According to the lawsuit, Neufeld claims that Whitney’s comments have caused irreparable harm to CPS by disclosing confidential information about employees involved in HR processes.

Neufeld is seeking a permanent injunction to prevent Whitney from making any further inappropriate posts or interviews related to the matter and wants her to pay for the legal costs of the civil action. The lawsuit cites social media posts from Whitney’s account, including an open letter to Calgarians with her allegations and comments made in a Global News interview. Whitney had resigned from CPS in 2021 following a medical leave of absence, and the lawsuit argues that she had signed a memorandum of agreement containing confidentiality and non-disparagement clauses due to the sensitive nature of the information she had access to during her time at the service.

The Calgary Police Service stated that the lawsuit is not intended to prevent Whitney from sharing her concerns, experiences, or perceptions of CPS with the Calgary Police Commission. CPS welcomes the ongoing oversight of the commission and is working collaboratively to advance HR reform within the police service. The lawsuit is aimed at preventing a former human resources director from sharing details of confidential HR processes and private information of employees in a public realm to protect the confidentiality and privacy of those involved and to ensure others can raise concerns safely without having their information shared publicly.

Whitney plans to speak to the Calgary Police Commission to bring attention to systemic cultural problems within CPS and to demand accountability and request a public review of the service. None of the claims in the lawsuit have been tested in court, and a statement of defense has not been filed. Professor Doug King from Mount Royal University in Calgary emphasized the importance of transparency in the case, stating that Chief Neufeld inherited workplace culture and sexual harassment issues when he became chief and has been working to address them. King highlighted that ongoing efforts to rectify these issues may be called into question by Whitney’s allegations.

A hearing related to the lawsuit is scheduled for Thursday, with the Calgary Police Commission meeting on Wednesday declining to comment at this time out of respect for the court process. The lawsuit reflects a larger issue within CPS regarding workplace culture challenges and efforts to address systemic issues within policing culture. Neufeld’s reputation is at risk, and he seeks to defend it by taking legal action against Whitney’s allegations. The case will likely raise questions about the transparency and accountability of CPS, as well as the need for ongoing efforts to address workplace culture challenges within the police service.

© 2024 Globe Echo. All Rights Reserved.