Rebecca Quilliam

Rebecca Quilliam is senior reporter at the APNZ News Service office in Wellington.

Ex-cop accuses senior officers of dishonesty

File photo / NZ Herald
File photo / NZ Herald

A former Bay of Plenty police officer who has accused senior officers of conspiracy, corruption and dishonesty, has had his employment grievance escalated to the Employment Court.

Senior Constable Sean Ramkissoon said in 2009 he was unfairly demoted from a sergeant's rank while he was working in Opotiki.

He said the review was initiated by the human resources department who did not have the jurisdiction to do that.

Following his grievance, Mr Ramkissoon became unwell with a stress-related illness and was placed on special duties under a rehabilitation plan.

He said the Area Commander and other senior officers wrongly asserted he was not genuinely ill, pressured him to return to work, and unjustifiably required him to return to fulltime duties knowing he was not fit for those duties.

He said as a result of those actions, he suffered further stress and emotional harm.

In June last year, Mr Ramkissoon was "medically disengaged" from his employment, the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) said.

Mr Ramkissoon, who is now living overseas, wants to be reinstated in the police force.

Police Commissioner Peter Marshall applied to the authority to have the case moved to the Employment Court.

The authority said Mr Ramkissoon had made "serious allegations" against senior police officers and has indicated he intends to stand by those claims.

"They comprise allegations of conspiracy, corruption, dishonesty, collusion, oppression and harassment."

Mr Marshall told the ERA the case should be moved to the Employment Court because serious allegations had been made and it was in the public interest they be determined by the court.

But Mr Ramkissoon's lawyer said the application had been made late and Mr Ramkissoon had already made arrangements to travel to New Zealand for an ERA hearing, which was due to start on October 1.

However the ERA has moved the case to the Employment Court, with a date yet to be set.

Authority member Rosemary Monaghan said she had some sympathy with this argument and there had already been a considerable delay in the case that she was reluctant to add to.

However, some of those delays had been as a result of Mr Ramkissoon changing his counsel.

Ms Monaghan said the issues concerned the role of the human resources department jurisdiction and the use of the police's review procedure.

- APNZ

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