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Investigations chief of police watchdog to leave position in early June

Stephanie Ip

The Independent Investigations Office is located on the 12th Floor at 13450 102nd Avenue in Surrey. (Ric Ernst/Postmedia Network)

The Independent Investigations Office is located on the 12th Floor at 13450 102nd Avenue in Surrey. (Ric Ernst/Postmedia Network)

The chief of an agency in charge of investigating B.C. police conduct will be leaving his post early next month.

John Larkin, chief of the investigations unit at the Independent Investigations Office of B.C., will be leaving the organization on June 9.

No reason has been given for his departure other than Larkin is "concluding his career," said spokesman Marten Youssef.

Youssef would not comment on queries about whether Larkin was leaving because his contract had ended or if there were other reasons, but a 2015 interview in the Victoria Times Colonist with a number of former IIOBC employees cited a concerns within the agency both before and after Larkin's hiring.

There were allegations of increased harassment and bullying after Larkin was hired to his current post in April 2014, and concerns were raised about allegations of discrimination against female officers during Larkin's time serving as a superintendent with the West Midlands Police in Coventry, England.

In 2004, the Coventry Telegraph reported on a female officer who won a sex discrimination hearing against the West Midlands force, alleging that Larkin had chosen to "aggressively" inform her about a role change in the middle of an open office.

When the woman explained that the role and shift change would raise issues with child care, Larkin told her, "It's not West Midlands Police's job to sort your life out."

At the time, Larkin was also embroiled in four other tribunals and an internal investigation, all related to allegations of discrimination and workplace conduct.

Gayle Hogan, deputy chief of investigations, will step into Larkin's role. Hogan joined the IIOBC in 2015 and will now be responsible for all day-to-day operations of the investigations department.

"Between now and June 9, John will work with Gayle to facilitate a successful handover. We have full confidence Gayle will excel in the position," Youssef said in an emailed statement.

Before Hogan joining the IIO, she had policed with the Queensland Police Service in Australia and had served as assistant commissioner, state crime command, and detective chief superintendent over 39 years.

The IIOBC investigates police conduct and police-related fatalities.

sip@postmedia.com

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