A senior local Mountie’s multi-year battle with the RCMP to defend his name may finally be over.
Insp. Suki Manj and his wife Cpl. Tammy Hollingsworth were both suspended on Sept. 18, 2017 based on allegations that they used their positions in the RCMP to find out intimate details about another officer involved in a domestic dispute while they were stationed in Lloydminster, Alta.
Hollingsworth was cleared of wrongdoing after an RCMP conduct hearing held in September 2018. She filed a lawsuit against the RCMP just over two weeks ago.
Manj, too, was cleared after one conduct hearing but the force had planned to proceed to another hearing based on further allegations. But just last week he found out the commanding officer of “E” division decided not to proceed.
“This is bitter sweet news for me,” Manj wrote on his Facebook page. “However, it now allows me to focus on the next stage of my career.”
Manj and Hollingsworth were both previously in the Fraser Valley, Manj in Hope for a period of time and Hollingsworth in Chilliwack. They took a transfer to Lloydminster in 2014. In late 2015 and into 2016, Manj was dealing with a civilian officer manager who was having a romantic relationship with another officer.
Questions were asked, and eventually the woman went on medical leave blaming Manj. The two were then accused of lying and using their authority to investigate the matter.
“My superiors never bothered to seek the truth and decided to systematically destroy our careers,” Manj said.
They were transferred back to the Fraser Valley in August 2016, both working until Sept. 18, 2017 when they were suspended with pay in advance of the conduct hearings.
In both conduct hearings, the conduct board found Manj and Hollingsworth to be credible witnesses while the behaviour and testimony of others was questionable.
Both say the experience has been terrible.
“We were subject of dozens of malicious rumours that were very hateful and just hurtful,” Manj wrote. “We were alienated by most of our co-workers and by our senior officers. We understood that some co-workers wouldn’t know what to say to us and avoided us to stay out of whatever was going on. For months we stayed cooped up in our home, humiliated and afraid to show our faces in the community we love.”
Now that he Manj and Hollingsworth have been cleared of the allegations, both want to return to work for the RCMP. Hollingsworth is already back. Yet Manj said he will fight for changes in senior management to help restore public confidence. He suspects this might garner more punitive action against him, but said it’s what he has to do.
“I do not want this story to be another black mark for the RCMP. I want it to be an example to show how the organization has been infiltrated by officers who have attained positions in which they lack the knowledge, skills and abilities to carry out the duties vested in them. It appears they may have lost sight of what is right and ethical and rather, they make decisions based on what is right for their next career move.”