Cpl. Tammy Hollingsworth and Insp. Sukhjit Manj were suspended from the RCMP in September 2017. Hollingsworth has filed a lawsuit against the RCMP for malicious prosecution after she was cleared of wrongdoing in a conduct hearing. (Manj family)

B.C. RCMP officer suing the force for malicious prosecution

Cpl. Tammy Hollingsworth cleared of wrongdoing after misconduct hearing

A Chilliwack RCMP officer is suing the police force for malicious prosecution after she was cleared of wrongdoing in a conduct hearing.

Cpl. Tammy Hollingsworth faced five allegations after a domestic violence incident involving another RCMP officer and his estranged spouse, a woman who was Hollingsworth’s friend.

Leading up to an alleged incident on July 20, 2016, Hollingsworth was accused of abusing her position and conspiring with members of the public and her husband, Inspector Sukhjit (Suki) Manj, to find out intimate details of the private life of the male officer accused of the domestic assault.

• RELATED: Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

• RELATED: Second $100M settlement reached in RCMP sexual harassment class action

“It was also alleged that Cpl. Hollingsworth failed to address the alleged victim’s genuine fear that her estranged husband, a member, would attend her residence following the incident,” according to the RCMP conduct hearing decision written by retired Mountie Kevin L. Harrison.

Following the hearing, which was held in September 2018, Harrison found none of the five allegations made against Hollingsworth were established.

Both Hollingsworth and Manj were stationed in Lloydminster, Saskatchewan from 2014 to July 2016, including at the time of the incident. It was after that when they were transferred back to B.C., where they are from, because of Manj’s handling of the relationship between a police services dog handler, and a civilian RCMP employee.

The woman denied the relationship, but the RCMP has since admitted it did happen.

Manj deemed the relationship to be inappropriate as he felt it violated RCMP workplace policy, but his bosses told him to drop it. After the matter was investigated, both Manj and Hollingsworth were suspended by the RCMP in September 2017 and conduct hearings were initiated.

The Progress reached out to Manj with an interview request earlier this week, but neither he nor Hollingsworth responded by Oct. 17 at noon.

In an interview with the CBC, Hollingsworth said she lived by the core values of the RCMP, so to be accused of lying was “mortifying.”

The incident and the weeks leading up to it involved the breakdown of friendships among various couples, including the dog handler and his former spouse, Hollingsworth’s close friend.

Hollingsworth was accused of trying to find out intimate details of the dog handler’s “friendship” with a female municipal employee who also worked at the Lloydminster detachment where Manj was the officer in charge.

In his decision, Harrison found Hollingsworth’s superior made a series of “quantum leaps” about the intentions of Hollingsworth’s behaviour. Harrison described how the rumoured relationship between the dog handler and the employee would have like emerged anyway because Lloydminster is not a large community, and matters of infidelity tend to get talked about in small towns.

“RCMP members are high-profile members of small communities,” Harrison wrote. “Therefore, they are often in the public gaze. So, any hint of infidelity involving an RCMP member in the community would be a rather juicy topic for rumours and gossip. Additionally, RCMP members themselves are notorious gossips.”

Assessing the credibility of those who testified at the hearing, both Hollingsworth and Manj were deemed to be credible, while the credibility of some others was questioned.

On a more serious accusation against Hollingsworth, that she failed to be diligent in protecting the alleged victim from the alleged domestic assault, Harrison found that she had no reason to think violence would occur given that the dog handler is a police officer, trained to defuse, not escalate, a volatile situation.

Hollingsworth filed her lawsuit on Oct. 11. The force has not yet responded.


@PeeJayAitch
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Snow expected to hit West Kootenay passes overnight on Thursday

Up to 15 cm of snow could fall on Highway 3 between Paulson summit to Kootenay Pass by Friday morning

Former Grand Forks fire chief suing city for wrongful dismissal

Dale Heriot was fired in July 2019 after his department was investigated for safety, bullying issues

Regional District of Kootenay Boundary seeks online feedback on transit, housing

Surveys on the RDKB’s website are asking for input to help plan for the future

School District 51 staff iron out plan for return to classrooms

Teachers are looking for a comprehensive health and safety plan to be in place before June 1

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

B.C. premier says lessons to learn from past racism during response to pandemic

B.C. formally apologized in the legislature chamber in 2008 for its role in the Komagata Maru tragedy

Snowbirds to remain at Kamloops Airport indefinitely after fatal crash

small contingent of the Snowbirds team is staying in Kamloops, acting as stewards of the jets

Oak Bay man stumbles upon eagle hunting seal, grabs camera just in time

The eagle did ‘a perfect butterfly stroke to shore’ with its prey, photographer says

Most Read