They don’t call ‘em the Mounted Police for nothing.
With the RCMP already under fire over allegations of sexual misconduct and gender discrimination involving 362 female employees from nine provinces, along come reports of more libidinous hijinks by RCMP supremo, Bob Paulson.
Readers of the gutter press will recall how Janet Merlo, a former RCMP constable in Nanaimo, has been leading the charge on a class action lawsuit, claiming RCMP misconduct by “multiple perpetrators” that was ignored by high command.
Another former Mountie, Catherine Galliford, for years the face of the B.C. RCMP on high profile cases like the Robert Pickton and Air India investigations, claims she faced constant sexual advances from several senior officers from the moment she graduated from the RCMP Academy in 1991.
“If I had a dime for every time one of my bosses asked me to sit on his knee, I’d be on a yacht in the Bahamas right now,” Galliford told CBC News.
Galliford launched her lawsuit against the RCMP in 2012. (She was back in the news last month when it was revealed that her son, Connor Campbell, had been charged with first degree murder, along with two other men, in slaying of Nicholas Hannon, 19, in February 2014.)
But I digress.
The PR nightmare over harassment allegations has landed in Paulson’s lap, but who better to deal with it than a career officer with vast experience in hanky spanky shenanigans?
After all, when it comes to drawing up new policies on workplace relationships, Bob can draw from personal expertise.
His first marriage in 1984 began in his workplace. Paulson and Frances Manktelow met while they were both with the Canadian Forces in B.C.
Sadly for Bob, his military training as a pilot didn’t go well. Indeed, according to the divorce affidavit Manktelow would later file, Bob “was asked not to renew his contract and was released,” by the military.
Their marriage began to unwind after Paulson met Erin O’Gorman in 2008, on a public service management course that, as luck would have it, took them to 15 different countries.
Paulson decamped from the matrimonial home the following year and shacked up with O’Gorman in Oct. 2010.
Before Paulson moved in, however, O’Gorman left her gig working on national security files in the PCO to take up a mid-level executive job at Transport Canada. Paulson continued to shinny up the career ladder, becoming commissioner in November 2011, the same month he began divorce proceedings from Manktelow.
The divorce took effect on June 17, 2012, and Paulson and O’Gorman were married two months later. In the event, Paulson suffered another PR mishap. He used eight on-duty Mounties as a ceremonial “honour guard.” After the gutter press raised a stink, Bob promised to reimburse the receiver general the $912 for the constables’ three-hour call.
But it seems Bob’s PR horror fest is far from over.
These days there are fresh rumours around HQ that the inveterate stickman is once again up to his old tricks, getting in a little swordplay with a secretary, whose name escapes me, in his office.
Musical ride, indeed!