Quebec police investigated allegations against Brian Jones
Former police chief faces corruption charge
Brian Jones, the former chief of the Kativik Regional Police Force, has been charged with fraud and corruption after a complaint by the Kativik Regional Government.
Jones is alleged to have misused money seized by police during drug busts carried out in Nunavik during his tenure as police chief, according to information obtained by Nunatsiaq News.
The laying of the charge follows an investigation by the Quebec provincial police force, the Sûrété du Québec, into the complaint made by the KRG.
Lawyer Michael Solomon represented Jones in court in Kuujjuaq Feb. 2 to hear the charge. The next court appearance, which will determine how the case proceeds, is scheduled for April, also in Kuujjuaq.
The KRG regional council fired Jones in Sept., 2006, ending his 14 years of service with the KRPF.
Before he was fired in 2006, Jones told Nunatsiaq News that he regularly paid informants for information about drug and alcohol traffickers.
Jones has been charged under Sec. 122 of the Criminal Code of Canada, which says: "every official who, in connection with the duties of his office, commits fraud or a breach of trust is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years, whether or not the fraud or breach of trust would be an offence if it were committed in relation to a private person."
Conflict between Jones and the KRG escalated and became increasingly public, from early 2006 until he was fired, with the KRG voicing concern over the KRPF's budget overruns, its administrative problems and focus on fighting drug trafficking and bootlegging in the region.
In the spring of 2006, the KRG executive asked its police force to cut costs by stopping involvement in the anti-drug Aboriginal Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit, which is based out of Montreal, to focus more on community policing.
But the KRPF said cutting drug operations wasn't the way to save money or fight crime, because southern Quebec is the main pipeline for narcotics into Nunavik; possession of drugs and trafficking are crimes; and they are the biggest cause of social problems, unrest and poverty in the region.
The SQ arrived in Nunavik to maintain order after the firing of Jones and the revelation that few members of the KRPF had been properly sworn in. The SQ remained in Nunavik until early in 2007.
Jones is now a special investigator with the Cree police in Whapmagoostui.