Alfie Lau (Burnaby Now) – The RCMP’s top cop in B.C. offered up his thoughts about the suspension of Burnaby RCMP Const. Susan Gastaldo, who faced dismissal after having a sexual relationship with her boss, Staff Sgt. Travis Pearson, in the spring of 2009.
Pearson had previously been suspended and had his pay docked for 10 days.
Last week, Gastaldo received a seven-day suspension, a reprimand and the three-member adjudication board also recommended that she continue to undergo counselling and that she be considered for a medical discharge.
Gastaldo worked for Pearson in the “Special O” surveillance unit in the Lower Mainland.
The RCMP adjudication board sat for five weeks and was comprised of three high-ranking officers, with two of them law school graduates.
Supt. John Reid was on the adjudication board and in his oral reasons for the judgment, ruled that Gastaldo and Pearson had a consensual affair, Gastaldo had lost credibility as a police officer and had levelled a false accusation against Pearson.
Asst. Comm. Craig Callens, commanding officer of the B.C. RCMP issued a statement on Feb. 23 on the Gastaldo case.
“I was not present to hear directly from the adjudication board today, but I believe it is necessary to provide a statement about the decision involving Const. Susan Gastaldo given the ongoing media interest in this case.
“The board sanctioned Const. Gastaldo to a forfeiture of seven days pay, a reprimand and recommended continued counseling. They also recommended that I consider a medical discharge for Const. Gastaldo as defined by the RCMP Act and Regulations.
“Const. Gastaldo has the option to appeal today’s decision within 14 days.
“My responsibility as commanding officer is to review the board’s written decision, and to consider what additional steps may be appropriate in this case.”
The board’s recommendations are not binding and Gastaldo’s lawyer, Larry McGonigal has indicated that Gastaldo will appeal the ruling to RCMP Comm. Bob Paulsen.