Police have been ordered to release details on disciplinary
action taken after an officer was allegedly involved in a
punch-up six years ago.
The Otago Daily Times understands an off-duty senior
officer allegedly assaulted a female officer and then
seriously assaulted a male officer following a police rugby
trip to Invercargill in 2008.
Sources confirmed the Dunedin-based officer faced internal
disciplinary proceedings and was demoted from the rank of
detective sergeant to constable.
A request to release details of the incident - including the
outcome of the disciplinary proceedings - was stonewalled by
police on the grounds it was a personal employment matter.
Police maintained it was not in the public interest to
release any information.
That response prompted the Otago Daily Times to take a
complaint to the Office of the Ombudsman on August 28, 2009.
The almost five-year appeal ended this month when the
Ombudsman ruled police must issue a summary: ''That [the
summary] confirms the steps taken to ensure that concerns
about an officer's conduct were thoroughly investigated and
that any appropriate disciplinary action was taken,'' the
final opinion noted.
Police Commissioner Mike Bush had also been contacted by the
Ombudsman's Office, which recommended ''police now write to
the Otago Daily Times making available the agreed
Police now have 21 days from the receipt of the letter to
A police spokesman confirmed the organisation would ''comply
with the ... recommendation''.
While police were not in a position to answer specific
questions about their handling of the matter, the spokesman
confirmed ''the individual is still working as a police