Former Kelowna cop’s discipline records could come out in court

April 08, 2020


The RCMP disciplinary records, in-house complaints and transfer requests of a former Kelowna RCMP officer facing multiple civil suits and criminal charges could come out in court.

Brian Burkett was charged with seven counts of breach of trust last summer, for incidents dating back to 2015, while he was an active member of the Kelowna RCMP. The Crown alleges Burkett pursued sexual relationships with multiple people in connection with his duties as an officer.

Burkett quit the RCMP in August 2017, after he had been suspended with pay in light of the allegations.

Since the criminal charges were laid, three women have filed civil suits against Burkett, alleging he sexually harassed them during the course of his duties, and demanded sexually explicit photos. One of the civil claims dates back to 2012, while Burkett was an officer in Duncan.

On June 1, an application will be made in Kelowna court by one of the civil plaintiffs, seeking the disclosure of Burkett’s human resource file, training documents, complaints, disciplinary hearings and transfer requests from his time with the RCMP.

In the notice of application, lawyer Michael Patterson says Burkett’s actions as a police officer are “relevant to the pleadings,” alleging the RCMP “failed to properly supervise, monitor and train Burkett in the handling of vulnerable members of the public.”

B.C.’s Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, Mike Farnworth, is also named as a defendant in the civil suits against Burkett, as he’s responsible for the actions of the RCMP.

The current COVID-19 pandemic could impact when the application is actually heard in court.

Last month, Burkett elected to be tried on his criminal charges by a judge in BC Supreme Court. A trial date has yet to be set.