Defense Minister Harjit Sajjan has separated from an Army reservist who was suspended from the Vancouver Police Department for having an inappropriate relationship with a subordinate.
Major Greg McCullough has been hired at Brigade Headquarters in British Columbia as a Special Ministerial Liaison. He was laid off Thursday and returned to his unit for a new assignment.
“As of June 24, 2021, Major McCullough is no longer employed as military assistant to the Minister of National Defense,” Dan Le Bouthillier, head of media relations at the Department of National Defense, said in a brief statement to media.
âHe is currently employed by the Army Reserve in Vancouver for other duties.
A spokesperson for the minister told The Canadian Press earlier this week that neither Sajjan nor his staff were aware of the complaint against McCullough or the disciplinary action taken against him while he was a sergeant in the Vancouver Police Department. .
McCullough was hired in the minister’s office in July 2020.
Sajjan and McCullough share a story. Prior to entering politics, Sajjan commanded the Army Reserve Unit in which McCullough served – the British Columbia Regiment (Duke of Connaught’s Own). They were also both members of the Vancouver Police Department.
Asked about the relationship between the two, Sajjan spokesman Daniel Minden said, “The minister did not work with Major McCullough of the Vancouver Police Department. They had met while they were away. reservists in the British Columbia Regiment “.
Until Thursday, Sajjan had six military assistants, all of whom worked closely with the minister’s office to provide a wide variety of support.
Conservatives say they are not giving up
McCullough had been tasked as a liaison officer and flagman to help establish secure communications whenever the minister was in the area.
Opposition Tories – who first asked questions about McCullough on Wednesday, the last day of the House of Commons spring session – have vowed not to let go, despite the sacking.
âOnce again, Minister Sajjan is showing Canadians that he only acts when he is caught doing the wrong thing,â said Conservative defense critic James Bezan.
âNot only has Minister Sajjan turned a blind eye to the allegations of sexual misconduct against General Vance, but he has also done so in his own office. There are still a number of questions regarding the hiring of Major McCullough. “
According to the Department of Defense, McCullough was one of two candidates who applied for the liaison post and was considered the most qualified.
It has been widely reported in Vancouver in recent years that McCullough was given a 15-day suspension from the police department after an external investigation found he had not disclosed a relationship with the policeman. Nicole Chan.
British Columbia’s Office of the Police Complaints Commissioner did not name McCullough in its 2018-2019 annual report, but requested a five-day suspension for a police officer who was involved in a personal relationship and intimate with a policeman. who was under his direct supervision and that the relationship was not disclosed to his supervisor.
The OPCC report also noted that the same policeman had formed a relationship with another policeman knowing that this policeman was in a vulnerable state; the watchdog recommended a 10-day suspension, to be served simultaneously.
The commissioner noted that the police officer had cooperated with the investigation and had sought professional help.
According to local media, McCullough retired from the police force in 2018.
Chan also had a relationship with another senior officer who was later fired from the Vancouver Police Department. She committed suicide in January 2019.