Disappointed but not surprised

Janine Bechard

Bechard will go to court to have ex’s sentence reviewed, wants laws on police oversight changed

Heather Wright/The Independent

Janine Bechard isn’t surprised an independent review board won’t reverse the sentence of her police officer ex husband.

The Corunna woman launched an appeal of Darcy Lunn’s case, a Chatham-Kent police officer, to the Office of the Independent Police Review Director after the constable plead guilty to discreditable conduct and was demoted.

Lunn is back on the job today despite admitting to 10 years of domestic abuse and a criminal conviction of assault and uttering threats against Bechard and her young son.

But the independent police review declined her request to look at Lunn’s return to work saying it was out of their jurisdiction.

“The only means of appeal for this decision is a judicial review in the Superior Court of Justice,” said a review officer in a letter sent to Bechard Tuesday, adding “it would be an abuse of process for the OIPRD to reinvestigate the same incident.”

Bechard is not giving up, saying she’ll hire a lawyer to go to Superior Court.
“If I just let it go, I’m accepting it, and I’m not in that position right now,” she says. “I want something to happen, I want somebody to hear it and to help make a change so that we can change our laws and make sure that officers are held accountable,” Bechard tells The Independent.

Bechard says the provincial government dumped legislation from the former Liberal government which would have made police oversight stronger and would have led to tighter sentencing for police who offend and “neglected to see the need to make some changes.” She hopes this case could be a catalyst for change.

Meantime, Bechard’s complaints about how the Chatham-Kent Police Service handled Lunn’s police act hearing and the lack of victims services it provided to her family will be examined by OIPRD.

However, she says, the process again leaves police policing police. Her complaints will be sent to the Chatham-Kent Police Chief, who will explain what he will or will not do to address her concerns.

The chief has 60 days to do that.