Lawsuits bring more questions about Osoyoos RCMP

couple claim they “fled” Osoyoos because of improper conduct of RCMP and actions of residents that have lead them to file a civil lawsuit.

A couple claim they “fled” Osoyoos because of the improper conduct of RCMP and actions of residents that have lead them to file a civil lawsuit.

“It involves conspiracy, the stalking of a minor, an incident of phone tapping,” said Sharon Laybourne. “We desperately fled that town and had to sell our house at a bargain basement price. We fled Osoyoos and I think that is what happened to some others.”

Sharon and her husband, Roy, said they felt compelled to come forward after seeing stories in the Penticton Western News about other Osoyoos residents alleging unfair treatment from RCMP in the area.

“A lawyer we talked to said this is a mushroom cloud in the area,” said Sharon.

In recent weeks, RCMP have been under scrutiny from members of the public. Former Osoyoos resident Stephen Condon said he also left Osoyoos because of what he alleges was unjust treatment from RCMP after he was fingered in a car theft, that belonged to Const. Amit Goyal. That officer is currently suspended with pay.

In court, lawyer Don Skogstad said he will be calling on evidence from Fiona Munro to assist in a case against his client Chester Bryant who claims his arresting officer in Osoyoos used unnecessary force.

Skogstad told the court in October that Munro would be called based on “similar fact” evidence in that she claims to also have received injuries after receiving rough treatment from the same RCMP officer in Osoyoos.

Married RCMP officers, Jason and Sasha MacLean, filed a civil lawsuit in September 2010 against the attorney general of Canada, minister of public safety and officers Kurt Lozinski, Kevin Schur and Michael Field, who all were in supervisory positions. They claim those officers “adopted a manner of dealing with the plaintiffs which was harassing and intended to be so, and/or was intimidating.”

The MacLeans claim the defendants used intimidation to influence them to work when Sasha was ill while pregnant and later when both of the MacLean’s were injured. In a meeting with one of the supervisors, Sasha alleges she was told the couple were no longer welcome at the detachment and they should make efforts to leave.

The MacLeans allege they were directed by supervisors to do things contrary to policies when coming back to work which they allege lead to confrontations with the defendants and unfounded investigations upon them that now affect their career paths.

The defendants’ response to civil claim states they were acting on their duties and that Jason was insubordinate and acted in an aggressive manner regarding a meeting with Sasha that resulted in his superior officer asking for the MacLeans to relinquish their firearms and detachment keys. Their statement claims a 2008 complaint by the plaintiffs on workplace policy did not support a finding of harassment by RCMP E division.

The Laybournes filed an 80-page document in Supreme Court in January of 2012 against the attorney general of B.C., minister of public safety and solicitor general, a number of Osoyoos RCMP officers including Lozinski, the Town of Osoyoos, Good Shepherd Christian School, David Stuart Hillson and others. Their lawyer, Diego Solimano, said they are still in the document discovery phase in the proceedings.

The Laybournes believe their alleged mist-treatment by RCMP stems from complaints they made to the Town of Osoyoos against Good Shepherd School breaking bylaws. The couple lived across the street from the school and when the town did nothing about it they raised their concerns with the school who then turned around and published the complaints in a newsletter circulated to parents and students.

The Laybournes claim patrons of the school then terrorized them by creating blockades in front of their driveway, shouting religious slurs towards them and caused property damage. Sharon said it escalated in particular with one maintenance worker at the school, David Hillson, who they claim videotaped their home for hours, made rude gestures, stalked them around town and made false accusations to RCMP about them.

On the advice of the RCMP, Sharon said they documented the incidents using surveillance cameras at their home and began reporting them to Mounties. She claims that on Jan. 20, 2010 she was called by Cpl. Ken Harrington to attend the detachment. The couple assumed it was to provide more information about Hillson.

Instead, they were arrested, charged with criminal harassment and let go on a promise to appear that was never signed by any officer.

The Laybournes claim RCMP issued a press release about the couple facing criminal harassment charges when they did not, and it also contained a number of factual errors and misleading statements.

Sharon said she was arrested for dangerous driving and put into a cell for over seven hours where she was belittled and treated unfair by RCMP. She was released after charged with driving with undue care and attention.

The Laybournes say harassment by RCMP and Hillson become so grievous that they felt “imprisoned in Osoyoos.” No longer feeling safe in their community, they fled.

David Hillson who was contacted by the Penticton Western News, claimed no knowledge of the civil lawsuit, then seconds later said he wished to provide no comment.

Just Posted

There was high voter turnout for the first of three advance voting days for the Penticton city by-election.
Penticton city by-election general voting day is today, June 19

737 voters on June 9 in comparison to 2018 general election, which had 1,001 on first day

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 Penticton-area men charged with Kamloops brothers’ double homicide

Brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May in Naramata

(File photo)
Penticton not holding Canada Day activities out of respect for Indigenous people

Cities across B.C. are cancelling the holiday after an increased spotlight on Canada’s dark history

Fruit farmers in the Okanagan and Creston valleys are in desperate need of cherry harvesters amid COVID-19 work shortages. (Photo: Unsplash/Abigail Miller)
‘Desperate’ need for workers at Okanagan cherry farms

Fruit farmers are worried they’ll have to abandon crops due to COVID-19 work shortages

JAK's Liquor Store in Penticton will be donating 10 per cent of its sales on Saturday, June 19, to the Penticton Salvation Army Food Bank. (Photo from JAKS.com)
Stock up your liquor cabinet and support the Penticton food bank

Jak’s beer and wine store is donating a portion of sales to local food banks Saturday

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

New research suggests wolves can be steered away from the endangered caribou herds they prey on by making the man-made trails they use to hunt harder to move along. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Culling cutlines, not B.C. wolves, key to preserving caribou herds: researcher

The government has turned to killing hundreds of wolves in an effort to keep caribou around

Gary Abbott (left) and Louis De Jaeger were two of the organizers for the 2014 Spirit of the People Powwow in Chilliwack. Monday, June 21, 2021 is Indigenous Peoples Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 20 to 26

Indigenous Peoples Day, Take Your Dog to Work Day, Onion Rings Day all coming up this week

Gwen Spencer Hethey with her uncle and mentor Major Frederick Richardson. (Courtesy of Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame)
‘She was a killer’: The B.C. woman who pioneered female sharpshooting

Gwen Spencer Hethey made military men ‘look like turkeys’ says her son

Rita Coolidge played the main stage at Vancouver Island Musicfest in 2017. (Black Press file photo)
This year’s Vancouver Island MusicFest to virtually showcase beauty of Comox Valley

Returning July 9 through 11 with more than 25 hours of music performances

British Columbia’s premier says he’s received a second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. (Twitter/John Horgan)
B.C. premier gets 2nd dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

John Horgan shared a photo of himself on social media Friday afternoon holding a completed vaccination card

A lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS
No winning ticket sold for Friday’s $70 million Lotto Max jackpot

The huge jackpot has remained unclaimed for several weeks now

Earls On Top at 211 Bernard Avenue in Kelowna. (Google Maps photo)
Downtown Kelowna’s Earls ordered closed after COVID-19 transmission

Earls on Top on Bernard Avenue will be closed from June 18 to June 27

Most Read