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Police officers suspended for two years back on the beat

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Sergeant Mark Monk, far left, in November 2019 with Wayne Caines, then the Minister of National Security, and then Commissioner of Police Stephen Corbishley. Also pictured are Inspector Derek Berry, Inspector Alex Rollin and Sergeant Krishna Singh (Photograph supplied)

Two police officers suspended from duty over allegations of misconduct have been reinstated.

Pc Robert Butterfield and Sergeant Mark Monk have been off work on full pay and facing disciplinary action since 2020.

But a Bermuda Police Service spokesman confirmed yesterday that both officers “have been reinstated to duty”.

The spokesman would not comment on whether the disciplinary charges against the men were upheld or dismissed.

Mr Monk was accused of misconduct by two officers in June 2020.

He told The Royal Gazette that one allegation involved a traffic stop when a suspect fell off a motorbike and the other involved an officer who claimed that he asked her inappropriate questions.

Mr Monk challenged an assessment of the complaints written by Superintendent Gillian Murray, a British officer hired by Stephen Corbishley, then the Commissioner of Police, to head the service’s professional standards department.

But after it was found that Ms Murray did not have the legal authority to act in disciplinary matters, Mr Monk hired a lawyer to have her assessment declared unlawful and asked the BPS to pay his legal fees.

Mr Corbishley refused.

Darrin Simons, at the time the Deputy Commissioner of Police, escalated Mr Monk’s case to gross misconduct.

Pc Robert Butterfield (File photograph)

Mr Monk asked Mr Butterfield to act as his “police friend” — a fellow officer who can give advice and representation — at any disciplinary proceedings.

Mr Monk and Mr Butterfield had their homes raided and electronic equipment seized in December 2020 as part of an inquiry into the leaking of a legal document about Mr Corbishley’s divorce.

Both men were suspended after being accused of circulating the leaked affidavit and they were investigated for “causing disaffection” among their colleagues.

The pair were told in July last year that they would not face any criminal charges but that disciplinary action was still pending.

Mr Butterfield made several complaints to Government House and Rena Lalgie, the Governor, appointed an independent investigator to examine Mr Corbishley’s conduct.

One of Mr Butterfield’s allegations was that the commissioner passed information gathered during the criminal inquiry to his personal lawyer to pursue a civil claim for damages against him and Mr Monk.

The inquiry resulted in a report being sent to Ms Lalgie but, after Mr Corbishley resigned last October, she said: " … no further investigation of the allegations made is legally permissible or appropriate“.

Mr Monk, who along with wife Tricia is suing the police over the seizure of their equipment, said last night that he and his spouse had gone through “literal hell”.

“We are hopeful that the Bermuda Police Service comes to its senses and decides to resolve the wrongs that occurred without having to go through a lengthy court battle,” he added.

Mr Butterfield, who is also pursuing legal action over the raid on his home, as well as his arrest and suspension, said: “I am happy that the commissioner’s office finally reinstated me to my full policing duties, as it has not been an easy road thus far.

“Like me, I am sure the commissioner’s office is eager to have the civil matter dealt with expeditiously and fairly to all involved.”

Referring to the announcement today that Mr Simons had been appointed the new Commissioner of Police, he added: “I am also grateful that the Governor put her trust in a Bermudian for the top police post and it is my hope that this trend continues for the foreseeable future.”

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