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Cottenoir and Treasury Board (Solicitor General Canada – Correctional Service)
Before: M. Korngold Wexler
Appearances: G. Nadeau, for the Grievor; R. Piché, for the Employer
Decision rendered: October 22, 1997
Termination (disciplinary) – Breach of security – Breach of trust – Credibility – Prison guard – the grievor's employment was terminated for endangering the safety of the penitentiary while recovering a firearm from an inmate and for abusing the trust of the inmate's spouse – the grievor, knowing that the inmate was in possession of the firearm, left him alone without first placing him in solitary and without informing his fellow workers – the grievor also spent an evening with the inmate's spouse – the grievor denied these two incidents – the employer argued that the grievor had breached its code of discipline and that its trust in the grievor had been irreparably affected – the employer added that reinstatement was impossible and would even be dangerous for the grievor's safety, since he might face reprisals by the inmates, who would not accept that the grievor had spent an evening with another inmate's spouse – faced with ambiguous and contradictory testimony, the adjudicator found that the grievor's testimony was disingenuous and preferred that given by the employer's witnesses – the adjudicator found that the grievor's conduct showed a very serious lack of judgment and breached the trust essential to his relationship with his employer – the adjudicator concluded that the dismissal was justified.