- Police whistleblower sues state government over 'intimidation, bullying'
- By Chris Vedelago
- Contributed by: Rambo ( 29 articles in 2014 )
A police whistleblower is suing the state government over allegations he was intimidated and bullied for nearly a year after reporting instances of corruption, fraud and misconduct inside Victoria Police.
The former officer, who now suffers from severe post-traumatic stress disorder and depression, claims the harassment worsened after the force's internal Ethical Standards Department tipped off his fellow officers that they were under investigation.
The alleged misconduct took place in the police's mounted branch at the Attwood training facility in the city's outer northern suburbs. The original allegations of corruption and fraud that sparked the abuse were not detailed in the statement of claim filed in the Supreme Court of Victoria.
But mounted officer Justin Michael Boyer says the ESD failed to investigate his claims, ensure confidentiality, or adequately protect him from fellow officers when it became known he was providing information to investigators.
"[The State of Victoria and Victoria Police] fail[ed] to ensure that officers of the Ethical Standards Department protected [Boyer] when he was required to provide detail in respect of the misconduct of the Mounted Police Force," the claims says.
As a result, Officer Boyer was subjected to a nine-month campaign of "harassment, discrimination, vilification, intimidation and bullying".
The ESD was also accused of failing to investigate "adequately or at all" Boyer's complaints about the harassment campaign.
Alleging the negligence of the department had caused "severe injury", Boyer says has been unable to work since 2010 and suffers from severe psychiatric disturbance and post traumatic stress disorder, chronic depression, anxiety, nightmares, flashbacks and severe agitation.
"[Boyer] continues to remain incapacitated for employment ... [and] is permanently precluded from resuming any employment with the [police] or any other employment whereby he would be exposed to any stress or employment in any public domain," the claim said.
The lawsuit is seeking unspecified damages for pain and suffering and approximately $250,000 in lost income plus superannuation.
Lawyers for Mr Boyer, Slater & Gordon, declined to comment. Victoria Police also declined to comment as the matter was now before the court.