Parole official rubs staffers the wrong way

Canadian parliament buildings in Ottawa. (QMI Agency)

Canadian parliament buildings in Ottawa. (QMI Agency)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 2:54 PM ET

OTTAWA — The public integrity watchdog says a senior official at the Parole Board of Canada leaked sensitive information, broke conflict codes, gave massages to female staff and bad-mouthed colleagues.

Frederick Tufnell is still employed at the board's Kingston offices after being demoted last fall as vice-chairperson of the Ontario/Nunavut region.

In a report tabled in the House of Commons on Thursday, Public Sector Integrity Commissioner Mario Dion recommended Tufnell be subjected to a judicial inquiry to determine whether further disciplinary action is warranted.

Dion noted the Tufnell case is the first his office has investigated that was not triggered by a whistleblower. It was launched during the course of another probe.

The report concluded the Conservative appointee interfered in a decision related to a case that he had originally recused himself from because the offender was someone he had dealings with when he was a York Region cop.

Tufnell used his clout to overturn the decision, the report said.

Other findings showed Tufnell, whom witnesses said was intimidating, breached the code of conduct with co-workers.

"Such actions include putting his hands on their knees while talking to them ... running his hands on their backs, arms, nape of the neck and hair, and making flirtatious and offensive jokes in the workplace," said the report.

Tufnell justified the massages by claiming those on the receiving end were experiencing discomfort and that he gave the "best" rub downs.

Tufnell was also cited for giving restricted information about offenders to the Ontario Provincial Police.


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