November 1, 2012
Cop who flirted with accused could face discipline: Chief
By Heather Wright, QMI Agency
SARNIA, Ont. -- The police officer who sent a flirty text to a woman he’d arrested for impaired driving is under investigation by the professional standards officer, Sarnia's top cop said.
Marlee Viggers, 21, of Sarnia, was recently found guilty of impaired driving in Sarnia court.
She’d been charged by Const. Robert Sparling on March 6, 2011, after losing control of a pickup on snowy city roads.
Court heard her blood-alcohol levels were more than double the legal limit.
A few weeks later, Sparling, an eight-year veteran of the force, was in the same bar as Viggers and sent her a text message which read: “If you buy me a beer, I’ll forget everything at trial.”
She returned the message, saying, “I wish it worked that way.”
Sparling told court he was joking.
Viggers was found guilty despite the comment from Sparling, which the judge called “utter stupidity.”
Police chief Phil Nelson said Sparling was already under investigation by the professional standards officer before the trial began.
“It was just a matter of waiting to see what the outcome of the case would be and to see what impact (the text) would have on the case,” he said.
Nelson said a transcript of the trial will be obtained before any decision is made on disciplinary action, adding Sparling's off-duty actions are disappointing.
“It’s not exactly something we like to hear about,” he told QMI Ageny. “Like the judge said, it had no bearing on the case itself, but it was a stupid thing to do.”
- with files from QMI Agency