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Tribunal into former chief's dismissal to be open to public

The public will have an opportunity to learn why Stellarton’s formerpolice chief was unceremoniously dumped from his post after 36 years ofservice.

The public will have an opportunity to learn why Stellarton’s former police chief was unceremoniously dumped from his post after 36 years of service.

A Nova Scotia Police Review Board tribunal regarding Amby Heighton’s dismissal will be made public, the board determined Wednesday.

The decision quashes an application for a closed hearing made by several members of the RCMP, including Ross Landry the former Pictou County district commanding officer who now serves as Nova Scotia's Minister of Justice.

The tribunal, which is expected to last two weeks, begins Monday.

The decision to allow the public and media into the hearings is a positive development, especially for the taxpayers of Stellarton, said Dave Glenen, managing editor of The New Glasgow News.

“When a police chief is fired, the public should have a right to know why,” Glenen said. “The citizens of Stellarton deserve to know that their representatives are acting in their best interest.”

Legal representation from the New Glasgow News as well as the CBC argued against closing the tribunal to the public.

The events which led to Heighton’s dismissal haven’t been made public. In November 2007, six complaints were filed against the former chief and the Town of Stellarton fired him in October 2008.

Immediately following Heighton’s dismissal. the town, on the advice of its solicitor Hector MacIsaac, had opted to decline public comment due to concern over civil liability. The town has since changed its position.

Attempts to reach Landry Wednesday afternoon were not successful, however he withdrew his request for a publication ban on documents he authored, which may be heard during the tribunal, as well as his involvement in the hearing.

 
 
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