RCMP sergeant charged with theft

An RCMP sergeant involved in a high-profile investigation of the gang slaying of six people in Surrey, more than five years ago has been charged with theft, adding to a list of charges that already included breach of trust and obstruction of justice.

A charge of theft under $5,000 was sworn Wednesday and announced Thursday against Derek Brassington, related to an incident alleged to have taken place in Burnaby on March 30.

Shortly after the charge was announced, the RCMP issued a statement saying it had discharged the sergeant from the force, and Brassington was no longer a Mountie.

The statement said Brassington had "voluntarily submitted these documents."

Brassington, who had been on suspension from the force, said that was not the case.

"It hasn't happened, and I don't know if it will happen," he said when contacted by The Canadian Press and read part of the statement. "I have not resigned."

RCMP Chief Supt. Brian Cantera said Brassington was the subject of statutory and internal code-of-conduct investigations.

With his career with the RCMP over, Cantera said he would no longer face disciplinary action.

"While we have been clear that the RCMP was seeking his involuntary dismissal, the opportunity to discharge him from the organization this morning was one which eliminated further delays, costs and uncertainty," Cantera said in the statement, noting Brassington is still subject to "ongoing criminal matters."

Neil MacKenzie, a spokesman for the criminal justice branch, said he could provide no details about the March 30 off-duty incident that led to the theft charge, as the matter is now before the court.

"The charge has been sworn in provincial court in Vancouver and the first appearance is scheduled for May 7," MacKenzie said.

The charge was approved by special prosecutor Christopher Considine of Victoria, B.C., who was appointed in April to the case.

Brassington was one of several officers involved in the investigation of six killings at a high-rise apartment in Surrey in October 2007.

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