New Brunswick. Commission to Investigate Charges Against W. Walker Clark, Chief of Police, Saint John.

Abstract: Report of the Commission to Investigate Charges Against W. Walker Clarke, Chief of Police, Saint John, 1903

In May 1903, Lemuel J. Tweedie was charged with an examination into charges of drunkenness of Saint John Chief of Police, William Walker Clarke. Clarke had the dubious honour of being the person most frequently investigated by Commissions of Enquiry in the history of New Brunswick. He was also investigated in 1901 and 1914.

Notwithstanding the regularity of having been investigated, the charges in this instance did not stand up to the scrutiny of the investigation. It turned out that the complainant, John McKelvie, who had originally brought the charges of drunkenness to the attention of provincial officials, had a personal vendetta against Clarke owing to previous ill-treatment by the Chief of Police. Ultimately, Tweedie found that Clarke was "a most capable Official, painstaking and assiduous in the performance of all his duties."

Interestingly, Tweedie stated that it was clear that Clarke had been intoxicated on two separate occasions just prior to the Commission's investigation. Tweedie was Provincial Secretary at the time of the inquiry and, in stark contrast to the way in which public officials would respond today, the report stated that even though Clarke was intoxicated he was still "quite capable of attending to business and performed his duties satisfactorily."


Lemuel J. Tweedie.

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