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A police officer is facing charges after he allegedly drove police cars while his licence was suspended.

Scott Shane Ash, a 12-year member of the force, has been charged with six counts of operating a conveyance while prohibited, the Regina Police Service said Thursday. He has been relieved from duty with pay for 30 days.

It’s alleged Constable Ash, 38, drove police vehicles at least six times last summer when he shouldn’t have been.

Police Chief Evan Bray said the service was unaware the officer’s licence had been suspended last July for unpaid fines in relation to an impaired driving conviction. In October, 2019, Constable Ash pleaded guilty and was fined $3,900 and banned from driving for one year.

Chief Bray said police also learned that as part of the sentence Constable Ash was only allowed to operate a vehicle with an ignition interlock device.

“The fact that we’re standing here today and have charged an officer with six counts of prohibited driving, to me shows there’s serious consequences to actions like that,” Chief Bray said at a news conference.

“This is definitely a one-off. It’s one that I’m not proud of as police chief, and it’s something we’re going to have to work through. It’s not indicative of our organization.”

The service said it became aware of the officer’s driving record last August, when one of its police cars scanned a parked personal vehicle and found the driver was suspended.

Chief Bray said it’s alleged Constable Ash drove to work and drove while at work.

Court records show the officer paid his fines for impaired driving later in August.

“At that time we didn’t know where [the investigation] would lead us to, but he would have spoken to the investigators involved from our professional standards unit about the importance of paying those fines,” Chief Bray said.

Records also show Constable Ash was sentenced for impaired driving in 2003, before he was a police officer. He was pardoned for that offence, but in 2020 the pardon was revoked. No reason was given.

When asked about that conviction, Chief Bray said he was unaware of it and disappointed.

“We have to be able to rely on our members to be upfront, honest and open with us.”

The service has a policy that requires officers who become part of a criminal or civil action to disclose it to a supervisor.

Chief Bray said it’s possible Constable Ash will be dismissed from the force. The service is waiting until the latest charges are resolved before making a decision.

“At this point, it’s too early to say that’s absolutely where it’s going, but it’s absolutely on the table,” Chief Bray said.

He said Constable Ash also has a history of being disciplined within the police service owing to conduct-related issues.

Constable Ash is to make his first appearance in provincial court on March 24.

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