Janet Olson, a South Surrey woman facing 37 criminal charges relating to alleged ‘dog-rescue’ efforts, has launched a counterattack against Surrey Crown counsel and Surrey RCMP.
In a release sent to media Tuesday, Olson says two prosecutors and a police officer are under investigation for their conduct of her case.
Representatives for both the provincial Criminal Justice Branch and the RCMP would not comment in detail on Olson’s claims, although the Criminal Justice Branch noted the complaint against the prosecutors had been “reviewed” rather than investigated..
Olson was arrested in November 2011 in connection with the theft of a bulldog from a Coquitlam backyard. A Surrey woman arrested at the same time, Louise Reid, was sentenced last September after pleading guilty to stealing two dogs, including the bulldog. The charge against Olson – along with the dozens of other charges laid in the months following her arrest – has not been proven in court.
Olson alleges prosecutors were negligent in refusing to identify for her lawyer an informant whose evidence was key in building a case against her. She further claims the officer was responsible for a “slanderous” press release, which she says turned public opinion against her.
The negligence of the prosecutors, she said, resulted in her dogs’ lives being put at risk and led to her own assault last year at the hands of the informant, who she has identified as a family member.
Olson charges that both the RCMP and Crown have “violated” her civil rights, demonstrated “reckless disregard” for her safety and have been “negligent in their duty of care.”
RCMP Sgt. Rob Vermeulen confirmed Wednesday that Olson had made a complaint through the Commision for Public Complaints against the RCMP.
“That’s the process for anyone that wants to raise an issue,” he said by email to Peace Arch News.
“At this point, it wouldn’t be appropriate for us to comment further on the CPC process, as her complaint will have to be evaluated and investigated.”
Samantha Hulme, Crown counsel for the Criminal Justice Branch, also said the ongoing court process means it “would not be appropriate to comment further.”
Hulme added the case is subject to a publication ban.
A review of Olson’s complaint against the prosecutors found it was unsubstantiated, she noted.
Regarding the assault complaint, Crown counsel concluded there was insufficient evidence to offer a “substantial likelihood of conviction,” she said.