THE Central region's top police officer, Assistant Commissioner Ann Lewis, could be leaving Rockhampton under a bullying and harassment cloud.
Announcing a reshuffle among police hierarchy, Queensland Police Service Acting Commissioner Ian Stewart yesterday announced Assistant Commissioner Lewis would move from the Central region to head Metro South region in November.
Police yesterday issued a statement that said an Ethical Standards Command investigation into allegations of bullying and harassment against Assistant Commissioner Lewis was nearing finalisation.
In June The Morning Bulletin reported the police union was calling on Commissioner Bob Atkinson to finalise the then 10-month-old investigation.
At the time police sources said they feared a cover-up - a point denied by Commissioner Atkinson.
Yesterday, sources said they still felt the matter had been unnecessarily delayed.
A police statement said: “The scope and nature of the complaint are such that there is no impediment to Assistant Commissioner Lewis being assigned a new role.
“The reassignment will have no impact on the course or outcome of the investigation.”
Asked if Assistant Commissioner Lewis had a choice about the move, police said:
“Assistant Commissioner Lewis has been in the Central region for more than two years, and has done a fine job.
“The police service believes it is healthy to reassign senior staff from time to time.
“Each assistant commissioner has certain strengths they take to their new roles, and these assignments have been made after careful consideration as to how they will fit with the position.
“This includes consulting with the assistant commissioners.
“Assistant Commissioner Lewis is looking forward to the move back to Brisbane to be closer to her family and friends.”
A spokesman for the Queensland Police Union yesterday declined to comment about the restructure.
Assistant Commissioner Lewis has been in Central region since February 2007.
Under her command the latest figures for the 2007/08 year showed a 22% drop in robberies, a 13% reduction in the break-in rate and a 31% fall in sexual offences compared to the previous year.
Assistant Commissioner Lewis joined the police service in 1975 and was awarded an Australian Police Medal in 1995.
During her career she has worked in various areas including the Brisbane Drug Squad, Child Abuse Unit, Traffic Branch and Human Resources.
Assistant Commissioner Lewis was on leave yesterday and could not comment.
Her replacement will be Assistant Commissioner Alan Davey who will come to Rockhampton after heading Operations Support Command.
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