VICTORIA -- VICTORIA – A Victoria police officer has been suspended for 20 days without pay after a disciplinary review found he repeatedly lied about attending a conference in 2018.

Const. Marty Steen was found to have committed deceit, which the disciplinary authority called “the most serious disciplinary default that can be committed by a police officer.”

Steen was scheduled to attend a three-day conference on safe schools in Vancouver from Feb. 14 to Feb. 16, 2018. He submitted expense claims for overtime and meals over the three days, despite meals being provided at the conference.

When confronted about it, Steen told his supervisor he attended all but two presentations at the conference, later revising his claim to say he attended only one session on the conference's last day, according to the review board.

An internal investigation found that Steen knowingly misled his supervisor about his attendance at the conference, which the Victoria Police Department had paid for.

"He made false statements to his superiors on two separate occasions in order to prevent the discovery of his prior misconduct in failing to attend the full conference as required," wrote retired judge Ronald McKinnon in his Nov. 21 disciplinary decision released Wednesday.

"There was ample time for him to consider the matter in the interim and he regretfully chose to continue not to be forthright."