Police chief rejects plot to remove alerts – VG

NOTIFIED: Police Chief Kaare Songstad is the top leader in the West police district. Photo: Helge Mikalsen / VG

After notifying top managers in the police, Øyvind Tenold was told that it might be difficult for him to return to the leadership group in the West police district.

Published:

Less than 10 minutes ago

On Thursday, VG revealed that Tenold has been dismissed from his job as head of PST West. Tenold believes the dismissal is based on a notice he sent to the Ministry of Justice in 2018.

In the notice, he named then PST chief Benedicte Bjørnland, current PST chief Roger Berg, three more managers in PST, as well as his own police chief, Kaare Songstad.

A year and a half after Tenold sent the notice, in August 2019, his lawyer received a letter from the police chief’s lawyer:

“As a result of Tenold’s behavior towards the employer, in particular after there was a conclusion in the notification cases, it must therefore be assessed whether it is still possible for Tenold to rejoin the management team. In the employer’s view, it is likely that this will create significant challenges for both parties.”

– I experienced it as a threat from my employer, says Tenold:

– I was shocked that this could be the outcome of my notification case.

NOTICES: In 2018, Øyvind Tenold sent a comprehensive notice following what he believed to be objectionable conditions in PST. Photo: Tore Kristiansen / VG

– Distances itself from plot

In the letter, the lawyer pointed out, among other things, that Tenold had made serious accusations against the chief of police and other named persons in the police district. Tenold says he still has not been told which charges apply.

The claim from Øyvind Tenold is that a requirement for authorization was constructed which made it impossible for him to be cleared for the classified documents from PST.

– I was exposed to a plot, says Tenold today.

Police chief Kaare Songstad strongly rejects this:

– Tenold ends up in a situation which causes him to far too much interpret events, letters and word usage in a negative direction. The sum of this will be very negative for him, but it didn’t need to be and I don’t understand why it turned out that way, he says.

Tenold says he does not understand how the police chief can make an assessment of him.

– I also don’t understand which letters or events he is referring to.

Tenold believes the requirement for double authorization was used to get him out. To this, Songstad says that most things have very good explanations.

– I distance myself from a hypothesis that there is a huge plot involving a lot of people to get rid of Øyvind Tenold, says Songstad.

DISMISSED: Here, Øyvind Tenold walks down the stairs at the Police House in Bergen after being dismissed as head of PST West. He currently has an offer for a consultant position in the district. Photo: Tore Kristiansen / VG

– It’s about trust

When he sent the notice in 2018, Øyvind Tenold was part of the police chief’s management team at the Police House in Bergen.

Songstad says that it should initially be unproblematic to notify one’s own managers and that it should be handled professionally by all parties:

– But it is understandable that being a boss and at the same time giving notice at a higher level is perceived as very special, says Songstad.

– The lawyer who assisted you wrote that re-entering as manager under you could be difficult for both parties?

– Yes, it is about the trust that must exist between the boss and managers at that level. It is not the notification itself that is the problem. The notification is coming. The notification is handled. The notice is followed up. But there may be other things that are assessed in an ordinary context that are pointed out and noted as challenging between manager and employee, says Songstad.

POLICE DIRECTOR: Benedicte Bjørnland was head of the police’s security service when she was alerted. Photo: Beate Oma Dahle / NTB

Difficult for police leaders

VG asks the police chief if it is nevertheless difficult for police leaders to notify superiors.

– You open up a big topic. I would like to say that over the past few years the police have become better and better at handling whistle-blowing cases and not least: Better at dealing professionally with someone reporting things in a hierarchy like ours.

The Ministry of Justice finished processing the notification from Tenold in May 2019. They concluded that he had notified properly, but that there was no basis for criticism of any of the top police officers he notified against.

VG has requested an interview with police director Benedicte Bjørnland about the case against which she herself was warned. She responds via her press manager:

– The director of police cannot comment on a case about which she has been notified, and therefore declines to be interviewed.

The article is in Norwegian

Tags: Police chief rejects plot remove alerts

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