03/27/2014 01:01 EDT | Updated 05/27/2014 05:59 EDT

Edmonton Officer Fired For Urinating On Co-Worker Won't Be Getting His Job Back

EDMONTON - A former army sniper fired from the Edmonton Police Service for misconduct that included urinating on another officer has lost a chance to save his job.

The Alberta Court of Appeal has ruled that a review board's decision to uphold Rob Furlong's firing for misconduct was acceptable.

The Law Enforcement Review Board ruled last summer that it was reasonable for police to fire Furlong for bad behaviour during a training event after a night of heavy drinking.

Furlong, a decorated veteran of the war in Afghanistan, had argued before the Appeal Court that the review board applied an unfairly high review standard. He also questioned whether his firing was consistent with punishments in other serious police misconduct cases.

The Appeal Court ruled the board made no reviewable errors in its decision.

"Upon a review of the decision of the presiding officer, it is clear that he considered and weighed all of the relevant factors," the Appeal Court wrote in its judgment released Thursday. "He came to a decision that fell within the range of acceptable outcomes and was defensible in respect of the facts and the law.

"The fact that the appellant disagrees with the weight that the presiding officer gave to these factors does not make his decision on sanction unreasonable."

The Appeal Court had agreed to hear Furlong's challenge of the review board's decision, because it was a reversal of an earlier board ruling that the firing was too harsh.

The court said last fall that the two different rulings raised questions about how the review board could reach different conclusions based on the same facts.

Furlong had seven years of unblemished police service before the misconduct in September 2011. He was fired in March 2012 after he pleaded guilty to two of four charges at a disciplinary hearing.

He served with the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry and was lauded in 2002 for shooting a Taliban fighter at a range of 2.43 kilometres — the longest sniper kill recorded at the time.

Furlong's feat was featured in a History Channel documentary in 2011.

He was fired in March 2012 by a senior officer after pleading guilty to two of four charges at a disciplinary hearing. A few months later the Law Enforcement Review Board ruled the punishment was too harsh.

It ordered Furlong reinstated with a temporary demotion, noting that he had entered an alcohol treatment program.

Edmonton Police Chief Rod Knecht filed an appeal that argued the decision to dismiss Furlong was reasonable.

The Alberta Court of Appeal then sent the case back to the board for a second time.

Furlong has been suspended without pay while his case has been argued.

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