06/02/2015 05:17 EDT | Updated 06/02/2016 05:59 EDT

B.C. Mountie named in harassment lawsuit now under suspension by force

VANCOUVER - An RCMP officer who has been the public face of the force in British Columbia for several years has been suspended with pay.

Long-time media relations officer Insp. Tim Shields was taken off the job May 19.

RCMP Sgt. Rob Vermeulen says in an email that because there is an ongoing code of conduct investigation into claims made against Shields, no more information will be released.

Shields is named in a B.C. Supreme Court lawsuit that alleges he subjected a civilian employee to harassment and sexual harassment.

The officer denied in a statement of defence that he made any sexual advances towards the woman.

In 2008, Shields was placed in charge of the RCMP's communication section and was the chief media relations officer speaking on behalf of 9,000 officers in the province.