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Mountie tries to derail disciplinary hearing

OTTAWA - A veteran Mountie accused of sexual harassment, drinking in the office and operating a police car under the influence of alcohol has lost his court bid to derail a pending disciplinary hearing against him.

A federal judge says it would be premature to rule on RCMP Sgt. Steve Black's argument that a delay of more than 10 months means the disciplinary hearing must be scrapped.

In his decision, Federal Court Justice James Russell said Black's first avenue of appeal is to the RCMP commissioner.

Details of the case surface amid concerns about harassment within the RCMP and the ability of the national police force to expeditiously deal with serious allegations against its members.

Black stands accused of acting "in a disgraceful manner that brings discredit on the force" during the first eight months of 2009, contrary to RCMP regulations.

Black denied all of the allegations last April at an initial two-day proceeding before an adjudication board.

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