OTTAWA — The federal government is appealing a judge’s decision that it was “unreasonable” for the top Mountie to deny a staff sergeant’s bid for promotion because of a long-dismissed allegation of misconduct.

In a ruling last month, Federal Court Justice John O’Keefe directed RCMP commissioner Bob Paulson to do as much as he could to ensure Staff Sgt. Walter Boogaard was elevated to the rank of inspector.

Boogaard, 51, has been unsuccessful in obtaining a promotion due to an episode 14 years ago in which his gun was stolen by two women.

The women said Boogaard had picked them up and was trying to buy sex from one when the other nicked the firearm — a version of events the veteran Mountie denies.

Boogaard’s account — that the gun was stolen from his vehicle — was accepted when the matter was addressed by the national police force at the time.

Boogaard’s lawyer, Paul Champ, says a modern police force should be above sidelining someone’s career over innuendo.

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