Attorney general asks RCMP to investigate after woman dies while living with Brandon’s CAO

WINNIPEG — RCMP have been asked to investigate the circumstances surrounding the death of Christine Mitchell, who passed away in July while she was living at the home of Brandon’s city manager and CAO Rod Sage.

According to the Brandon Police Service, Mitchell died in hospital on July 10, 2019 from a suspected drug overdose. Brandon police were notified of the death the following day, contacted the medical examiner’s office and began a sudden death investigation.

On Oct. 4, the attorney general requested that the RCMP review the circumstances around Mitchell’s death, as well as the investigation by Brandon police, a spokesperson for the attorney general told CTV News Winnipeg.

In a statement, Brandon’s Mayor Rick Chrest said council is respecting the process of the ongoing investigation into Mitchell’s death.

He said before Sage was selected as city manager and CAO, he was forthright about the fact that he was providing housing and care to Mitchell, who was “a friend of his who struggled with addictions and mental health issues, and that he was helping her to find a path away from addiction and to a healthier life.” Chrest said since this is a personal matter that is unrelated to Sage’s work, council doesn’t think it has impacted his duties or performance. 

“Myself and Council are ensuring that this matter is being dealt with in a thorough, fair and balanced fashion,” the statement said.

“While we have complete confidence in the Brandon Police investigation, we are welcoming the Attorney General’s recent request to provide an independent RCMP review of the investigation that will provide the public and Council with an additional independent oversight.”