Former Barriere fire chief to plead guilty to child-porn charges

A lawyer representing Al Kirkwood said as much on Monday in scheduling the 62-year-old’s sentencing for a date next month

Al Kirkwood

Al Kirkwood

Tim Petruk – Kamloops This Week

The former fire chief of Barriere who resigned suddenly last year in the midst of a child-pornography investigation will plead guilty.

A lawyer representing Al Kirkwood said as much on Monday in scheduling the 62-year-old’s sentencing for a date next month.

Kirkwood, who also served as the publisher of the North Thompson Star Journal andClearwater Times newspapers, is facing one count each of importing or distributing child pornography and possession of child pornography.

Kirkwood was arrested on Oct. 4 following a police search of his home and offices. In all, four search warrants were executed at four locations. He was later released on a promise to appear in court and has been out of custody since.

According to court documents, Kirkwood is accused of importing child pornography in June 2016 and of possessing it on the date he was arrested.

Police have said the investigation into Kirkwood’s activities began in August after the RCMP received information from U.S. law enforcement officials. Mounties have said there is nothing to indicate any local children were “directly victimized by the accused.”

Kirkwood resigned from his post as Barriere’s fire chief on Oct. 7 after more than two decades in the position. Black Press, which owns the newspapers he published, has said Kirkwood is no longer with the company.

A sentencing date has yet to be set.