No charges following Nanaimo city councillor’s arrest, special prosecutor says

No charges following Nanaimo city councillor's arrest, special prosecutor says

Nanaimo City Hall. File photo.

Nanaimo City Hall. File photo.

A special prosecutor has completed his investigation in relation to an arrest of a Nanaimo city councillor and has advised that no criminal charges will be laid.

According to a statement from the BC Prosecution Service, the matters “involving the councillor who had been made the subject of release conditions were resolved without the without the necessity of court proceedings.”

The statement also said that no report to the Crown Counsel was forwarded for consideration on the general investigation conducted by the RCMP.

READ MORE: Nanaimo council apologizes to city manager during meeting

Special prosecutor Mark Jette was appointed by assistant deputy attorney general Peter Juk on Dec. 16, 2016 in relation to matters involving the Nanaimo City Council. The Vancouver Island District General Investigation Section of the RCMP had previously sought the assistance of the Criminal Justice Branch in dealing with an investigation involving the council.

The appointment was announced after the arrest and release of an unnamed Nanaimo councillor for an alleged offence.

Juk made the appointment “because he considered it in the public interest to do so.”

“The appointment of a special prosecutor was intended to avoid any potential for real or perceived improper influence in the administration of justice in light of the fact that the allegations related to or involved members of Nanaimo City Council as elected municipal officials.”

Jette was given a mandate to provide legal advice to the RCMP investigators, assess charges and assume conduct of the prosecution if charges were approved.

Dan McLaughlin, communications counsel for the BC Prosecution Service, confirmed that all the Nanaimo City Council matters involving the special prosecutor have been resolved. No further information will be released about the resolution of the file due to privacy concerns.

The RCMP confirmed in January that officers outside the Nanaimo detachment had opened a file on Mayor Bill McKay after council members passed a motion alleging that the mayor failed to properly declare gifts he had received and entered into a non-disclosure agreement without council’s knowledge or approval.

Then in July, Nanaimo city manager Tracy Samra posted a video of an alleged assault that appeared to show former city councillor Wendy Pratt striking Samra’s phone at a meeting in February. Pratt had stepped down as councillor in April.

Samra said in a statement that Mayor Bill McKay, Coun. Diane Brennan and Pratt had created a hostile work environment for her. A statement of apology to Samra was read at a council meeting in September.

During the meeting, Coun. Bill Yoachim read the statement from a letter to Samra. The letter said on Sept. 11, a resolution was passed during an in-camera council meeting directing communication with Samra.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

With files from the Canadian Press


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