Mar. 26, 2017

What's happening to that lawsuit trying to unseat the mayor?


By Merv Ungr

Following up on old news, or just tying up loose ends is one of the things we do in the news business. Stories and events happen, but what is the outcome further down the road? 

For instance, whatever happened to that citizens petition to have Mayor Bill McKay removed from office over a perceived conflict of interest? The names on the petition are Timothy McGrath, Leslie Barclay, J.D. William McCallum, Brian Naylor, Robert Fuller, Beverly Jarvis, Louise Gilfoy, Mary Montague, Terry Lee Wager and Brian Main

That’s still a loose end. Ten citizens filed a petition in the Supreme Court of British Columbia on Dec. 22, 2016, after which they had seven days to serve the legal documents on the mayor. To the best of my knowledge, the mayor has never been served.

I dug out the original filing, spelling mistakes and all, seeking no less than 13 declarations, concluding with a demand to remove McKay from office. Since nothing has happened, will that petition be withdrawn? As far as I can determine, that’s a live legal issue still hanging over McKay as an  active claim until acted upon by the 10 citizens or McKay takes action to get it suspended.

The way the system seems to work is that you can accuse someone and then just let it sit – having the public assuming guilt until proven innocent. That’s backward. Remember, we’re supposed to be innocent until proven guilty.

The ten got a lot of media attention at the time, impugning the mayor’s reputation. By not serving so it can go through the legal process, they are leaving that mark on the mayor’s record of having an unresolved legal action. That can have serious personal and professional implications.

At what point does McKay seek relief from the courts, maybe including indemnification for the stress and financial damages this caused him?