City of Nanaimo drops lawsuit against mayor

Council voted to discontinue legal proceedings against Bill McKay, because of concerns over delays

A Vancouver Island city has dropped a lawsuit against its mayor, who councillors have accused of leaking confidential information to an employee.

The City of Nanaimo said in a statement released Wednesday that council voted to discontinue legal proceedings against Bill McKay, in part because of concerns over delays.

The city filed the lawsuit a year ago and said it would have needed to act within 12 months. The lawsuit alleged the mayor obstructed city staff and did not act in the best interests of the municipality.

McKay, who is serving his first term as mayor, has denied any wrongdoing and expressed his disappointment Thursday that he won’t have the chance to defend himself in court.

He said he hopes council can get back to running the city.

RELATED: Nanaimo mayor taken to court by city, citizens

“We have spent far too much time dealing with the drama that we should have been spending on doing the book of business for the city,” McKay said in an interview.

“There are only so many hours in the day. When you’re spending all of your time involved in either trying to defend yourself or to destroy your colleagues, that’s wearing.”

The city said it intends to hold a separate hearing early in the new year on whether to censure McKay.

City documents describe censure as a way to discipline council members for inappropriate behaviour or breeches of conduct. Repercussions can involve removing a member from committees and limiting their access to staff and municipal resources.

McKay said he is concerned the process won’t be fair because other councillors are biased against him.

“I would much rather have been able to address the issues in front of a judge, someone who was going to be impartial,” he said.

Coun. Gordon Fuller said the decision to discontinue the lawsuit boiled down to costs.

RELATED: Mayor not yet served with civil claim by City of Nanaimo

“I think we’ve spent way too much on lawyers,” Fuller said in an interview, adding that the stress has affected council and the public.

“Hopefully we can deal with this early on in the year and just move on with it, clean slate for everybody. Despite what’s happened in the past, I think we are starting to get along better.”

A separate investigation by a special prosecutor into allegations involving the city council ended in October without charges being laid. British Columbia’s Prosecution Service said the matter related to an unnamed councillor who was arrested and released on conditions, but the issue was resolved without the need for court proceedings.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Town removes homeless camp at King St and Hwy 16

Four people lost their tents and belongings when the Town brought in heavy equipment last week

Salvation Army desperate for kettle campaign volunteers

Two-hour shifts available at four locations in Smithers

Town supports Legion’s application for liquor licence amendment

Council is reccommending the LCRB approve the Legion’s application for a Liquor Primary Licence

Council passes two readings of second-stage housing bylaws

The bylaws, if adopted, will make way for 12 Northern Society for Domestic Peace townhouses

Goodacre Place: a partial success story

Supportive housing development improves homelessness situation, but demand for more remains high

VIDEO: ‘Climate emergency’ is Oxford’s 2019 Word of the Year

Other words on the shortlist included ‘extinction,’ ‘climate denial’ and ‘eco-anxiety’

Changes to B.C. building code address secondary suites, energy efficiency

Housing Minister Selina Robinson says the changes will help create more affordable housing

Security guard at Kamloops music festival gets three years for sexually assaulting concertgoer

Shawn Christopher Gray walked the woman home after she became seperated from her friends, court heard

Algae bloom killing farmed fish on Vancouver Island’s West Coast

DFO says four Cermaq Canada salmon farms affected, fish not infectious

Three cops investigated in connection to ex-Vancouver detective’s sexual misconduct

Fisher was convicted in 2018 after pleading guilty to kissing two young women who were witnesses in a criminal case

Violence response procedures updated for B.C. schools, police

ERASE program expands to target gangs, bullying of students

A pawsitive ending: Missing puppy found after nine-day search in Chilliwack

Pit bull Frankie ran from dog sitter booked through app

Most Read