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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

First win for longtime New Westminster skip

Donna Mychaluk wins BC Senior Women’s Curling crown after five runner-up finishes

Vernon Panthers roll to second-straight OK Valley crown

Led by Super Seven grads, the second-ranked Cats dumped Kelowna’s OK Mission in championship

Vernon protest draws close to 40 people

Earth Strike Vernon holds peaceful rally in support of Wet’suwet’en people and land

North Okanagan Knights drop playoff preview

Kelowna Chiefs hold on for 3-2 KIJHL victory; best-of-seven series starts Friday in Rutland

Vernon gas station lowers price nearly 20 cents/litre

Super Save Gas at 25th Avenue and 43rd Street selling regular gasoline at $1.09.9

VIDEO: 2020 BC Winter Games wrap up in Fort St. John as torch passes to Maple Ridge

More than 1,000 athletes competed in the 2020 BC Winter Games

First win, fifth win highlight BC Senior Curling finals

Donna Mychaluk wins first title after finishing second five times; Wes Craig takes fifth crown

Still six cases of COVID-19 in B.C. despite reports of Air Canada passenger: ministry

Health ministry wouldn’t comment on specific flight routes

Violent ends to past Indigenous protests haunt Trudeau government

Trudeau adopted a more assertive tone Friday, insisting the barricade must come down

Kelowna Firefighters douse suspicious hedge fire

A 30’ section of cedar hedge burned prompting an RCMP investigation.

Kelowna RCMP make arrest in fatal stabbing of 16-year-old Elijah Beauregard

An 18-year-old woman is in police custody facing a manslughter charge.

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

Most Read