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

Editorial: timing of legalizing marijuana not right

Opioid crisis needs serious attention first

Becoming a Big Sister with BBBS Quesnel

An Observer reporter writes about her experience becoming a Big Sister through BBBS Quesnel

First Nations take steps to blockade moose hunt

Members of the Tsilhqot’in Nation are making good on their promise

Todd Doherty was recognized today for his life-saving actions during a flight home

Todd Doherty, Member of Parliament for Cariboo-Prince George, was recognized today for… Continue reading

VIDEO: Messages of hope, encouragement line bars of B.C. bridge

WARNING: This story contains references to suicide and may not be appropriate for all audiences.

Nanaimo’s Tilray pot stock continues rising, firm now worth more than $21 billion US

The B.C. company’s shares have risen more than 1,000 % since its initial public offering in July

Fresh-faced Flames fend off Canucks 4-1

Vancouver drops second straight NHL exhibition contest

VIDEO: B.C. deer struggles with life-preserver caught in antlers

Campbell River resident captures entangled deer on camera

Scheer pushes Trudeau to re-start Energy East pipeline talks

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer questioned the Prime Minister over Trans Mountain project

Mistaken identity: Missing dog claimed in Moose Jaw belongs to another family

Brennen Duncan was reunited with a white Kuvasz that was found in Saskatchewan

Abandoned kitten safe and sound thanks to B.C. homeless man

‘Jay’ found little black-and-white kitten in a carrier next to a dumpster by a Chilliwack pet store

Police chief defends controversial marijuana seizure

Advocates said cannabis was part of an opioid-substitution program in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside

Trans Mountain completes Burrard Inlet spill exercise

Training required, some work continues on pipeline expansion

Most Read