Nanaimo city council investigation prompts appointment of special prosecutor

Special prosecutor named in Nanaimo council probe

VICTORIA — A special prosecutor has been appointed to help police in British Columbia investigate a Nanaimo city council member who the province’s Criminal Justice Branch says was arrested for an alleged criminal offence.

The branch says in a statement the RCMP asked for assistance from special prosecutor Mark Jette, who was appointed in mid-December to help with an investigation into a separate complaint made earlier involving Nanaimo council.

Neither branch spokesman Dan McLaughlin nor RCMP Staff Sgt. Annie Linteau would name the council member who was arrested and then released on conditions, citing privacy reasons.

No charges have been laid, nor have police recommended charges.

McLaughlin says the announcement about Jette’s appointment was postponed until Friday while the police investigation was underway into the council member.

The RCMP confirmed in January that officers outside the Nanaimo detachment 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.

Multiple media reports at the time quoted the mayor as saying he had done nothing wrong and that council’s actions were based on speculation and innuendo intended to discredit and humiliate him.

“I wish to make my position clear that the allegations of wrongdoing are false,” McKay said in the January statement. “It is nothing more than petty politics and does not serve our community in any positive way.”

A separate civil lawsuit was also filed in B.C. Supreme Court late last year by the city against McKay, alleging he shared confidential information with a former employee who was preparing to sue the municipality.

None of the allegations have been proven in court and no statement of defence has been filed.

The mayor told CHEK news in January that he would “vigorously defend himself with respect to the allegations” made in the lawsuit. 

The Canadian Press