Port Moody Mayor Rob Vagramov reads a statement during a news conference after being charged with sexual assault, at City Hall in Port Moody, B.C., on Thursday March 28, 2019. A sexual assault case involving the mayor of Port Moody, B.C., will return to court on Nov. 13, but the politician’s lawyer says "alternative measures" are being pursued that could see it resolved outside court. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Port Moody Mayor Rob Vagramov reads a statement during a news conference after being charged with sexual assault, at City Hall in Port Moody, B.C., on Thursday March 28, 2019. A sexual assault case involving the mayor of Port Moody, B.C., will return to court on Nov. 13, but the politician’s lawyer says "alternative measures" are being pursued that could see it resolved outside court. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

Port Moody mayor goes back on unpaid leave during sex assault investigation

Rob Vagramov said he intends to return as mayor in three or four weeks

The mayor of Port Moody is going on leave, again, while an investigation into sexual assault allegations continues.

Mayor Rob Vagramov was charged in connection with an alleged incident in Coquitlam in April 2015 when he was a city councillor. He was elected mayor in October 2018.

READ MORE: Port Moody mayor takes leave of absence to fight sex assault charge

Vagramov initially took a leave in March when the sexual assault charge came to light. He has denied the allegations and returned to the mayor’s seat in September, despite the investigation still ongoing.

Last week, councillors voted 4-3 in favour of a motion that called on Vagramov to resume his unpaid leave.

In a statement Wednesday, Vagramov said the city needs to “turn down the dramatics, and focus on the work at hand.”

“There is no legal requirement for me to be away from my elected role, but today I am exercising my discretion to go back on leave without pay until I am cleared of the charge held against me,” Vagramov said.

Coun. Steve Milani will step into the acting mayor role, but Vagramov said he plans to return to the mayor’s seat in three to four weeks.


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katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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