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

Highway 1 closed after body found on highway north of Yale

Coroners Service reportedly on the scene, next Drive BC update at noon

Nurses acknowledged with new scholarship at UFV

Jackie and Dick Newton’s daughter donates to honour nurses who cared for her parents

WATCH: Yale firefighters fight late night cabin fire in Spuzzum

Neighbours started fighting fire until crews arrived an hour later

Chilliwack youth planning solidarity march against racism

Organizer hoping to ‘create a type of a energy in the city that we will not be silent about racism’

Fraser River freshet peak is coming soon

Predictions for 2020 by River Forecast Centre has the freshet peak at the Mission gauge for June 4-5

If Trudeau won’t stand up to Trump, how will regular people: Singh

Trudeau did not directly answer a question about Trump’s actions amid protests

Teen cashier praised after paying grocery bill for Aldergrove woman

Otter Co-op’s Brooklyn Roberts asked to pay Tamara Smith’s $44 grocery bill after debit card declined

As two B.C. offices see outbreaks, Dr. Henry warns tests don’t replace other measures

Physical distancing, PPE and sanitizing remain key to reduce COVID-19 spread

After delay, ‘Metro Vancouver’s Largest Indoor Amusement Park’ set to open in Surrey

At Central City Fun Park, ‘things will be a little different than what we had originally planned’

Young killer whale untangles itself from trap line off Nanaimo shore

DFO marine mammal rescue unit was en route as whale broke free from prawn trap line

Racist incident shocks Vancouver Island First Nation

Port Alberni RCMP investigating after video shows truck wheeling through Tseshaht territory

Vancouver Island school principal mourns brother, cousin killed during U.S. protests

Jelks says he’s grateful for the outpouring of support from the community in the wake of this tragedy

Bank of Canada keeps key interest rate target on hold at 0.25%

Central bank now expects GDP to decline between 10 and 20 per cent compared with the fourth quarter of 2019

RCMP, coroner investigate murder-suicide on Salt Spring Island

Two dead, police say there is no risk to the public

Most Read