Former Chilliwack city councillor and mayoral candidate Sam Waddington has been charged with two counts of breach of trust by a public officer. (Jennifer Feinberg/ Progress file)

Former B.C. city councillor charged with breach of trust over expense claims

Sam Waddington of Chilliwack faces two counts related to 2017 allegations

Two years after accusations first surfaced, former City of Chilliwack councillor and mayoral candidate Sam Waddington has been criminally charged with breach of trust.

According to B.C. Court Services Online, Samuel Josh Waddington faces two counts of breach of trust by public officer, one offence dated May 29, 2017, the second Dec. 5, 2017.

Black Press became aware of the charges before Tuesday’s council meeting after members of city council were informed. Waddington has not yet had a court appearance in the case.

Questions over Waddington’s expenses emerged during the municipal election in which he ran for mayor against former mayor Sharon Gaetz and the winner of that election, Ken Popove.

In September 2018, an independent auditor was hired by city hall with the findings to be referred to the RCMP.

Gaetz and Popove (who was a councillor at the time) recused themselves from a discussion at a special meeting of council to decide to hire the auditor.

“We chose to do so, so that there could be no suggestion it was an attempt to influence the election,” Gaetz said a year ago.

• READ MORE: Waddington expense claims being sent to the RCMP

Both Gaetz and now retired councillor Chuck Stam had filed freedom of information (FOI) requests for details about out-of-town conferences and meetings for which Waddington filed expense claims.

Some of the people Waddington said he met with came forward to say the meetings never happened.

At that time, he called the “tens of thousands” of dollars of taxpayer money spent to investigate his $1,500 in expenses a political move.

“I don’t believe this effort is administrative, I believe it is political,” Waddington said. “And it’s going to be a very expensive endeavour for the city, so it will be up to the public to decide if this was the right course of action to take.”

The charges Waddington, 30, face come under section 122 of the criminal code, which states: “Every official who, in connection with the duties of his office, commits fraud or a breach of trust is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years, whether or not the fraud or breach of trust would be an offence if it were committed in relation to a private person.”

See www.theprogress.com for more details as they become available.


@PeeJayAitch
paul.henderson@theprogress.com

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

Young Abbotsford cancer survivor rides 105-km with Terry Fox’s brother

Jacob Bredenhof and Darrell Fox’s cycling trek raises almost $90,000 for cancer research

Abbotsford parents upset as district gets cohort exemption to maximize class sizes at elementary school

Classes and cohorts shuffled after division eliminated at King Traditional elementary school

B.C. families financially affected by pandemic eligible for grocery gift cards

Program open to struggling families in Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley communities

‘Each step is a prayer’: Ojibwe man will walk from Hope to Vancouver Island for Indigenous healing, reconciliation

James Taylor departs Sept. 20, returns to Saanich in five days for sacred fire

COLUMN: We don’t need an election. But it’s 2020, so we’ll probably get one anyways.

There are only selfish reasons for the NDP to trigger an election this fall

B.C. or Ontario? Residential school survivors fight move of court battle

It’s now up to Ontario’s Court of Appeal to sort out the venue question

B.C. transportation minister will not seek re-election

Claire Trevena has held the position since 2017

VIDEO: Shots fired outside Langley gas station that was scene of 2018 homicide

No reports of injuries in Saturday evening incident

B.C. migrant, undocumented workers rally for permanent residency program

Rally is part of the Amnesty for Undocumented Workers Campaign led by the Migrant Workers Centre

Preparations underway for pandemic election in Saskatchewan and maybe B.C.

Administrators in B.C. and around the country are also looking to expand voting by mail during the pandemic

Nearly 20 per cent of COVID-19 infections among health-care workers by late July

WHO acknowledged the possibility that COVID-19 might be spread in the air under certain conditions

Ferry riders say lower fares are what’s most needed to improve service

Provincial government announces findings of public engagement process

Air quality advisory ends for the Lower Mainland

It had been in effect since Sept. 8

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Most Read