City of Kamloops tight-lipped about mayor's legal issues | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source
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City of Kamloops tight-lipped about mayor's legal issues

Even though Kamloops city council has released some information from closed door meetings this week that excluded the newly-elected mayor, it hasn't provided much in the way of clarity.

City council has unanimously voted to release information to the public from both its Dec. 6 and 8 in camera meetings, but the information provides little insight into why the City's lawyer met with all councillors except for Mayor Reid Hamer-Jackson.

"Council wishes to be as transparent as possible, however certain privileged information must remain confidential so as not to jeopardize the City’s legal position, which could in turn cost the taxpayers of Kamloops," reads a City of Kamloops news release issued today, Dec. 9.

Councillors were informed of "several legal issues" in which a City lawyer gave them advice on mitigating "certain legal exposure."

Hamer-Jackson recused himself from the entire Dec. 6 public council meeting when he declared a conflict of interest. Although he didn't need to leave the entire meeting, he later said it was because of a previous veiled threat of a defamation lawsuit against him from local non-profit ASK Wellness Society.

Hamer-Jackson questioned at the time why a staff report including information about ASK Wellness Society needed to be included in the meeting agenda while he still had unresolved legal issues with the organization.

The City news release, however, says that report was added by his request.

"All items on the meeting agenda were available well in advance as per usual, and the report ... was added at the request of the mayor two weeks prior," the release reads.

It's unclear whether the report and Hamer-Jackson's perceived conflict of interest is the only issue related to the potential legal exposure.

"At this time, Council will not be discussing the potential lawsuits or legal issues, nor the conduct that led to them," the release reads.

iNFOnews.ca reported earlier this week that Hamer-Jackson directed a city-contracted security company to patrol near his own business, but it's not clear whether that was also included in the closed meetings.

"Council recognizes the outstanding efforts of City staff to provide information required to protect the interests of the organization and the community and looks forward to bringing this unfortunate distraction to an end and working collaboratively for the benefit of the entire Kamloops community," the release reads.

The news release from the City listed deputy mayor Bill Sarai as the media contact. He didn't respond to phone calls or text messages from iNFOnews.ca.


To contact a reporter for this story, email Levi Landry or call 250-819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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