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Jonathan Kruger surprised, shocked at lawsuit

FILE PHOTO- Penticton Nissan Manager Scott Barber, Penticton Indian Band Councillor Elliott Tonasket, former band Chief Jonathan Kruger, Nissan owner John Kot and Penticton Mayor Andrew Jakubeit participate in ground breaking ceremonies at the site of the new Penticton Nissan facilty, being built on locatee lands on the Penticton Indian Band on Aug. 25, 2017.
October 02, 2017 - 8:00 PM

PENTICTON - Former Penticton Indian Band councillor and chief Jonathan Kruger says he’s surprised to find himself named in a lawsuit filed by the Penticton Indian Band last month.

Kruger, who has been out of town, said today, Oct. 2, he was “shocked and saddened” to hear six former councillors, including himself, named in a lawsuit filed by the band on Sept. 21.

The lawsuit accuses the former councillors of refusing to sign over authority for shares held in trust by them on behalf of the Penticton Indian Band Development Corporation, further claiming that their refusal to sign over the documents is handcuffing the band’s ability to do business.

Kruger says the band held a community meeting Aug. 30, just prior to his resignation from council, in which present band Chief Chad Eneas assured them that issues surrounding the shares would be dealt with.

“We talked about the shares that night. The shareholders voiced their concerns and the chief said we would come to a resolution about the shares,” Kruger says, adding he feels he was ‘sideswiped’ at the Aug. 25 meeting, because, as he understands it, legal action was initiated that same night — and no one at the time told the former councillors.

“I’m upset because of these actions of saying one thing and doing another. I think it’s very disrespectful,” he says.

Numerous attempts to reach Eneas for comment or explanation have not been successful. 

Kruger says the present situation could have been avoided by simply having the shares signed over in January, but new councillors didn’t want to accept them.

“I wish this new council had listened to the councillors who had come before them. We told them in the past they had to do this stuff, but they refused and it kind of snowballed from there. They want to learn the hard way, so it’s going to be a long road,” he says.

Kruger says he’ll be happy to sign over his shares, saying it shouldn’t have been that big of a deal. He’s disappointed at having to defend himself for his actions over the past few months, however.

“To have them say I’m blocking business is absurd. I’ve worked hard to advance this band, attended countless meetings to get projects going and keep them going,” he says, adding he’s also worked to keep communication lines open between the old and new councils.

“All our hearts are in the right place and we want what’s best. It’s just different visions on how to get there. We all care about the community and we all have to work together to move forward,” he says.


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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2017
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