Merritt city councillor charged with uttering threats | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Merritt city councillor charged with uttering threats

Mike Bhangu in a video posted on Facebook as he gives a wildfire update, Aug. 18, 2021.
Image Credit: FACEBOOK/Mike Bhangu
August 19, 2021 - 1:00 PM

A Merritt city councillor has been charged with uttering threats intended to cause bodily harm.

Mike Singh Bhangu, 44, of Merritt was charged with one count of uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm. The offence date allegedly occurred June 29, according to documents.

Sgt. Josh Roda with the Merritt RCMP said Bhangu was charged with uttering threats against a community member in Merritt but said he couldn't provide further details on the matter.

He was officially charged Aug. 16 and is scheduled to make his first court appearance in Merritt, Sept. 14.

Bhangu said via email he is standing by the same statement he made to radio station Q101.1.

"The allegations are coming from an uninvited individual who came to my home, placed my safety in question by virtue of being there, and had a problem with me asking him to leave my property. The allegations are untrue, period,” he told the radio station.

Mayor Linda Brown said there are no provisions under the Community Charter, nor under the Local Government Act, which serves as the framework for municipal governments or in the city's bylaws that would enable the council to take action.

Even if a councillor is proven guilty, she said she isn't aware of any legal action the city can take.

"The Community Charter is pretty limited in what we are capable of doing," she said. "We cannot take action based on a charge and we are presuming innocent until he's proven guilty and it has absolutely nothing to do with the City of Merritt or with city council."

— This story was updated at 2:09 p.m. Aug. 19, 2021, to include comment from RCMP and the mayor.

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