Penticton taking street person Paul Braun back to court - InfoNews

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Penticton taking street person Paul Braun back to court

Penticton street person Paul Braun is heading back to court later this month after failing to complete his community service hours or pay his fine for city bylaw infractions.
April 10, 2019 - 5:00 PM

PENTICTON - Paul Braun has another court date with the City of Penticton.

The well known Penticton street person entered a late guilty plea to eight counts of a city bylaw infraction of obstructive panhandling in Penticton court last September. He was given an $88 fine, charged $57 towards prosecution costs and ordered to complete 60 hours of community service by Dec. 15, 2018.

He hasn't paid the fines or fees, and he hasn't completed his community service so he's headed back to court.

iNFOnews.ca spoke with Braun today, April 10, while he was sitting at a new location on Main Street in front of Pennyfarthing Gifts with a sign asking for donations for food. He's been prohibited from his former location a block away.

"Like I told them when they gave me the fine, I said, ‘when I get it, you’ll get it.' If I had an extra $150 bucks to hand over to them, do you think I’d be sitting here?” he said. “I’ve got about the same amount of community service left that a drug dealer gets, about 60 hours."

He said he is maintaining the court restrictions regarding where on the street he can sit and believes he isn't in conflict with nearby merchants and people passing by.

Braun said the community service work requested by the City involved picking up garbage, but he told the judge he wasn’t physically capable of it, so the judge told the City to find him something else to do. He said he spoke to bylaw enforcement supervisor Tina Siebert about getting other work.

“I said, ‘why don’t I put in the hours down at City Hall because that’s where they do the least work,'” Braun said.

“The next thing I know (Siebert's) got me parading outside, down the street, walking all over the downtown core, not fast but with her behind me like I’m on a leash or something, pulling stickers off posts, not picking up garbage. Now they’re taking me to court because they say I’m in violation of a court order. Well, so are they. They told me they would provide me with something else to do.”

Siebert has confirmed Braun failed to finish his community service hours and tells a different story about his attempt at compliance.

“I was hoping he would do what he said he was going to do, getting the hours done. He attended a few times, and I don’t know if he just lost interest or what happened," she said.

Siebert said the City is at the point where it’s time to return to court since Braun has breached his court order.

“I gave him my card, we were working on a couple of things. He said he had health concerns and I said, 'that’s fine I can get you doing duties where you’re sitting down,'” Siebert said. “I had him trimming edges on these documents, I had him cutting our See Something, Say Something stickers - I actually gave him coffee and cookies and had him sitting down with a pair of scissors and got him going. I thought things were going really well and then he just stopped.”

She said Braun had completed just a few hours of community service up to that point.

“He just stopped committing to it, so I approached him and said the onus is on you now. We’ve had this conversation... we don’t want you to fail, let’s just finish this,” she said. “It’s disappointing, but when we don’t get the compliance we feel we should get, it feels like its just going on and on, unfortunately.”

Braun said his court date is scheduled for April 18.


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