City investigating ‘allegation of significant concern’

Mayor Bill McKay said council became aware of the matter after “we were alerted by staff”

An independent investigation will be launched regarding “an allegation of a significant concern” at Nanaimo city hall.

According to a statement issued by the city, an independent investigation will be undertaken immediately to deal with the matter that has come to the attention of mayor and council. The statement did not provide specifics about the incident but explained that the city will provide updates within their legal boundaries.

READ MORE: Nanaimo’s chief financial officer blows annual budget

READ MORE: Video shows assault at Nanaimo city meeting

“We will continue to provide periodic updates within legal and privacy constraints in the interest of sharing critical information with residents and staff,” the statement said. “We take these concerns very seriously and share Nanaimo residents’ commitment to prudent and thoughtful governance and processes. Council is therefore committed to addressing and resolving these matters in the public interest.”

Mayor Bill McKay said council became aware of the matter after “we were alerted by staff.” He would not identify whom the allegations were against or if they were related to one staff member or more than one staff member.

“It will not affect the ongoing business of the city. We have people in place to cover all positions and work carries on,” McKay said.

READ MORE: Nanaimo city managers top list of highest-paid employees

Earlier today, John Van Horne, the city’s human resources manager, said in an e-mail to the News Bulletin that a statement on staffing at the city would be issued. However, the city’s most recent statement did not address any employment matters.

Van Horne was asked whether the investigation was related to Victor Mema, chief financial officer and deputy chief administrative officer, but couldn’t comment.

Coun. Jerry Hong also declined to comment on the staff member or staff members involved or their employment status.

“We have to protect the corporation,” he said Friday morning. “Nothing has been said and has been released so we don’t know what is happening.”

READ MORE: Arrest made after threats at City Hall

READ MORE: Sechelt First Nation won’t hire Nanaimo CAO

Mema was also called for comment, but didn’t respond. He has been filling in for Tracy Samra, chief administrative officer, who has been on leave for approximately a month. It has been reported that she was arrested for uttering threats at city hall, but no charges have been laid. A special prosecutor was appointed to look into that case.

-with files from Greg Sakaki/The News Bulletin


nicholas.pescod@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook or follow Nicholas Pescod on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sarah Simpson Column: Creativity, and smoke, yields two new ‘computers’

My son opted to empty the recycling bin of all its boxes and create stuff.

Arts & Entertainment column: A new book, an art prize, and an AGM

Here are a few of the things happening in Cowichan’s arts and culture scene.

Cowichan golf pro Jackson up for provincial honour

Cowichan Golf Club mainstay is already the only two-time winner

Tube Shack’s annual clean-up shows how far river has come

Less garbage than previous years, owing to years of clean-ups and weekly patrols

BCHL approves back-up plan for 2020-21 season

Without gate revenue, league will rely on player fees, government and business support

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

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

Comox Valley protesters send message over old-growth logging

Event in downtown Courtenay was part of wider event on Friday

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

Most Read