Lantzville politicians deny claims made against them in lawsuit

Lantzville politicians deny claims made against them in lawsuit

Civil lawsuit involves an accounting business sold by Colin and Denise Haime

Lantzville’s mayor and his wife deny “each and every single” claim made against them in a recent civil lawsuit.

Colin Haime along with his wife Denise, who is a sitting Lantzville councillor, are the subject of a lawsuit filed in the Supreme Court of British Columbia that claims they misrepresented their accounting practice’s finances when they sold it, then proceeded to poach clients from the new owner following the transaction.

The Haimes sold their accounting business, known as Barber and Haime Inc., to B. Rushton Inc., a company owned by Nanaimo-based accountant, Brent Rushton, for $727,000, according to according to a notice of civil claim filed last month in the Supreme Court of B.C.

Under the terms of the purchasing agreement, the Haimes entered into a six-year non-competition and non-solicitation agreement prohibiting them from effectively engaging in any accounting-related business within a 55-kilometre radius of their old practice on Lantzville Road, according to the civil claim court documents, which also state that they were required to help with the transition of clients to the new owners.

However, the Haimes dispute the all facts and accusations levelled against them by B. Rushton Inc., according to a response to civil claim.

RELATED: Lawsuit claims Lantzville mayor violated competition agreement after selling accounting practice

According to their response, the Haimes complied with their obligations under the agreement and did all they could to ensure the transfer of existing clients to the new owners was easy. They explain that they provided 400 hours of management and consulting assistance between August 2017 and March 2018 as well as marketing advice to help Rushton Inc. maintain and attract new clients.

The Lantzville politicians allege that Rushton Inc., was “uninterested” or “incapable” of taking the appropriate action required to “ensure a smooth and efficient transfer of existing clients” and that they have gone “above and beyond” to ensure the transfer was successful, according to their response.

Their response also contains a number of accusations, claiming Rushton Inc. merged the practice with KMA Chartered Professional Accountants, failed to tell clients, failed to meet deadlines and “unreasonably” delayed in preparing or filing client documents.

The Haimes deny breaching the non-competition and non-solicitation agreements by practising business as Connect Live CPAs from their Ladysmith address, according to their response, which states that Connect Live is not a public accounting service and is “outside of the scope” of the non-compete agreement. They also claim that they were totally unaware of any money being inadvertently forwarded to them, that they were approached by “several” unhappy clients of Rushton Inc., and that Rushton demanded they stay away from 7190 Lantzville Rd., according to their response.

The Lantzville politicians oppose any relief being sought from Rushton Inc., which includes a declaration that they are liable.

In a response to the Haimes’s court filings, Rushton’s lawyers filed two separate counter claims, one on Rushton’s behalf and another on Rushton Inc.’s behalf.

Those counter claims deny the Haimes’s numerous claims, including that Rushton did not fail to meet deadlines and “unreasonably” delay filing client documents. It also states that Rushton demanded the Haimes stay away from 7190 Lantzville Rd., because it was “obvious” they were in breach of the agreement.

Rushton told the News Bulletin he couldn’t comment on specifics regarding the case, but is looking forward to his day in court. The Haimes could not be reached for comment.

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

A rendering of the Lumina building proposed for 41-45 Haliburton St. in Nanaimo. (Matthew T. Hansen Architect image)
Next project proposed as part of a series of buildings on Nanaimo’s Haliburton Street

Five-storey building near Finlayson Street will include 38 residential units

Capt. Bryun Ashlie, left, and Lieut. Stu Kenning, of Nanaimo Fire Rescue, tackle fires burning in two shopping carts in St. George Ravine Park, Thursday afternoon. The cause of the fire, which destroyed both carts and their contents, is undetermined. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Shopping carts found burning in Nanaimo park

Firefighters douse flaming carts and contents on asphalt pathway

Nanaimo RCMP are looking for a motorcyclist who refused to stop for police near the Nanaimo River Road and White Rapids Road intersection on April 10. (Photo submitted)
Nanaimo RCMP seek ‘stunting’ motorcyclist, who fled from police

Rider spotted near intersection of Nanaimo River Road and White Rapids Road April 10

Nanaimo RCMP say a man was injured while pouring gunpowder on a backyard fire in Harewood on Wednesday, April 21. (File photo)
Nanaimo man hospitalized after pouring gunpowder onto backyard fire

RCMP investigating explosion in Harewood also came across a still for making alcohol on the property

A B.C. Centre for Disease Control map shows new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 11-17. (BCCDC image)
Nanaimo sees fewest new COVID-19 cases since mid January

B.C. Centre for Disease Control reports 31 new COVID-19 cases in Greater Nanaimo from April 11-17

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

Richard Desautel with supporters outside the courthouse in Nelson, B.C., in 2016. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
BREAKING: Sinixt, First Nation bordering Canada-U.S., can claim Indigenous rights, top court rules

The decision essentially reverses a 1956 declaration the Sinixt were extinct

MLA Shirley Bond, right, answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on February 19, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. gaming minister says she wasn’t told directly about dirty cash flowing to casinos

Shirley Bond said Thursday civil forfeiture, gang violence and gambling addiction were also major concerns in 2011

RCMP Constable Etsell speaks to tourists leaving the area at a police roadblock on Westside Road south of Fintry, B.C., Thursday, July 23, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Yvonne Berg
B.C. police say they take ‘exception’ to conducting roadblocks limiting travel

Asking the police to enforce roadblocks exposes officers to further risk and possible COVID-19 infections, says federation president Brian Sauve

As part of the province’s strategy to combat the opioid overdose crisis, take-home naloxone kits have been distributed throughout the province. (Courtesy of Gaëlle Nicolussi)
Vancouver Island could be at its worst point of overdose crises yet: medical health officer

Island Health issued overdose advisories for Victoria, various communities in the last two weeks

The conservation service confirmed they do not relocate cougars from settled areas but that euthanasia is not necessarily the fate for an animal in the Fanny Bay area. The hope is that the animal will move on to wild areas. (File photo)
Woman hopes cat-stalking Fanny Bay cougar can avoid euthanization

Conservation officers do not relocate the animals from Vancouver Island

Tofino residents expressed frustration over a recent post by Long Beach Lodge owner Tim Hackett that falsely claimed all residents have been vaccinated. (Westerly file photo)
Resort owner apologizes for suggesting Tofino is safe to travel to

Long Beach Lodge owner Tim Hackett apologizes to community and visitors

BC Hydro released a survey Thursday, April 22. It found that many British Columbians are unintentionally contributing to climate change with their yard maintenance choices. (Pixabay)
Spend a lot of time doing yard work? It might be contributing to climate change

Recent BC Hydro survey finds 60% of homeowners still use gas-powered lawnmowers and yard equipment

Journal de Montreal is seen in Montreal, on Thursday, April 22, 2021. The daily newspaper uses a file picture of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dressed in traditional Indian clothing during his trip to India to illustrate a story on the Indian variant of the coronavirus. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press
Montreal newspaper blasted for front-page photo of Trudeau in India

Trudeau is wearing traditional Indian clothes and holding his hands together in prayer beside a caption that reads, ‘The Indian variant has arrived’

Most Read