Nanaimo Mayor Bill McKay FILE PHOTO/News Bulletin

Mayor not yet served with civil claim by City of Nanaimo

Municipality filed a notice of claim Dec. 28 over confidential information allegedly disclosed

A lawsuit on the alleged disclosure of confidential information still looms over Mayor Bill McKay, who has not been served four months after the City of Nanaimo filed its notice of civil claim in B.C. Supreme Court.

“It gives one the impression that perhaps they may want to wait till the last minute so that we’ll be embroiled in legal proceedings in the campaign year,” said McKay, who told the News Bulletin he’d just as soon be served and get it over with or the city withdraw its claim.

The City of Nanaimo filed a notice of claim Dec. 28, taking McKay to court over confidential information it says he disclosed to a former administrative assistant and was used in her claim against the city.

John Van Horne, the city’s director of human resources, said to his knowledge the mayor has not been served and there’s no development on it at this point. He couldn’t say why the mayor hasn’t gotten the court documents, adding he hasn’t touched the file in ‘quite some time’ and there’s been a number of other things on the go.

Victor Mema, deputy chief administrative officer for the City of Nanaimo, said the mayor hasn’t been served because they’re busy.

In the scheme of things it’s important, he said, “but we have other priorities that we’re dealing with right now so we’ll get to it.”

Michael Prince, Lansdowne professor of social policy at the University of Victoria and political scientist, told the News Bulletin residents should be concerned or raising questions about the cost, delay and whether business can be conducted in an efficient and professional way as long as this hangs over the heads of everyone, including the mayor.

“It seems to me there’d be some public interest that this be addressed … in a fair way, in a proper way, but in a timely fashion as well and as the weeks and months go by, it seems rather peculiar,” he said.

If the case does proceed, it’s not clear if the city will pay McKay’s legal costs. It’s a council decision according to Mema, who is not aware of a decision being made.

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