A special prosecutor has approved an application to bind the City of Nanaimo’s chief administrative officer to a peace bond.
Nine individuals have reasonable grounds to fear that Tracy Samra, the highest-ranking employee with the City of Nanaimo, could cause them harm, a court document shows.
Samra was arrested by RCMP following an incident at city hall Jan. 31, when she allegedly made threats against multiple individuals. She has since been charged with one count of fear of injury/damage by another person. Samra is scheduled to appear in Nanaimo provincial court on March 27.
According to the court document, RCMP believe that Mayor Bill McKay, city councillors Sheryl Armstrong and Diane Brennan and Jan Kemp, Sheila Gurrie, Donna Stennes, Kim Fowler, Brad McRae and Dominic Jones have reasonable grounds to fear personal harm or injury stemming from the Jan. 31 incident.
Kemp, Gurrie and Stennes are currently employed with the city, while Fowler and McRae are former employees. Jones runs an independent news website.
The B.C. Prosecution Service announced today that Michael Klein, the special prosecutor appointed to oversee the case, has approved an application to bind Samra to a peace bond. The prosecution service also said Klein was appointed in an effort to avoid any potential for real or perceived improper influence in the administration of justice and confirmed Samra’s upcoming court date.
Samra’s attorney, Victoria-based criminal defence lawyer Robert A. Mulligan, told the News Bulletin he’s hoping to postpone the case and doubts the March 27 court date will take place.
“I don’t expect that will happen in that I’m going to be, before then, seeking to adjourn the case to give some time necessary to do the work leading up to settling on the course of the case,” he said.
Mulligan said the charge against his client is not a charge in the “usual” way, but is an application for a peace bond, explaining that the Crown is simply seeking to have Samra agree to follow certain conditions.
“It’s an application to the court to order a peace bond, meaning to order that the respondent, in this case Ms. Samra, enter into a recognizance agreeing to follow certain conditions in order to prevent any difficulties going forward,” he said.
Conditions imposed on individuals following successful peace bond applications can include prohibiting contact with certain individuals, weapons bans and prohibiting the consumption or use of drugs or alcohol according to Section 810 of the Criminal Code.
Mulligan said there are “interim” conditions placed on his client – conditions are similar to those that could arise from a peace bond – that will remain in place until the case is concluded.
“They essentially call upon Ms. Samra not to have contact with a number of people,” he said.
Samra remains employed with the city and is on leave.