To the editor,
My departure as CAO of the city and subsequent silence on my part has not stopped a small group of Nanaimo citizens from continuing to spread hateful, misleading stories about me. I feel compelled to correct the public record.
I will not comment specifically on the events of Jan. 31, 2018, as my complaint against the city, former Mayor McKay and Coun. Sheryl Armstrong will be heard by the Human Rights Tribunal in May 2020, the proper forum to address those events.
There has been no fraud or financial misconduct on my part. KPMG’s annual city audits and a forensic audit make that clear. KPMG concluded the city permitted elected officials and staff to make personal transactions provided they reimbursed the city. Stories about my transactions fail to mention council authorized personal expenses following the assault on me in 2017 or that my purchase-card use fell within approved and acceptable norms.
SOFI expense reports disclosed I incurred legal fees responding to frivolous and vexatious complaints by members of council and their civic supporters. During my tenure, more than 20 complaints were filed against me with the province, Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner, Local Government Management Association of B.C., Law Society of B.C., and the City of Nanaimo. I remain in good standing with my professional organizations.
The targeted release of confidential information to social media and to a local provincial politician was for the sole purpose of damaging my reputation. These fabricated stories and talking points were repeated so many times that people believed they were true. The co-ordinated misinformation and vitriol on Facebook groups and a civic news blog leaves a permanent and damaging record of lies. They often said “you can’t make this stuff up,” but in fact, they did.
I thank folks at School District 68, the Port of Nanaimo, Snuneymuxw First Nation, VIU, and community members for their kindness. I am proud of the contributions we made together for the city during my tenure as CAO.
Tracy Samra, Coast Salish territory
The views and opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are those of the writer and do not reflect the views of Black Press or the Nanaimo News Bulletin. If you have a different view, we encourage you to write to us or contribute to the discussion below.