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UPDATED: Coun. Butler found originally in 'Conflict of Interest;' To stay on council

Contributor
By Contributor
February 29th, 2016

The Honourable Mr. Justice Greyell of the British Columbia Supreme Court ruled today in the City’s application to have the office of Councillor Julia Butler declared vacant on the basis that she contravened sections 100 and 101 of the Community Charter. In his Reasons for Judgment, Justice Greyell held that, while Councillor Butler “clearly had a direct conflict of interest when she participated in discussion about the [Water Meter] Program before she divested herself of doing business as Eden [Yardcare] in early March, 2015”, she did not have a conflict of interest when she voted on the bylaw. On that basis, Justice Greyell dismissed the City’s application, with costs to Councillor Julia Butler. In a twelve page document, Mr. Justice Greyell provided his rationale for the judgement.

In May of 2015, Grand Forks City Council filed a Petition with the British Columbia Supreme Court to have Councillor Butler’s perceived conflict of interest reviewed. Mr. Justice Greyell ruled today that Councillor Butler will not be removed from office as Councillor for the City of Grand Forks.

While, at paragraph 30 of his Reasons for Judgment, Justice Greyell stated that “In [his] view Ms. Butler quite clearly had a direct conflict of interest when she participated in discussion about the [Water Meter] Program before she divested herself of doing business as Eden [Yardcare] in early March, 2015”, he held at paragraph 32 that he was satisfied that “Ms. Butler’s change in status from operating her own business to taking a position of employment with Arch [Angle] [did] not place her in a conflict with the [Water Meter] Program.” On this basis, Justice Greyell held that the City had not established that, at the time that Councillor Butler voted on the bylaw, she had a conflict of interest, and dismissed the Petition against Councillor Butler, with costs.

In a statement issued earlier today, it was reported that Justice Greyell ruled that Councillor Butler was in a conflict of interest. To be clear, while, at paragraph 30 of his Reasons for Judgement, Justice Greyell found that Councillor Butler “clearly had a direct conflict of interest when she participated in discussion about the [Water Meter] Program” until early March, 2015, Justice Greyell found that Councillor Butler did not have a conflict of interest when she voted on the bylaws, and declined to declare vacant her seat on the City Council.

Mayor Frank Konrad said “The Council accepts the ruling and I am happy we can put this behind us and continue to move forward with the work of the City”.

The City has 30 days to consider whether to appeal Justice Greyell’s decision to the British Columbia Court of Appeal. For media information, please 

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Justice Greyell ruled today that Councillor Julia Butler has been found to be in a conflict of interest. 

Grand Forks City Council filed a petition with the courts to have Coun. Butler’s perceived conflict of interest and Breach of Oath of Office reviewed in May of 2015. Justice Greyell has determined that Ms. Butler will not be removed from her seat as councillor for the City of Grand Forks. More details on the ruling are expected to be available later today.

Mayor Frank Konrad said “Council accepts the ruling and I am happy we can put this behind us and continue to move forward with the work of the City.”

— submitted by the City of Grand Forks

This post was syndicated from https://boundarysentinel.com
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