A court hearing is scheduled for today, but it appears the B.C. Prosecution Service is no longer pursuing a peace bond against former Nanaimo chief administrative officer Tracy Samra.
A three-day hearing is scheduled to begin on March 20 in the prosecution’s case against Samra, who was arrested on Jan. 31, 2018 for allegedly making threats following an incident at city hall.
However, Michael Klein, the special prosecutor for the case, has told individuals slated to testify against Samra that the case is being dropped, according to Sheila Gurrie, city clerk, and former mayor Bill McKay.
Gurrie said Klein told her the case was being dropped because it has been more than a year since the first hearing was scheduled.
“Had she had entered into [a peace bond], it would have served its purpose and been over by this time. So, the year would have been done. So, whether or not it has been entered into, which it wasn’t, it has served its purpose,” Gurrie said, adding Samra no longer having contact with various individuals and living and working elsewhere were also reasons given for the decision.
McKay said he was advised by Klein that he was no longer required for the case. He said he was served a subpoena in the case but didn’t know what his role would be, adding that he wasn’t physically present at city hall when the alleged incident took place.
In an e-mailed statement to the News Bulletin, the B.C. Prosecution Service said Klein will not be commenting on the matter as it is still before the courts but that the matter will be addressed at the March 20 court date. B.C Court Services website shows two of the three scheduled hearing dates being cancelled while the Mar. 20 hearing date remains.
Samra remains employed with Musqueam Indian Band as chief administrative officer. Samra’s lawyer, Glen Orris, could not be reached for comment.
Gurrie said although Klein’s decision to drop the case is disappointing and means she and others won’t have the opportunity to share their side, she’s glad it is all over.
“It may have been cathartic for me and others to testify, but having had some time to adjust to the news, I am just really happy that this is over. I just want to move on and I hope everyone else can,” she said.
She said she also understands residents will also be disappointed by the news, adding that she doesn’t know whether she’ll tell her story through other avenues.
“I am not sure what my avenues are or can be this at the time. Obviously, I have to be careful not to harm the city in anything I say,” Gurrie said. “So I am not sure what I can or can’t say in the future. I just kind of want it to be over with as it is.”
McKay said he’s “just trying to move on with his life” and that one part of him is glad the Crown is dropping the charges. He said the Crown had to weigh whether the case was still in the public interest and whether it could actually win, adding that it appears Klein doesn’t think it’s a case that can be won.
“The likelihood of getting an additional peace bond order, I guess it seemed to him to be rather low,” McKay said.
As a result of the Jan. 31, 2018 incident, McKay, former city councillor Diane Brennan and current city councillor Sheryl Armstrong as well as Jan Kemp, Gurrie, Donna Stennes, Kim Fowler, Brad McRae and Dominic Jones have reasonable grounds to fear personal harm or injury, according to RCMP.
Crown were intending to try to have the former city manager bound to conditions of a peace bond as a result of that alleged incident. Multiple court dates for the case had been scheduled since March 2018, when the matter was first expected to be heard by the courts.
Samra, who was fired by councillors last May, has launched a complaint against the City of Nanaimo, McKay and Armstrong with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal.
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