Lantzville District Hall. NEWS BULLETIN file photo

Lantzville District Hall. NEWS BULLETIN file photo

Lantzville councillors request costs associated with misplaced USB key

Report will indicate legal costs and staff time spent dealing with issue

The financial cost of a Lantzville councillor’s misplaced USB key containing in-camera information will eventually be revealed.

During Lantzville council meeting on Monday, councillors voted 4-2 in favour of having staff create a report that documents the amount of staff hours and legal fees spent as a result of Coun. John Coulson misplacing a USB key containing in-camera information.

Coulson informed the district last month that he could not find a USB key containing in-camera meeting minutes going as far back as April 2014. A few days later, Coulson told the News Bulletin he had found the memory drive, as it had been in his bag the whole time.

The district had issued a press release advising residents of the matter, that an investigation was underway and that the Office of the Information and Privacy Commissioner has been notified.

During this past Monday’s meeting, councillors debated the motion to have staff prepare a report detailing time spent on the issue and how much money it has cost the district in legal fees.

Coun. Will Geselbracht, who made the motion, said a lot of time has been spent dealing with the issue. He said while it is his understanding that Coulson has since deleted all the information on the memory drive, the public has a right to know how much his actions will cost them.

“The district runs a very large legal responsibility and I think we owe it to the public to put the numbers down that this has cost us,” he said.

Trudy Coates, the district’s director of corporate administration, told councillors that staff are still dealing with the aftermath of Coulson’s incident.

“The process isn’t finished for us. We will still have to work with OIPC to bring forward a policy and to satisfy them,” she said.

In response to a question from Coun. Dot Neary about the amount of time it would take to put together a report, Coates said it could realistically be completed by September.

Coun. Denise Haime praised Coulson for taking the correct steps in reporting the missing USB key and later described the actions of council as a vengeful “witch hunt” against him because there is an election on the horizon.

“From the way I see it, congratulations to Coun. Coulson for taking that step and following the process,” Haime said. “He did exactly what he’s required to do by law and so now because he’s done that, all we are doing here is setting up people to say, ‘don’t tell anybody if you’ve lost some sensitive information.’”

Lantzville Mayor Colin Haime also called Geselbracht’s motion a campaign to “publicly discredit” Coulson.

“If it had been a motion in respect to policy and procedure in the future, I get that, but that is not what this is in my opinion,” he said.

Coun. Mark Swain said he’s been reading comments about the subject on social media and believes residents do want to know the true cost.

Both Haimes voted against the motion. Coulson declared conflict and was not present during the discussion.


nicholas.pescod@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook or follow Nicholas Pescod on Twitter

Lantzville

Just Posted

Friends have identified the man killed in Friday’s shooting in Metchosin as Shane Wilson. (Shane Wilson/Facebook)
West Shore RCMP continue to investigate shooting death in Metchosin

Man killed on Sooke Road Friday night identified by friends

Anyone with information is asked to call Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 or contact Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-222-8477 or submitting a tip online at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com.
21-year-old motorbike rider dies after crash with ATV on Nanaimo back road

Incident happened Sunday afternoon near Boomerang Lake

Hannah Ankenmann, who works with k’awat’si Economic Development Corporation, winces as she received her first shot of the Pfizer vaccine administered by a Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw Family Health nurse. (Zoe Ducklow photo)
Vancouver Island’s small remote towns to get community-wide vaccine clinics

Island Health to take a wholesale approach to immunization, rather than age-based appointments

Cole Moore with one of his sisters, Jasmin Moore. Photo supplied
Vancouver Island man looks to brain surgery for second chance

Fingers crossed that brain surgery can give Cole Moore a new lease on life after decade of seizures

Mary Mason of Owls Path Foundation presents plans for a Nuu-chah-nulth Cultural Centre to Port Alberni city council. The structure pictured in this image is the Copenhagen Opera House. (SCREENSHOT)
$25 million Indigenous cultural centre pitched for Port Alberni

Three possible locations put forward for multi-million-dollar Nuu-chah-nulth project

Const. Nancy Saggar, who has 11 years in policing, offers advice for other women who may pursue both policing and family. (Black Press Media file photo)
Pregnancy prompts sage advice from RCMP officer for women thinking about policing

West Shore constable with 11 years experience heads off on maternity leave

Montreal Canadiens right wing Paul Byron (41) fights for control of the puck with Vancouver Canucks defenceman Quinn Hughes (43) during first period NHL action in Vancouver, Monday, March 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Captain Clutch: Horvat nets shootout winner as Canucks edge Habs 2-1

Vancouver, Montreal tangle again on Wednesday

A special committee has been appointed to look at reforming B.C.’s police act and is inviting the public to make submissions until April 30, 2021. (Black Press media file)
Have thoughts on B.C.’s review of the provincial Police Act?

Submissions will be accepted until April 30

Cottonwoods Care Home in Kelowna. (Google Maps)
New COVID-19 outbreak at Kelowna care home includes fully vaccinated seniors: Henry

Two staff and 10 residents tested positive at Cottonwoods Care Centre

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix provide a regular update on the COVID-19 situation, B.C. legislature, March 2, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 cases: 545 Saturday, 532 Sunday, 385 Monday

Focus on Prince Rupert, Lower Mainland large workplaces

Khowhemun Elementary is one of two Cowichan Valley schools that announced possible COVID-19 exposures last week. (Google Street View image)
Two Cowichan Valley schools announce possible COVID-19 exposures

Positive tests at Khowhemun, Quamichan; Superstore confirms more cases

Rising accident rates and payout costs have contributed to billion-dollar deficits at ICBC. (Comox Valley Record)
B.C. appealing decision keeping ICBC injury cases in court

David Eby vows to ‘clip wings’ of personal injury lawyers

Most Read