District of Lantzville Coun. Karen Proctor. (News Bulletin file photo)

District of Lantzville Coun. Karen Proctor. (News Bulletin file photo)

Vancouver Island councillor sues over privacy breach tied to donated phone

Lantzville’s Proctor files suit, alleging personal communications copied, shared on social media

A Lantzville councillor is taking a citizen to court, claiming he accessed her e-mails and texts for months using an old phone she says she gave to him for a charitable purpose.

Coun. Karen Proctor filed a notice of civil claim in the Supreme Court of B.C. in Nanaimo last week against Lantzville resident Clinton Smith. Proctor is suing for punitive and aggravated damages, claiming Smith’s actions were criminal, “reprehensible and deserving of rebuke.”

According to Proctor’s civil claim, she donated her old cellphone in mid-February, believing it would be given to a person experiencing homelessness and recovering from addiction. She said Smith picked up the phone from her home and told her that her personal information would be removed.

Last week, it came to Proctor’s attention that “approximately 213 photographs of correspondence or screenshots” had been shared on Facebook. She said in a press release that the screenshots were shared with the intent of discrediting her in her position as councillor.

“I have been deeply shaken by this experience,” Proctor said. “I am recovering from the shock of the blatant disregard for my personal privacy.”

She claims that she has suffered and continues to suffer loss and damage, as “the disclosure of the photographs has been detrimental and embarrassing to the plaintiff and has prejudiced her position as councillor for the District of Lantzville.”

None of the claims have been proven in court. Smith could not be reached for comment.

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READ ALSO: Lantzville council prohibits audio and video recordings of its meetings without permission

READ ALSO: Investigation taking place into alleged secret recordings at Lantzville District Hall


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