On a day devoted to widespread tomfoolery, Surrey’s mayor shall be in a provincial court docket this Halloween making an attempt to distance himself from one particular act of alleged public mischief.
As he defends himself against an accusation of misleading about being struck by a automobile pushed by a political opponent, Doug McCallum will don a dressing up unfamiliar to residents who voted him out of workplace earlier this month: prison defendant.
But will a trick or deal with await the 78-year-old?
That will depend on the result of a seven-day trial set to start this morning.
A disputed parking-lot encounter
McCallum was charged with one depend of public mischief final December — three months after the encounter in a Save-on-Foods car parking zone that sparked the prison case.
At the time, McCallum claimed a member of the group opposing town’s police transition had run over his foot.
The group, Keep the RCMP in Surrey, had been amassing signatures for a policing referendum marketing campaign.
The lady McCallum claimed ran him over stated she was falsely accused of vehicular assault.
The conflicting accounts shall be put to the take a look at throughout a trial possible to rely closely on surveillance video of the incident taken from varied angles.
Charges of public mischief contain making false statements with the intention of deceptive law enforcement officials.
The B.C. RCMP Major Crime Section headed the investigation after taking it over from the Surrey RCMP “to guarantee there was no potential for actual or perceived battle of curiosity or improper affect.”
McCallum shall be represented by Richard Peck, the person who led the authorized “dream crew” accountable for mounting Huawei chief monetary officer Meng Wanzhou’s defence as she fought against extradition to the United States.
McCallum first served as Surrey’s mayor from 1996 to 2005 — returning for a fourth time period in 2018.
He misplaced his most up-to-date marketing campaign for re-election three weeks in the past to Brenda Locke, who will take the helm when a brand new council is sworn in on Nov. 7.
New mayor cuts off legal-fee compensation
McCallum’s authorized charges have been coated by town up to this level.
But on Sunday, Locke advised CBC News that she has instructed metropolis workers to cease the compensation.
“I heard loud and clear from residents that they don’t need to pay his authorized charges, so I’ve advised workers we’re ceasing any additional cost, successfully instantly,” she stated.
Locke additionally stated town will seek the advice of an outdoor lawyer about recovering authorized charges it has already paid to McCallum associated to the case.
According to a metropolis bylaw, all municipal officers, together with members of council, may be compensated for prices relating to an incident that occurred whereas appearing on behalf of town. McCallum has confronted criticism for claiming authorized charges for an incident that occurred whereas he was not on metropolis enterprise.
CBC News has contacted the City of Surrey for extra details about McCallum’s authorized charges.