Convicted Pitt Meadows councillor not stepping down

David Murray said potential appeal is still months away.

Despite a conviction for sexual assault, Coun. David Murray is not stepping down from Pitt Meadows council.

On Thursday, and noting that he had just been convicted at 12:30 p.m. the day before, Murray said he was not ready to make a decision about his future as a councillor.

“I’m still trying to get my head around everything,” he said.

On Wednesday, after three days in court, Murray was found guilty of sexually assaulting a 13 or 14-year-old girl who, worked for him, in 1992.

There is nothing in the Community Charter, which governs municipal politicians, to compel Murray to step down. He has remained on council despite the sex assault charge since November 2016.

Murray’s next appearance in court will be Jan. 10, when a date will be set for a sentencing hearing. That would likely follow in March.

Then, Murray noted, he will have 30 days to appeal the decision.

His attorney has advised him not to say anything more, he said.

Murray said he needs to sit down and talk to those involved.

“I wasn’t expecting this to go this way,” he said. “I’m a Christian person, and God knows I haven’t done anything.

“It’s a tough one.”

Coun. Bill Dingwall was able to make a determination shortly after the announcement, saying Murray should step down.

“It’s about the reputation of the city and public confidence,” said Dingwall.

Dingwall posted:

Former Pitt Meadows mayor Don MacLean, who didn’t serve on council with Murray, but saw him as an effective councillor, said he believes Murray should “probably” step down.

“It would be difficult for him to be able to do his job as well as he can,” said MacLean.

The former mayor found the conviction shocking, and disturbing in that politicians increasingly have trouble winning the public’s trust, he said.

Ultimately, the decision to step down or remain on council is Murray’s and MacLean suggested council could give him a leave of absence to make a decision.

They cannot bar him – as a duly elected member of council – from attending meetings.

MacLean said the remaining six members of council should be able to function effectively for year, until the next municipal election.

Mayor John Becker is away from city hall for the week. He said, in other reports, that he has been and remains a friend to Murray, and he is discussing the matter with city staff and legal representatives.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Cops for Cancer: COVID-19 can’t stop Tour de Rock

‘having the chance to come back and ride this year means everything to me’

Port McNeill mayor elected as Director at Large with UBCM

Gaby Wickstrom ran for one of five spots against 13 other candidates

Heiltsuk First Nation calling on DFO to close fish farms, citing wild salmon extinction risk

Wild salmon returns have broken low records, have many concerned about future of wild fish

Everyone should be aware of the Labour Day movement

My hat is off to Tyson Whitney for his article on Labour Day.

Citing stability, B.C. Premier calls snap election for Oct. 24

John Horgan meets with Lieutenant Governor to request vote

B.C. reports 91 new cases as officials remain worried over ‘clusters of COVID-19

There have now been a total of 8,395 cases in B.C. since the pandemic began

‘Won’t be gathering for Thanksgiving:’ Trudeau says COVID-19 2nd wave underway

In all, COVID-19 has killed about 9,250 people in Canada

Canada’s active COVID-19 cases top 10,000 as daily new cases triple over the past month

Dr. Tam repeated her warning to young people, who have made up the majority of recent cases

First 8 months of fatal overdoses in B.C. have now exceeded 2019 death toll

Nine people died every two days in August, BC Coroners Service data shows

Liberal effort to reset policy agenda panned by rivals as too much talk, not action

Trudeau said it’s ‘all too likely’ families won’t be able to gather for Thanksgiving next month

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

‘Show us the money’ for cannabis, local governments tell B.C.

Municipal tax, transit revenues falling as costs rise

‘It’s a boy’: Southern Resident killer whale calf born to J Pod is healthy, researchers say

J35 had previously done a ‘Tour of Grief,’ carrying her dead calf for 17 days

People ‘disgusted’ by COVID-19 election call, B.C. Liberal leader says

Andrew Wilkinson speaks to municipal leaders from Victoria

Most Read