Port McNeill named in lawsuit

The Town of Port McNeill faces a lawsuit from its former Volunteer Fire Chief for defamation

Chris Walker, the former Chief of the Port McNeill Volunteer Fire Department, who was dismissed in June, has filed a lawsuit.

According to Walker’s lawyer Chris Siver, a defamation suit has been filed against Mayor Shirley Ackland, Town Administrator Sue Harvey and the Town. As reported in the Gazette, on June 29 Walker received a termination letter. The letter, signed by Mayor Ackland, cites the reason for dismissal as “a personal relationship with a female member of the volunteer fire department,” which was in violation of the Port McNeill Volunteer Fire Department’s Code of Ethics, items #2, 3 and 4, which Siver maintains “was adopted post-dismissal”.

There is a Fire Chiefs’ Association of British Columbia Code of Ethics, said Siven, which states a chief must: #2 Maintain the highest standards of personal integrity and ethical business conduct, be honest and straightforward in dealings with others, and avoid conflicts of interest; #3 Not compromise the integrity or reputation of the Association; and #4 Not condone unethical actions or the appearance of unethical actions by other members of the Association. A July 3 statement from the Town of Port McNeill acknowledged Walker’s dedication over the last 17 years, and went on to say that he was removed from his position because he “breached their trust.” It also says the town insists all firefighters act in a respectful and positive manner, and that the Fire Chief’s conduct must “be ethical and beyond reproach.”

The claims against Mayor Ackland involve “her attempt to use her office to interfere in Walker’s employment,” said Siver.

“Walker remains in the dark as to why he was dismissed as he has never been provided with any specifics of any allegation nor was he afforded the opportunity to defend himself from these unknown allegations,” said Siver.

“Walker is hopeful the court process will not only bring to light the process and reason for his dismissal and restore his reputation but also allow him and his family to move forward with their lives,” said Siver. Ackland and Harvey could not be reached for comment by press time.

 

 

Just Posted

OPINION: Ten signs that Port Alice has changed

“Right now, our lack of amenities is holding back economic growth in our village”

Striking Western Forest Products workers could lose benefits in September

Union, forest company at odds over Vancouver Island benefit payments as strike enters third month

Port McNeill council discusses ‘bear aware’ and what you can do to stay safe

Port McNeill’s Conservation Officer Brad Adams gave a presentation about being ‘bear aware’.

Port Hardy RCMP release tips to prevent fraud and theft from vehicles

In many of the incidents reported, “the vehicles that were broken into were unlocked.”

Stranded hikers rescued by helicopter on Mt. Schoen

Campbell River Search and Rescue used hoist operation to rescue trio

VIDEO: Ride to Conquer Cancer rolls into Hope

Thousands of cyclist descend on small town for annual cancer fundraiser

VIDEO: Ride to Conquer Cancer rolls into Hope

Thousands of cyclist descend on small town for annual cancer fundraiser

Island murder victim’s mom expresses outrage over mental fitness decision of the accused

Smith vows to keep fighting until justice served for Descoteau

B.C. VIEWS: Pipelines set to roll as federal politicians posture

Projects to drive B.C., Canadian economy in years ahead

B.C. Lions fall to 1-9 after 13-10 loss to Ticats

Lowly Leos have dropped six straight CFL contests

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. man who died after rescuing swimmer was known for helping others

Shaun Nugent described as a dad, a coach, a hero and ‘stand-up guy’ at celebration of life

B.C. RCMP plane chases fleeing helicopter as part of major cross-border drug bust

The helicopter eventually landed at a rural property near Chilliwack

Vancouver Island man dead after reported hit-and-run incident

Oceanside RCMP seek public’s help gathering information

Most Read