The RCMP’s commercial crime unit is probing the conduct of Langley Township Mayor Rick Green.
“Members of council were contacted by police over the last few weeks regarding an investigation into the actions of the mayor,” Councillor Jordan Bateman said during a break between Monday’s council meetings.
“The RCMP told me that they are investigating a breach of the Privacy Act and Community Charter rules regarding the release of confidential information from in-camera, by the mayor,” Bateman said.
“It’s a serious investigation.”
Green strenuously denies any wrongdoing.
“I have done nothing wrong,” Green said.
“Everything I did was done following legal opinion.”
In a Jan. 7 e-mail, obtained by The Times, commercial crime investigator Cpl.Chuck Kolot tells Township councillors: “Just to keep you up to date, I sent e-mails yesterday to your colleagues requesting that they contact me so that I can get some sort of statement from each of them, if possible. I have not contacted the Mayor yet but I understand that Supt. Derek Cooke, of Langley Detachment, will probably be letting Mayor Green know about the investigation very soon.”
Pivotal to the police investigation is Green’s public statement last autumn relating to Brownshak Developments.
At that time, Green revealed that in 2009 he had received an anonymous letter and copies of corporate records relating to Brownshak. He claimed that these documents might support allegations of improper conduct of Brownshak and its principals, who were the wives of realtors Joel Schacter and Bob Bailey, and of MLA Rich Coleman and Township administrator Mark Bakken. Brownshak was a limited company, and its only purchase was an Aldergrove townhouse.
When the Brownshak issue first came up in 1996, then-Conflict of Interest Commissioner Ted Hughes found that allegations of conflict against Coleman (referred to in the literature received anonymously by Green) were without foundation.
A separate legal opinion by Lidstone and Co. came to the same conclusion as Hughes, as did the Township’s legal counsel of the day.
Green said he has not been contacted by the RCMP.
“I have heard second and third hand that a complaint was issued to the RCMP about my release of information in my press release regarding Brownshak,” he said.
Last September, Green admitted he misled council, the majority of whom then punished him by stripping him of his Metro Vancouver directorship.
Brownshak was dissolved in 2005.
Green and council have been at loggerheads ever since he defeated incumbent mayor Kurt Alberts in the 2008 election.
“It’s just another attack, another way of going after change that was made in the Township,” Green said.
“If there is an investigation under way, I am more than happy to let it run its course. It will be proved that I did absolutely nothing wrong.”
He added: “It’s really sad and unfortunate that members of council are wasting their time on this. In my opinion, it’s a non-issue.”
Green said the RCMP probe will not interfere with his mayoral duties.
“Absolutely not. I was elected to serve the people of the Township of Langley and I will continue to do so.”