A Vancouver lawyer has been appointed as an independent special prosecutor to review an RCMP investigation into allegations against Langley Township Mayor Rick Green.
David Crossin was appointed by assistant deputy attorney general Robert W.G. Gillen on June 7 to review the RCMP report to Crown prosecutors on investigation into “events alleged to have occurred in September 2010,” said a written statement released Wednesday by the Criminal Justice Branch in Victoria.
“Given the position of Mr. Green, as well as the complainants and potential witnesses involved in the case, Mr Gillen concluded that it was appropriate to appoint a special prosecutor,” the statement said.
Crossin will make “the charging decision he deems appropriate in the exercise of his independent prosecutorial discretion [and offer] such legal advice as is necessary to the police in the event that further investigation by them is required..” the statement said.
If he decides a criminal charge or charges is warranted, Crossin will handle “the prosecution and any subsequent appeal.”
Special prosecutors are appointed in cases when there is a significant potential for “real or perceived improper influence in the administration of criminal justice” the statement added.
The RCMP probe, revealed in January, concerns comments the mayor made relating to Brownshak Developments.
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 by 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.
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.
In 1997 and 2010, the Township’s legal counsel reviewed the Brownshak matter and found no wrongdoing by any of the parties.
Green has denied any wrongdoing.
On June 13, Township council turned down a motion by Councillor Charlie Fox asking for an update into the progress of the RCMP investigation.
– with files from Natasha Jones