Mayor facing sex assault charge has 'no business' back at work, colleague says
Andrew Weichel, CTV News Vancouver
Published Tuesday, September 10, 2019 12:14PM PDT
Last Updated Tuesday, September 10, 2019 7:01PM PDT
Port Moody Mayor Rob Vagramov shouldn't have returned to work before the sexual assault case against him was concluded, according to one of the councillors who covered his duties during his absence.
Meghan Lahti has been serving as acting chair of the Port Moody Police Board since Vagramov took a voluntary leave of absence five months ago, and was asked to continue in the role now that he's back in the mayor's chair.
Vagramov told reporters Monday that he believes keeping Lahti in the role would be the best course of action until his case is over. On Tuesday, the councillor revealed she has declined his request.
"I have informed Mr. Vagramov that I will not agree to sit as chair of the Police Board, as I believe this would be inappropriate," she told CTV News in a statement. "I believe that until and unless Mr. Vagramov is able to fulfill the duties and responsibilities that he took an oath to perform, he has no business being at city hall."
The B.C. Prosecution Service said the Crown is proceeding summarily on the sexual assault charge, and Vagramov said Monday that his lawyers are "exploring a resolution that would not require a trial."
The matter currently remains before the courts, however, and Vagramov is scheduled to make an appearance on Thursday morning in Port Coquitlam.
"This is not about politics," Lahti said. "This is about standing up in solidarity with women across this country and it's about the fact that he can not perform his duties while under this cloud."