Nanaimo city manager leaks bombshell video of councillor allegedly assaulting her
CTV Vancouver Island
Published Monday, July 31, 2017 5:33PM PDT
Last Updated Monday, July 31, 2017 6:56PM PDT
The hostility at Nanaimo City Hall has been ratcheted up after the city manager released a video and further information about an investigation into an alleged assault against her.
Nanaimo City manager Tracy Samra leaked video of an incident that she claims took place during an in-camera meeting last February involving herself and former councillor Wendy Pratt.
The video, which was posted to YouTube Sunday, allegedly shows Pratt striking Samra’s phone, which she was using to record part of the meeting. Samra said she suffered minor physical injuries.
Criminal Justice Branch documents released in March show that a councillor was arrested shortly after.
Pratt stepped down as councillor in April, one month after the alleged incident.
“On February 27, 2017 I was assaulted by Coun. Wendy Pratt at a closed council meeting in front of nine witnesses,” Samra said in a statement released to media Monday. “At least six witnesses were interviewed by the RCMP and a video tape of the incident was marked into evidence that night."
Samra said that independent consultant Roslyn Goldner has released an official report to council stating that the conduct of Pratt, Mayor Bill McKay and Coun. Diane Brennan has created a hostile work environment for her.
She also claimed that McKay has been targeting her in comments to the press and at public events.
“The Mayor has consistently made defamatory remarks about me in the media over the last 20 months calling into question my capabilities to do the job and my ethics,” she said, alleging that McKay has talked about her at an aboriginal graduation ceremony, a school district meeting with the city and an RCMP panel with a local First nation.
Speaking with CTV News, Samra said it’s amounted to one of the most trying times in her career.
“The last 20 months have been probably one of the most challenging work environments that I’ve been in throughout my career and it’s taken a toll on my emotional and my physical health,” said Samra. “This is a decision of mine to come out in the public and have the findings from that report seriously considered by council.”
McKay responded to Samra’s press release and video with a statement of his own on Monday.
“I consider the press release issued this afternoon as inaccurate – including the part regarding the hostile environment findings,” the mayor said. “I will be taking the contents of the press release and discussing at length with council for determination of next steps.”
CTV News reached out to the independent consultant who conducted the investigation but were told the report that Samra referenced is not yet available to the public.
Samra is currently on paid leave from the city.
It’s the latest black eye for a council plagued by infighting.
Last year, the city called for an RCMP investigation into McKay’s conduct as mayor, then in January, filed a lawsuit against him in a possible first for any Canadian city.
None of the allegations against McKay or Pratt have been proven in court.
With a report from CTV Vancouver Island's Chandler Grieve