Convicted Pitt Meadows councillor not stepping down

David Murray said potential appeal is still months away.

Despite a conviction for sexual assault, Coun. David Murray is not stepping down from Pitt Meadows council.

On Thursday, and noting that he had just been convicted at 12:30 p.m. the day before, Murray said he was not ready to make a decision about his future as a councillor.

“I’m still trying to get my head around everything,” he said.

On Wednesday, after three days in court, Murray was found guilty of sexually assaulting a 13 or 14-year-old girl who, worked for him, in 1992.

There is nothing in the Community Charter, which governs municipal politicians, to compel Murray to step down. He has remained on council despite the sex assault charge since November 2016.

Murray’s next appearance in court will be Jan. 10, when a date will be set for a sentencing hearing. That would likely follow in March.

Then, Murray noted, he will have 30 days to appeal the decision.

His attorney has advised him not to say anything more, he said.

Murray said he needs to sit down and talk to those involved.

“I wasn’t expecting this to go this way,” he said. “I’m a Christian person, and God knows I haven’t done anything.

“It’s a tough one.”

Coun. Bill Dingwall was able to make a determination shortly after the announcement, saying Murray should step down.

“It’s about the reputation of the city and public confidence,” said Dingwall.

Dingwall posted:

Former Pitt Meadows mayor Don MacLean, who didn’t serve on council with Murray, but saw him as an effective councillor, said he believes Murray should “probably” step down.

“It would be difficult for him to be able to do his job as well as he can,” said MacLean.

The former mayor found the conviction shocking, and disturbing in that politicians increasingly have trouble winning the public’s trust, he said.

Ultimately, the decision to step down or remain on council is Murray’s and MacLean suggested council could give him a leave of absence to make a decision.

They cannot bar him – as a duly elected member of council – from attending meetings.

MacLean said the remaining six members of council should be able to function effectively for year, until the next municipal election.

Mayor John Becker is away from city hall for the week. He said, in other reports, that he has been and remains a friend to Murray, and he is discussing the matter with city staff and legal representatives.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

“We have to make a call out to address this now so our people don’t have to feel fearful,” said Tribal Chief Mina Holmes. (Carrier Sekani Tribal Council Facebook photo)
Carrier Sekani Tribal Council seeks Indigenous-led task force in northern B.C. hospitals

Request made in an open letter to federal minister Carolyn Bennett

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

Participants earlier this year in March for Lakes Loppet at the ski club. (Lakes District News file photo)
How is Omineca Ski Club prepping for this ski season?

Covid restrictions, social distancing but ski season to continue

Tonye Aganaba, the Vancouver-based hip-hop artist will be featured in the next virtual event. (Submitted photo/Lakes District News)
The third LDAC concert and Off the Wall art show is out

The council’s preliminary survey results shows high levels of satisfaction

B.C. Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau outlines her party's climate action platform at Nanaimo's Vancouver Island Conference Centre earlier this month. (News Bulletin file photo)
Green leader Furstenau declared victor in her home riding on Vancouver Island

Cowichan Valley voters elect freshly minted party leader for her second term

Carolyn and Steve Touhey came across a pod of humpback whales while on their boat Sunday, Oct. 25. Photo supplied
VIDEO: Boaters encounter pod of humpbacks in Georgia Strait

Pod spotted between Comox and Texada Island

The Williams Lake Indian Band is stipulating no-go zones for mushroom picking in areas burned by last summer’s wildfires. 100 Mile Free Press photo
Who controls mushroom harvesting on Indigenous lands?

‘We don’t necessarily know where the mushrooms grow, how old the stands need to be, those types of things.’

Canadian and American flags fly near the Ambassador Bridge at the Canada/USA border crossing in Windsor, Ont. on Saturday, March 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rob Gurdebeke
U.S. election results one factor that could impact immigration to Canada next year

The survey polled 1,523 Canadians between Oct. 23 and Oct. 25

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The voting station mimicked a real voting station in Nicole Choi’s classroom at Chilliwack middle school on Oct. 22, 2020, where students had to show their ID (student cards), be checked off a list, and mark a secret ballot behind a screen. (Jessica Peters/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. students choose NDP majority in mock election

More than 90,000 youth took part in school-based election process

Crew transport bus at the Trans Mountain pipeline project work site in Burnaby, March 2020. (Trans Mountain)
Check your workplace COVID-19 safety plans, Dr. Henry urges

Masks in public spaces, distance in lunchrooms for winter

B.C.’s Court of Appeal is in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Judgment reserved in Surrey Six slayings appeals

Six men were killed in suite 1505 of the Balmoral Tower in Whalley on Oct. 19, 2007

Kelowna City Hall has been vandalized overnight. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Kelowna City Hall hit by anti-pandemic vandalism

Graffiti condemning the virus appears overnight on City Hall

Most Read