Updated: Langley council candidate calls in RCMP

A Langley Township council candidate has complained to the RCMP about an alleged attempt to interfere with her financial agent.

Bev Dornan alleged that Lee Lockwood, a member of the Unelection Langley Campaign, tried to have her financial agent fired from her job at the Aldergrove Credit Union.

Dornan confirmed to the Langley Advance that she filed the complaint.

All candidates must either have a financial agent, or declare that they are acting as their own agent.

Dornan’s agent works at the credit union, and when Dornan filed her nomination forms to run for re-election, the phone number and email address for her agent, Linda Snider, were the number for the credit union and her work email address.

A different ACU employee was Dornan’s financial agent in 2011; Dornan’s financial disclosure documents list the credit union’s Otter branch phone number and address as the agent’s contact information. 

Lockwood said that he did visit credit union CEO Gus Hartl on Wednesday, Nov. 5, to complain about the matter.

“As a shareholder of the credit union, I don’t believe that should be done,” said Lockwood.

“Most companies, you’d be frog marched to the door,” said Lockwood.

The management was not interested in taking action against the employee, according to Lockwood.

However, he denied actually asking for Snider to be fired.

“I asked Hartl, is it appropriate to be acting on Dornan’s behalf during business hours,” Lockwood said. He questioned whether that would have to be claimed as an election expense.

Any work or resources used on behalf of a campaign have to be disclosed at the end of a campaign. If someone offers the services of their company, they are usually claimed as “in kind” work, but a value must be recorded for the resources used.

Lockwood said he would not be making a complaint, however.

As far as campaign work goes, Dornan said, her financial agent will be working on the financial statements on her own time.

Dornan maintains there was a suggestion that the woman be fired.

After the incident, she went to the Langley RCMP and complained under section 153.6.E of the Local Government Act.

That part of the act says that no one may “interfere with, hinder or obstruct an election official or other person in the exercise or performance of his or her powers, duties or functions under this Part or the Local Elections Campaign Financing Act.”

The Langley RCMP would only confirm that a complaint was received, but would not say whether or not there is an active investigation.

A spokesperson for the credit union called the situation an “unfortunate oversight” and emphasized that the organization is non-partisan.

Lockwood said that, before he was contacted by the Langley Advance Thursday, he was unaware of Dornan’s complaint, and that he hadn’t been contacted by the RCMP.

He is not concerned.

“I’m amused by it,” said Lockwood. “I mean, it’s all trumped up.”

As the financial agent for the Unelection group, Lockwood is one of four publicly known members of the organization.

Unelection is composed of people from several communities who have complaints about various issues over the past term of council. They have been openly campaigning to remove incumbent mayor Jack Froese and a majority of council, including Dornan. They graded Dornan an F, along with most of her colleagues, and have been promoting a group of alternative candidates.

Dornan is a two-term councillor and former Greater Langley Chamber of Commerce president.

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