The City of White Rock has censured Coun. David Chesney, citing “breach of trust and sharing of confidential/classified information.”
Details of the actions leading to the censure have not been made public, however Chesney – who was present at Monday’s council meeting at which the decision was announced – subsequently published on his White Rock Sun website a city media release on the censure.
“City of White Rock council have had to make the difficult decision to censure City Councillor David Chesney,” city clerk Tracey Arthur said, reading from the city’s statement at the end of Monday evening’s council meeting.
“Over the last few weeks, it was brought to council’s attention that Councillor Chesney had gone against council’s direction and divulged confidential information regarding the city’s negotiations of a very sensitive and critical matter.”
The matter under negotiation is not identified in the city statement, which cites sections under the Community Charter for the decision to censure Chesney.
“Any person who is elected or appointed to office, on a municipal council, must make an oath or solemn affirmation of office, under section 120 of the Community Charter and are bound by duty to section 117 of the Community Charter to respect confidentiality. Regrettably, City of White Rock Council has lost faith and trust in Councillor David Chesney’s ability to respect and uphold the integrity of the members’ office and oath.”
In making the announcement, Arthur said the information was being released from a closed council meeting that took place earlier Monday.
Arthur also announced that Chesney had been removed from the rotation of deputy mayor duties for the remainder of the year.
It’s the second time the city has censured Chesney. In April 2015, Mayor Wayne Baldwin announced that Chesney was censured the previous month after publishing a third person’s comments online that city lawyers considered “most likely” to be defamatory.
Chesney said immediately following Monday’s meeting that he was not permitted to comment on the censure.
“I can’t talk about it,” he told Peace Arch News. “At some point in the future I’d like to talk about it. I suggest you talk to the mayor.”
Baldwin had already left council chambers and was not available for comment.
But city communications manager Farnaz Farrokhi said Tuesday that no member of council would comment because even though Chesney is an elected city councillor he is also considered a member of city personnel.
“The mayor can’t speak to it, no one can speak to it, because it’s a personnel matter, and the city has a policy not to comment any further on personnel matters. And you can quote me on that.”