(THE NEWS/files) Local author and environmentalist Scott Magri said assault charges from his past should not keep him from running for Pitt Meadows council.

Don’t let criminal record stop council candidates: Pitt Meadows man

Scott Magri worries old charges might affect him

Scott Magri worries that his past criminal convictions could preclude him from running for Pitt Meadows council as it lobbies the province for changes.

Council is going to the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention this, proposing changes that would require politicians convicted of serious crimes to be removed from office.

The issue came up in October 2017, when former Pitt Meadows city councillor David Murray was convicted of sexually assaulting a teen in 1992.

Council had no legal way to force Murray out of office. He left at the end of January voluntarily after a meeting with Mayor John Becker.

Murray was sentenced to nine months in jail, and would have been forced out of office if he had missed enough meetings. However, he is appealing the verdict and sentencing, and was released from custody.

There is potential under existing laws that a person in his situation could still be serving on a municipal council.

Magri agrees Murray should not be allowed to serve on Pitt Meadows council. However, he asserts that someone with a criminal past should not be precluded from running for council.

In 2011, Magri authored the book Lessons: Crime, Games & Pain, about his criminal past and struggles with addiction. He has three assault charges – one for pushing a store clerk and two for fighting in night clubs.

“Everybody has got a past, and that’s life in my books – you live and learn,” he said. “I’m not hiding anything.”

Magri ran for council in 2014 and received 1,224 votes. Many voters knew him for his environmental work on the Katzie Slough Restoration Project. He wasn’t too far from winning a council seat – Murray was successfully elected with the lowest total on council at 1,851 votes.

“They knew all about my past, and they were going to vote for me anyway,” Magri said of voters.

Magri, who turns 50 in September, said crime is in his past.

He does not believe past convictions, for which has already atoned, should be held against him, or other people who have criminal records.

Becker said that is not the intention of the resolution being proposed by Pitt Meadows council, and which was defeated at the Lower Mainland Local Government Association conference in May.

“It deals narrowly with situations where a person is elected and already in office, and is convicted of an offence,” he said.

“Our resolution would have no impact on Scott Magri’s ability to run for office.”

Becker, a lawyer, believes that when convicted people have served their sentences, they should be able to stand for office.

“The public could make a decision at that time.”

However, he agreed that once this issue of council members is before the provincial government, which alone has the authority to make changes to the Municipal Act, any changes made could be different than those recommended by Pitt Meadows or the UBCM.

The 2018 UBCM convention will be held Sept. 10-14 in Whistler.

Magri said he has not determined whether he will run for council again in 2018.

Just Posted

‘Speed dating’ all-candidates meeting in Surrey zeroes in on homelessness and housing

Candidates mingle with residents at tables with various topics, in 10-minute intervals

South Surrey boy, 10, to help kids in need

Ronin Bulmer is going door-to-door asking for donations

Partial lane closures for Port Mann Tuesday, Wednesday nights

Drivers can expect delays during maintenance work: Mainroad

South Surrey pet blessing event to be held Sunday

All animals welcome to be blessed by Peninsula United Church

North Delta library featuring local artist in new exhibit

Internationally-renowned artist Jarnail Singh will have his art on display until Nov. 22

Raising of Peace Arch Park totem corrects a ‘historic wrong’

Haida pole at international border was restored and raised at instigation of SFN

Arborist killed by fallen tree at Maple Ridge Golf Course

Was working near the 9th tee box of the golf course.

Rattie scores 3 as Oilers blank Canucks 6-0

Vancouver slips to 1-5 in exhibition play

Veterans Affairs ordered to take second look before supporting vets’ relatives

Liberal government ordered officials to adopt a more critical eye

Dead B.C. motorcyclist was member of group that raced down mountain road

Some group members record their rides on Strathcona Parkway and post times to page

Indigenous athletes in spotlight at BC Sports Hall of Fame

New gallery to feature Carey Price, Kaila Mussel and Richard Peter

B.C. couple who went missing on flight from Edmonton named by family

Family released a statement Wednesday saying they’re still intent on finding the two-seater plane

Abbotsford raccoon dies from injuries suffered in a trap

Wildlife protection group offering $1,000 reward for information about incident

VIDEO: A close look at what you were breathing during the B.C. wildfire season

Electron microscope images show soot and tar particles generated by worst B.C. fire season

Most Read

l -->