First Nations chief in Nanaimo suspended by his council

Snuneymuxw Chief John Wesley suspended as First Nation gets ready to head to the polls

Snuneymuxw council has suspended Chief John Wesley until Feb. 1. (NEWS BULLETIN file)

Snuneymuxw council has suspended Chief John Wesley.

The First Nation council suspended its chief last Friday until Feb. 1 next year, claiming an investigation found he breached his fiduciary duty and council governance policy.

Councillor Doug White II was appointed acting chief, according to a notice to SFN membership obtained by the News Bulletin.

The move comes as Wesley seeks a second consecutive term as chief in the Snuneymuxw election, which happens Dec. 2.

According to the notice – confirmed by SFN councillor Doug White III as internal communication between council to members – the decision to suspend Wesley was made after the final report of an investigation by an independent lawyer. Several events were looked into, including the decision by council in 2015 to terminate an employee and another individual who was acting as interim executive director. One of the employees prepared a $5,000 cheque for herself, and one of $15,000 for the other individual, the notice claims, adding that the cheques were not made in accordance with SFN financial procedure and were signed by Wesley and a former councillor.

“The investigation is now complete and the investigation finds that Chief Wesley breached both his fiduciary duty and the standards set out in the SFN council governance policy manual,” council states in the notice. “Council considers Chief Wesley’s breach of fiduciary duty owed to membership to be very serious and that is why the council has made a decision to issue the suspension.”

Council and acting chief said they “appreciate the enormity of this decision” and did not take it lightly and that they have taken steps to ensure “that this does not happen again.”

SFN councillor Doug White III said in a social media message to the News Bulletin that the matter is for the Snuneymuxw community, though he confirmed members were notified by council that a unanimous decision was made to suspend Wesley and appoint Doug White II, his father, as acting chief.

“Actions related to the independent investigation are still underway and until the matter is fully resolved it would be inappropriate to [say] anything further,” he said.

Wesley could not be reached for comment.

For updates on this article, visit www.nanaimobulletin.com.



news@nanaimobulletin.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Foot found near Victoria belonged to missing Washington man

No foul play suspected in death of Stanley Okumoto, 79

Snow cancels, alters transit routes across Greater Victoria

Buses will not be stopping on steep hills, says BC Transit

Sooke emergency meeting attracts large crowd

More than 50 people at emergency meeting following recent tsunami warning

Higher gas tax to help fund transit in Greater Victoria

You’ll be paying an extra two cents per litre at the pump starting April 1, 2018

VIDEO: Top 10 B.C. budget highlights

The NDP is focusing on childcare, affordable housing and speeding up the elimination of MSP premiums

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Two Haida men detained for crossing U.S.-Canada border

Edenshaw and Frisby travelled from Alaska to Prince Rupert for the All Native Basketball Tournament

Alberta takes out full-page ads in B.C. over strained relationship

It’s the latest move between the two provinces over progress on Trans Mountain pipeline expansion

B.C. teacher suspended over allegedly using N-word in worksheets

Trafalgar Elementary teacher under investigation by Vancouver School Board

Toddler swept away in Ontario floods

Toddler missing as flooding forces thousands from their homes in Ontario

Inside the Olympic performance of the Island’s Teal Harle

Islander finishes fifth in Olympic Men’s Slopestyle final in Pyeong Chang

Sooke counsellor leads childhood anxiety seminar

Sooke counsellor leads childhood anxiety seminar

BC BUDGET: New money helps seniors’ care shortage

Job stability for care aides key to recruitment, union leader says

Most Read