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West Vancouver mayor’s law licence suspended for 2 years

Click to play video: 'West Vancouver mayor’s law licence suspended after admitting to misconduct'
West Vancouver mayor’s law licence suspended after admitting to misconduct
WATCH: West Vancouver Mayor Mark Sager has had his law licence rescinded for two years for professional misconduct. As Catherine Urquhart reports, it's not the first time his judgement has been called into question – Feb 28, 2024

West Vancouver‘s mayor is facing calls to resign after having his law licence suspended.

On Wednesday, the Law Society of B.C. announced Mayor Mark Sager‘s law licence had been suspended for two years for professional misconduct.

“That’s an agreed settlement and I’m thrilled,” Sager said Wednesday when asked for comment about the sanction.

Sager has admitted that before becoming mayor, and while practicing law, he was in a conflict of interest in his role as executor and trustee of a client’s will.

Click to play video: 'West Vancouver mayor says he was given go-ahead to spend excess campaign funds'
West Vancouver mayor says he was given go-ahead to spend excess campaign funds

According to the Law Society’s ruling, Sager “improperly withdrew from trust some or all of $40,000.00 in executor fees and $24,113.25 in management fees.”

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“The Respondent invoiced the estate $162,835.87 for travel expenses between August 19, 2012, and May 2, 2019,” it adds, finding “this conduct constitutes professional misconduct, conduct unbecoming a lawyer.”

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Former West Vancouver city councillor Craig Cameron said the sanction casts a shadow on the office of the mayor.

“I think he should seriously consider stepping aside. If it was me, I would step aside,” he said.

Sager, however, said he has no plans to step away from the district’s top job.

“This has been in the public domain for years, this dispute with the law society,” he said.

“I’m not stepping aside, I’ve got a job to do.”

Click to play video: 'West Vancouver mayor under investigation'
West Vancouver mayor under investigation

Sager, meanwhile, remains under investigation by Elections BC for purchasing furniture with money from his election campaign. He claims that he asked Elections BC if that was ok.

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“I said, ‘Could I spend the money to redo the mayor’s office — because the way the office was left by the former mayor was, to be kind, not my taste. and he said ‘certainly.'”

Port Moody police are conducting the investigation for Elections BC, reviewing possible irregularities identified during a compliance review of Sager’s campaign financing disclosure statement.

“Haven’t heard a word,” Sager said, referring to the police involvement.

“That was two and a half months ago. I think that speaks for itself too, thanks.”

Sager’s suspension from practicing law begins April 1.

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