David Allan Murray, Pitt Meadows city councillor, convicted of sex assault

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We are learning more tonight about a Pitt Meadows city councillor convicted of sexually assaulting a minor. Catherine Urquhart reports – Oct 26, 2017

A previous version of this story stated former Port Coquitlam Mayor Scott Young pleaded guilty to charges of sexual assault. The story has been corrected to say he pleaded guilty to charges of assault.

A Pitt Meadows councillor has been convicted of sexually assaulting a minor.

David Allan Murray was facing charges that dated back more than two decades.

Murray coached basketball at Terry Fox Secondary School in Port Coquitlam for 20 years, and spent a decade coaching at Capilano College as well.

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He was first elected to Pitt Meadows council in 2011, and is also the editor of the online news website Pitt Meadows Today.

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Murray has not responded to a request for comment.

At least two fellow councillors, Tracy Miyashita and Bill Dingwall — a former police officer — have called on Murray to step down in the wake of the conviction.

“What does that say to other people who have gone through a similar thing,” said Miyashita.

“They’re looking at us as we appear to be unified, and we’re not. I think he absolutely needs to step down. We can’t function as a council, as a group, and we can’t lead the community.”

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Pitt Meadows Mayor John Becker said council has no legal mechanism to force Murray out, but said it was “reviewing all of the options” regarding possibly asking him to step aside.

“I can simply reiterate that David Murray has been one of my best friends, and today he remains one of my best friends,” said Becker.

“My support of David Murray as a friend takes a very distant second place to my obligations to this community and to our city council as mayor. I will not let one interfere with the other.”

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A municipal expert has noted Murray doesn’t have to step down.

Lawyer Reece Harding said legally, the councillor doesn’t have to resign because city officials who are committed of a crime don’t have to quit their job.

“Under what’s called the community charter or local government act that would require an elected to resign if convicted of a criminal offence,” he explained.

He said the only thing that can force Murray out of the job is if he gets jail time and can’t attend meetings.

“It’s not the criminal conviction itself that would disqualify them, it’s the inability to attend the council meetings that would disqualify them,” Harding said.

He added there was legislation requiring officials to resign if they were convicted of a crime, but that changed in the 1980s.

Former Port Coquitlam Mayor Scott Young stepped aside from his position after he pleaded guilty to two charges of assault. He later returned to the mayors’ chair.

Murray is due back in court on January 10 to fix a date for sentencing.

– With files from Emily Lazatin

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